Major strike planned for South Africa next week – this is what unions are angry about

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is continuing to intensify its national mobilisation efforts in the build-up to the upcoming socio-economic national strike set to take place on the 7 October 2020.

The Federation has issued a call to all workers and South Africans to join the strike next week. Cosatu is the largest trade federation in the country with an estimated membership of 1.8 million workers.

“South Africa is teetering on the brink of collapse and it is about time we all stand up and demand urgent action from policymakers and decision-makers,” the trade federation said in a statement on Monday (28 September).

While the strike action will primarily focus on the wage dispute with the government, Cosatu said that the federation also wants additional support to be given to frontline workers and better governance.

“It is clear that the government expects our members to make sacrifices for an economic crisis that has been compounded by the looting and mismanagement in government, SOEs, and municipalities,” the federation said.

“The biggest hurdle in fixing South Africa’s myriad of problems is the inefficiency of the state and the scourge of corruption.”

Some of the other points raised by the federation include:

  • According to government figures, corruption costs the South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at least R27 billion annually, depriving the country of possible 76,000 jobs that would otherwise have been created;
  • Annually, nearly R80 billion is taken out of the country illegally putting South Africa as one of the countries with high illicit financial movements. The South African economy has paid a huge price for transfer pricing and other forms of illegal capital flight by multinational companies;
  • Cartels in this country have stolen billions of rands from businesses, taxpayers, and ultimately from consumers;
  • The Covid-19 UIF TERS Fund has been looted by many employers who have failed to pay the money to the relevant workers, leaving many families struggling to put food on the table;
  • The public transport system is unsafe and many workers contracted the virus from the fully packed taxis. The failure of the government to properly regulate and support the public transport system;
  • The Auditor General’s office has been empowered to act against officials and employees who waste taxpayer’s money, as well as those who are aware that money is being stolen but fail to act against culprits. We demand more action by the AG’s office to hold the criminals accountable;
  • The Federation also demands that families of politicians should be barred from doing business with the state of politicians who insist on their families doing business with the government should step down from their political positions.

Read: 1 million jobs lost – and worse is still to come: economists

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Major strike planned for South Africa next week – this is what unions are angry about