Services slowed down at Beitbridge border post due to SARS strike

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Protesting workers affiliated to workers’ unions, PSA and Nehawu, say the lunch-hour picket by SARS employees at the Beitbridge border post in Musina, Limpopo, poses a risk to the country.

The labour unions say unqualified workers are currently processing travellers at the port of entry.

Workers are demanding a 12% wage increase, while SARS is offering a 1.3% increase.

Nehawu’s spokesperson Matilaya Chauke says workers have abandoned their posts, calling for an above inflation wage increase since Monday.

Chauke says they believe that the fact that some of their managers are processing travellers poses a risk to the state.

“The people that are working inside are managers who don’t know they system, actually it is suicidal to government when you put someone who don’t know the system. There will be lot of fraud that will be claimed between these days of the strike and also cigarette and textile that will come into South Africa, so it will have a serious impact because the people who are working are not aware of the system they are just grade 7 upwards that are not in the bargaining council.”

PSA spokesperson Lawrence Muvhango says they will continue with the protest until their demands are met.

“Our demand is very clear, if the employer does not come back to us with a better offer we are going to continue with the strike. We will still be coming here to the border and we will be able to do worse than we are currently doing because our demand was very clear that we want 12% what the employer is offering is only 1.39 %, which is nothing.”

Some truck drivers says the strike is delaying transportation of goods between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

“They are delaying me too much we don’t know why they are striking, it is too much,” says one driver.

“Delaying me in one position you know Musina is too expensive and already it is too hot here, we never planned this, it is  affecting me a lot, I need to move.”

SARS said in a statement that it has informed Nehawu and PSA that their current demand for a CPI plus seven percent increase is not affordable.