A strike by thousands of workers grounded eSwatini as shops and public transport remained unavailable in the capital Mbabane and other towns for a fourth consecutive day.The strike, which started on Monday, has seen more than 25,000 of eSwatini’s 42,000-strong civil servants marching through the capital Mbabane to demand a salary increase of 9.5 percent as part of a cost of living adjustment.
The government has offered a three-percent salary increase deferred to the 2020/21 financial year, which the unions have objected.
Other demands by the workers include a reduction in the number of foreign trips by cabinet ministers and senior government officials; the reintroduction of democracy; and the withdrawal of charges laid against some union leaders.
The strike was organised by the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland, an umbrella body comprising the Swaziland National Association of Teachers, National Public Servants and Allied Workers Union, the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union and the Swaziland Youth Congress.
One of the strike organisers, Sibongile Mazibuko on Thursday punched holes in the Tinkhundla system of government, saying it only benefits politicians who take home hefty packages while workers are paid very low salaries.