Johannesburg - About 200 000 members of the Public Servants Association (PSA) commenced a nation-wide strike on Thursday to press for better wages.
Marches and picketing were expected to take place countrywide, while Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi was scheduled to hold another round of talks with union leaders.
Public servants were demanding an 8.6% salary increase and a housing subsidy of R1 000, backdated to April 1.
The government was offering a 6.5% salary increase and a R620 housing subsidy with effect from July 1.
Public servants working in essential services sectors would not take part in the mass action, PSA's Cape Town manager Koos Kruger said earlier.
The SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) had also called on its members not to participate in the PSA action to prevent a disruption in classes.