Negotiations between Parliament and the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) were still under way by noon and going well, the union’s deputy chairperson at Parliament Disang Mocumi said on Thursday.
He suggested to protesters they take a short break to get some lunch and then regroup at 13:00.
With an interdict in place banning them from disrupting any parliamentary committee or the work of staffers, the protesters spent the morning singing in a circle, or doing the step to Nehawu songs.
On Wednesday night, Parliament secretary Nengezi Mgidlana said workers were trying to reopen an agreement that would stay in place until 2017, because they wanted to renegotiate how bonuses were calculated.
They had not formally declared a dispute and had stopped working, so their protest was considered a strike not protected by law.
Workers not on duty could also have their pay docked.
On Monday long queues formed at a makeshift visitor’s desk with one or two staffers seconded to fill in for those on strike.
However, by Thursday afternoon, more people were manning the reception points and less police were visible.
Shortly before 13:00 the parping of a vuvuzela indicated the protest break was over.
Different scenes played out on Tuesday with police using stun grenades to try moving protesters out of the precinct. News24