Hundreds of thousands of public sector workers embarked on a strike on June 1 in what has become the biggest and most protracted strike in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994.

 

The industrial action has led to the closure of most schools while hospitals have been able to run only skeleton services with the help of army medics.

 

The government has said the 7.5 per cent offer, up 0.25 per cent on what it had previously put on the table, is final.

 

Kenny Govender, the government chief negotiator, said: "As government we made our position very, very clear when we tabled a final written offer. It is very clear in that it indicates the end of the line for government."