Cleaners have returned to work after a five-week strike.

The strike was suspended by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu).

Nehawu union official, Adwin Kolobe, said they called the strike off due to complaints from cleaners.

The cleaners were worried about not getting paid and some cleaners secretly went back to work.

A Super Care cleaner who spoke on condition of anonymity said the strike was a waste of time- her accounts are now in arrears.

She said she had hoped to get a minimum wage of R4 300 as she already made plans on how to spend it.

Second year bachelor of science student Matlaba Pitjeng said the end of the strike is a relief. “The toilets smelt horrible.”

Some cleaners came back before the union’s order. A Carovone cleaner, who didn’t want to be named, said: “I couldn’t take it anymore; I was not getting any income.”

“I have children to support and accounts to pay.

“I decided to come back even though I had to leave at 2pm every day as I didn’t want other employees on strike to see me working.”

The union has rejected the 8% salary increment offered by the employers.

The matter has now been referred to the minister of labour.

Nehawu is waiting for the sectorial determination from the minister.