Pretoria – Government says it has noted with concern the strike by members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and media reports of vandalism to infrastructure and intimidation to other workers allegedly committed by the union members.

In a statement on Friday, Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, said government reiterated its condemnation of any form of violence and intimidation during strikes and will not tolerate lawlessness.

“Dialogue must prevail at all times between employers and employees to ensure the realisation of the right to freedom of peaceful disputes for all. Government calls on all parties concerned to reach an amicable and speedy resolution,” said the minister.

She said while South Africans have the constitutional right to protest, intimidation and violence against those not participating in the strike will not be accepted.

“South Africa is a democratic country where concerns ought to be addressed within the framework of the law,” said Minister Muthambi.

She said government remained committed to ensuring stability in all industrial sectors, including steel and engineering as the industry plays a vital role in the economy.

Government, said the minister, called on all South Africans, business, unions and employees to address any challenges within the confines of the law in the spirit of moving South Africa forward