Alert! My Lovely Assistant reports that a march to Parliament by several thousand striking security guards took an ugly turn this afternoon, and has left parts of Cape Town’s city center badly smashed up.
She herself was in the CBD, musing over which take-away to patronize for lunch, when she saw dozens of men running in all directions. There followed a general rush to get out of the area as quickly as possible. Shops closed – but not before some had their windows broken – and cars were hastily moved. (My LA, fortunately, escaped unscathed!)
The security guards have been on strike for months; they’re demanding an 11% wage hike, while employers are offering 8%. Their union, SATAWU, has blamed agents provocateurs for today’s violence; eyewitnesses calling into talk radio have insisted that the strikers were to blame. The worst damage is to be found along the march route – especially on Plein St. near Parliament (map).
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Cape Town’s CBD has since returned to normal, although Metrorail is running limited services out of Cape Town’s train station.
SA Logue, meanwhile, promises to forewarn readers of any future SATAWU strikes!