Workers call for better conditions

Thousands gathered accross the country to celebrate Workers Day.

Cyril Ramaphosa at a Workers Day rally in Rustenburg. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Workers Day celebrations were held across the country on Wednesday, with many urging South Africans to continue fighting for better working conditions.

Crowds, wearing union t-shirts, gathered in the Good Hope Centre in Cape Town for Cosatu's May Day rally.

Provincial ANC leader Marius Fransman said their main concern is the plight of farmworkers.

In February, the government implemented a new minimum wage for farmworkers, after several months of often violent protests in a number of farming towns.

Despite this, some farmers maintain they cannot afford to pay their workers a daily wage of R105.

Fransman said they would continue to reject the Western Cape government's Agricultural Action Plan for farmworkers.

Meanwhile, Samwu's Mike Khumalo said they were angry that several workers were being dismissed by the City of Cape Town daily.

He asked the ANC to take over and govern the province, adding that the Democratic Alliance's days are numbered.

In Johannesburg, hundreds of union members gathered at the George Thabe Stadium in Sharpeville to celebrate Workers Day.

Numsa's Sedibeng regional finance committee member, Tankiso Lengoabala, said Workers Day was about celebrating the gains of workers.

But he acknowledged that the fight for financial and economic freedom was an on-going battle.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people gathered in Rustenburg, where ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was expected to address them.

Rustenburg has been at the centre of violent and often deadly protests, including the Marikana shooting in 2012, which left 34 miners dead.

Num's rival union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), paid tribute to the miners who lost their lives during that shooting, at a venue a few kilometres away.