Thousands of Cosatu members and supporters on Thursday are set to embark on a national strike aimed at forcing government and the private sector to address the country’s economic challenges and social issues affecting workers and South Africans in general.
The trade union federation’s socio-economic strike against corruption, retrenchments, gender-based violence (GBV) and what it calls an “attack on collective bargaining agreements” – is expected to take place in more than 28 venues across the country’s major cities and towns.
Cosatu said the strike – which coincides with the World Day for Decent Work – is legally protected and has called on all workers and citizens to join the march through the union federation’s planned activities across the country or by withdrawing their labour and staying at home.
Cosatu is demanding urgent action from policymakers in government and decision makers in the private sector to stop “attacks that are directed at workers”.
It has accused both government and business of blatantly undermining collective bargaining agreements.
“We want the reversal of budget cuts that have led to an unacceptable wage freeze in the public service, the disintegration of the CCMA, and retrenchments in state-owned companies.
“We will also be calling on the private sector to abandon its investment strike that has seen many companies either hoarding or exporting cash out of the country, despite receiving generous incentives to invest back into the economy.
“This year billions were given away in tax cuts when that money could have been used to increase government spending,” Cosatu said in a statement.
Cosatu said it would comply with government’s Covid-19 restrictions during its demonstrations and urged its members and ordinary citizens to take precautions by following Covid protocols.
In Gauteng, the federation’s members were expected to gather at Johannesburg’s Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown at 9am. They will then proceed to hand over their memorandum of demands to the office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura and in Marshalltown at the Minerals Council South Africa offices.
There will also be other demonstrations in different provinces, with protesters in the Western Cape set to gather at Hanover Street in Cape Town and march to the City of Cape Town offices.