Sat. Oct 31st, 2020

Cosatu national strike: Workers urged to show their support on Wednesday

Cosatu will be holding a national socio-economic strike on Wednesday 7 October. Here’s what you need to know.

cosatu national strike workers urged to show their support on wednesday - Cosatu national strike: Workers urged to show their support on Wednesday

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has reiterated its call for workers across the country, to either stay at home in support of its National Socio-economic Strike on Wednesday 7 October 2020 or to join in on the picket.

Cosatu is encouraging workers to exercise their right to challenge and contest a “rigged economic system” whereby it will target government, private sector employers and law enforcement agencies. 

“We need to take a stand and push back against this flagrant theft of taxpayer funds and the disgraceful abandonment of the working class by policymakers and decisionmakers. The only way to undo this corrupt system is through disruption and non-cooperation and obstruction,” said Cosatu National spokesperson Sizwe Pamla. 

COSATU NATIONAL STRIKE: ‘DEFENDING JOBS AND FIGHTING CORRUPTION’ 

Cosatu said workers need to unite in defending jobs, fighting corruption, as well as, the shortcomings of law enforcement agencies in fighting corruption and gender-based violence. 

“We are making a louder call for decisive state intervention in strategic sectors of the economy, the use of a variety of macroeconomic and other levers at the state’s disposal to deliberately drive industrialisation, sustainable development, decent employment creation, and break historical patterns of colonial exploitation and dependence,” said Pamla. 

Workers demand a radical economic shift that requires President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration to realign the work of its National Treasury and the Reserve Bank to that of a government vision. The 51% decline and the loss of 2.2 million jobs is an indictment on the performance of the cabinet. 

“Despite labour’s massive contribution to help keep the country afloat with a UIF Ters Fund and also Cosatu presenting a solid plan to fix a crisis-ridden Eskom, workers are still being targeted, exploited, and victimised with little consequences,” said Pamla. 

DEMANDS 

Cosatu has listed some of its demands to battle the current socio-economic climate; 

  • We call for the macroeconomic framework geared to address the basic needs of our people, transform the economy, strengthen the public service, and renew efforts to build a capable developmental state;
  • Transport is key if we are to dismantle the system of apartheid separate development and eliminating the apartheid spatial challenges. The current inadequate public transport failure reflects the failures of our overall economic system;
  • The rising levels of gender-based violence in the country demand decisive action. We need to push for a legislative reform and introduce mandatory minimum sentences for gender-based violence cases to act as a deterrence; and
  • We need the Reserve Bank to explore measures that include capital controls and penalise financial speculation. 

PICKETS IN NINE PROVINCES

According to Cosatu, it will conduct socially distanced pickets and motorcades across nine provinces and in many identified towns and cities. 

783a6dd5 screenshot 2020 10 06 at 10.55.25 - Cosatu national strike: Workers urged to show their support on Wednesday
Image via: Cosatu

“This decentralisation of our activities will ensure that workers are involved and are all able to participate in all over the country but also that our activities do not spread this deadly virus,” said Pamla. 

“It is the workers who built this country and its economy, and we continue to keep the wheels of this economy turning. This is the time for workers to remember that they are their own liberators, the is no saviour for us and it upon us to work together to fix this mess for the better. We must organise, mobilise and be ready to fight relentlessly to shape a future that is free of exploitation, corruption, unemployment, poverty, and inequality,” added Pamla. 

Pickets will take place in the following areas;

  • Limpopo – Polokwane, Groblersdal, Thoyandou, Mokopane, Giyani;
  • Northern Cape – Kuruman and Upington;
  • KwaZulu-Natal – Durban, Newcastle, Manguzi and Ladysmith;
  • North West – Klerksdorp, Mahikeng and Rustenburg;
  • Free State – Welkom, Qwaqwa, Bethlehem, Bloemfontein, Bothaville, Bultfontein, Ladybrand and Viljoenskroon;
  • Gauteng – Pretoria, Germiston, Johannesburg/Braamfontein, Evaton and Thabong;
  • Mpumalanga – Mbombela, Witbank and Ermelo;
  • Eastern Cape – Mthatha, Port Elizabeth and King William’s Town; and
  • Western Cape – National Treasurer, Freda Oosthuysen will lead a motorcade at Cape Town, Western Cape from Langa Multipurpose Sports Centre.

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