South Africa is braced for chaos as workers across the country are expected to down their tools on 13 June for a one-day general strike in solidarity with striking public sector workers. In Cape Town at least 5,000 municipal workers may stay away after the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) was granted permission to join the industrial action in support of public sector wage increases. The day will be marked by protest marches in major cities and picketing outside government buildings and parliament.

Called by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), which commands approximately 60 per cent of public sector workers, the one-day general strike comes well into the second week of industrial action by teachers and health workers which has seen the closure of schools and hospitals nationwide. Earlier this week the government dismissed 638 striking health workers on the grounds that their constitutional right to strike