Johannesburg - South Africa is set for a week of no trains, buses and rubbish collectors, with transport, municipal and pharmaceutical workers ready to strike across the country.
A strike in the rail sector was due to start at 12:00 on Monday, Chris de Vos, the general secretary United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) said.
"We are starting tomorrow [Monday] at midnight," he said.
"There have been no phone calls to give us indication they want to sign."
Utatu and fellow union the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu), wanted a seven percent wage increase from Metrorail, with an extra two percent in September. Together the two unions represent 10 000 workers.
Satawu had not indicated whether it would issue a strike notice.
"This will be a legal strike as we are already in possession of a deadlock notice issued on the 10th July," de Vos said.
Chaos is expected as about 1.5 million commuters will be left stranded.
The strike would not, however, affect long distance trains such as the Shosholoza Mail between Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Metrorail had called the industrial action unwarranted. It said it had contingency plans for the strikes, but warned customers to expect disruptions.
Municipal services could come to a standstill and several protests are planned as part of a massive strike action by about 150 000 dissatisfied municipal workers.
Municipal workers' union Samwu general secretary Mthandeki Nhlapho said "there is not any possible indication" that Monday's strike by the union could be averted.
At least 150 000 municipal workers were planning to stop work across the country.
Samwu and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union both rejected an 11.5% wage increase offer.
The unions warned that essential services may be affected by the strike.
The city of Johannesburg was putting contingency plans in place and appealed to unions to ensure their members did not break the law during the strike.
Pretoria warned commuters the strike meant buses would not be running.
"Bus commuters should therefore make use of alternative modes of transport if the services are interrupted by the strike," councillor Gabriel Twala said.
"However, essential services, such as waste management and emergency services, should not be affected by the strike."
Metrobus in Johannesburg issued a similar warning.
The city of Cape Town warned that refuse collection in informal settlements, street sweeping, emptying of litter bins and removal of illegally-dumped material may be affected.
Thabani Mdlalose, deputy general secretary of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers' Union told Sapa on Sunday the strike would continue into the week.
He accused pulp and paper employers of being arrogant on sticking to a 7.5% wage offer.
"They are standing on 7.5%, they won't make an inch of a movement. We are consulting with our members."
Ceppwawu was planning protests Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.
The union had been briefing its pharmaceutical workers on a new offer by employers.
Mdlalose said pharmacists would also continue staying away from work until a settlement was announced.
Workers in this sector were offered a 9% pay rise on Friday, which it would take to its members for endorsement.
Workers in the petroleum industry were due to join the strike this week.
The Communication Workers' Union would also continue demonstrations against Telkom and the SABC. The union was unhappy over wages, the threat of possible job losses and poor administration.