Government has taken note of the planned marches set to take place today, 25 April 2018, by the South African Federation of Trade Unions.
Marches played a central role during the apartheid era and culminated into the transition from apartheid to democracy. Today, marches continue to play a role in the democratic South African society wherein people have a place to make their voices heard.
The right to assemble and to protest in order to advance a particular cause is enshrined in the South African Constitution. However, it also equally caters for protestors to conduct themselves in a responsible manner. Peaceful protests are quintessentially a characteristic of a strengthened democratic and progressive society.
Acting GCIS Director-General, Phumla Williams, said: We call on all those participating in the marches across the various provinces to refrain from violence, destruction of property and intimidation. The rights of people who do not want to participate in the marches must be respected. When marches deviate from the intended cause and becomes characterised by violence, looting and civil-disobedience �it is less likely to produce democratic progress.
Government further calls upon the convenors of the march to ensure that chaos does not ensue around Parliament, as it is a national key point, and the highest law making arm of the State. The same sentiments should be applied to other areas across the country, where members plan to gather.
Government appeals to all unions and those participating in the march to allow the law enforcement agencies the space to work and safeguard properties in line with the Regulation of Gatherings Act, 1993. Law enforcement has a duty to protect and ensure the safety and security of all people in South Africa. The law enforcement agencies have a Constitutional obligation to protect and ensure all citizens are and feel safe in South Africa, added Williams.
Source: Government of South Africa