JOHANNESBURG, Aug 21 (Reuters) - South Africa's government said on Saturday a labour court had granted an injunction banning civil servants in essential services from taking part in strike by more than one million public sector workers.
The strike, which started on Wednesday, is the latest in a wave of labour protests to hit the country since May and has involved teachers, police, health workers, customs officials and office staff.
Government spokesman Themba Maseko told Reuters that essential services include hospital and correctional facilities and that the workers are expected to return to work immediately.
The Independent Labour Caucus, one of the unions involved in wage talks with government, said it agreed with the principle that there must be guidance in the provision of essential services.
"But in the absence of an agreement, (the injunction) can only be regarded as an interim measure. It is absolutely necessary that we reach an agreement as quickly as possible," Chris Kloppers, spokesman for the Independent Labour Caucus, said.
The injunction also stops the striking workers from intimidating those reporting to work and the public.