South Africa is bracing itself for a week in which bus, train and municipal workers are all set to go on strike.

The industrial action will see more than 160,000 people stop work in support of claims for higher wages.

This is the latest in a series of challenges for South Africa’s new President Jacob Zuma, who has called for understanding from workers.zuma

There were violent demonstrations in several townships last week, during which some 200 people were arrested.

It is proving to be a cold and difficult winter for Jacob Zuma.

Just two months after taking power, he is facing South Africa’s first recession since the end of apartheid.

Crowd-pleasing promises are proving hard to keep.

An early pledge to create 500,000 new jobs has already been retracted and demonstrations in the townships turned violent this month over long-held grievances about the delivery of services and housing.

As if that wasn’t enough, this is strike season.

On Monday, 150,000 municipal employees responsible for, among other things, rubbish collection and the city police will refuse to work after being denied a 15% wage increase.

A separate strike by transport workers will see most train and bus services grind to a halt.

Several other unions say they are considering their options.



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