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Cosatu march 'a success'
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) mustered widespread support on Wednesday for its...
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) mustered widespread support on Wednesday for its countrywide strike against toll fees and labour brokers.
The trade union federation handed over several memoranda to various government departments and industry bodies, including Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane outside her offices, during its mass action in Johannesburg.
Thousands of people took to the streets across the country to show support.
Pick n Pay said over half of its staff did not report to work on Wednesday because of the action, while Goldfields reported an absentee rate of about 85 percent.
Labour analyst Gavin Brown said, “You have to see the strike in the context of promises tabled in Parliament about making major amendments to our labour legislation.
“The strike was a show of assertiveness from Cosatu.”
Some of the protesters felt the strike was a success, saying, “There were huge numbers of people who supported the march."
However, labour broking took centre stage.
“The labour broker must go down," one poster said.
Most poeple in attendance were confident they were successful in getting their point across.
Cosatu vowed further action if its demands were not met.
Cosatu’s General Secretary Zwelinsima Vavi said the trade union will barricade highways and make South Africa an ungovernable country if government did not cede to their demands.
Vavi gave several impassioned speeches to the red shirted crowd, saying they were fighting to improve the living standards of South Africans.
African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema was emerged as the man of the day, with the crowds chanting his name.
Malema said he was in full support of Cosatu and encouraged the union to continue fighting for economic freedom.
The Johannesburg city was cleared out quickly with no evidence of violence reported.
(Edited by Clare Matthes)