Demonstrators start gathering at Burgers Park in Pretoria ahead of the planned national shutdown

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A small group of people has started to gather at Burgers Park in Pretoria for a planned national shutdown on Wednesday morning.

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) are both protesting against rising fuel increases, the high cost of living and the high unemployment rate.

The demonstrators will march from Burgers Park to the seat of government, the Union Buildings, where they will hand over their memorandum of demands.

The two biggest trade unions encouraged even those who are not affiliates to join the march.

Earlier, people were seen going about their normal daily routines, with some going to school while others could be seen going to work.

Busses and taxis can be seen ferrying commuters to their different destination.

On Tuesday, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) distanced the taxi industry from the planned national shutdown.

“Despite numerous requests to participate in the national shutdown, Santaco will not participate in the planned national shutdown,” says Santaco.

Two government employees who spoke to SABC News on condition of anonymity say they will not participate in the national shutdown because they don’t want their salaries to be deducted.

“As you can see, there is no shutdown, I am going to work, I have a family to feed. I have debts to pay,” he says.

He adds that if the taxi industry is not taking part in the shutdown, the planned shutdown will fail.

“Taxis are running, everyone is going to work today. These people are using us. They [union leaders] won’t get salary deductions, but our salaries will be deducted,” adds another government employee.

It remains to be seen if or whether thousands of people will join the march.

The video below is reporting more on the story: