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Cosatu slams state-owned enterprises at mass march

The union’s president lashed out at Eskom, Prasa & Telkom at their march for ‘decent work’ in JHB.

Cosatu members singing and dance as they eagerly wait for the march to begin on 7 October 2015. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) President S'dumo Dlamini has lashed out at the management of Eskom, Prasa and Telkom for what he says is a lack of consultation with workers, the appointment of unfit personnel, and infighting at the state-owned enterprises.

#CosatuMarch About 3000 people taking part in the decent work march. All of COSATU's affiliates represented here. GW pic.twitter.com/QQOM2M2NWs

Cosatu's marches for decent work are officially underway in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

#CosatuMarch Members from 16 unions are matching through #CapeTown today to Parliament. pic.twitter.com/U2FkM53EnM

Dlamini has slated Telkom for what he says is minimum consultation with the communication workers union about retrenchments.

He says Eskom should never have appointed Collin Malatjie as CEO considering his track record.

"What do you expect when you employ somebody who has run down an institution elsewhere and you say he must be at the helm Eskom?"

Dlamini has also criticised Prasa's decision to buy new locomotives overseas.

"If those trains were made here at home in South Africa, they would fit in the railway lines of South Africa. It's a problem."

While the workers here insist this march is only about decent work, Dlamini says its evidence that Cosatu has not been defeated.

#CosatuMarch Dlamini: We're here to tell everyone that COSATU unions remain a force to be reckoned with. GW

JOB CUTS

Several unions joined the demonstration against job cuts and have also called on government to deal with the country's unemployment crisis with urgency.

The federation is set to hand over their demands to the Department of Labour, the premier's office and the Chamber of Mines.

In Johannesburg, the federation reached the Department of Labour and handed over a memorandum demanding that planned retrenchments be stopped to allow for consultation.

Cosatu says this should happen at Nedlac, with businesses and government partners.

It told the department that its affiliated unions are being victimised by officials.

The march progressed to the banking square in the CBD where the General Secretary of the Communist Party Blade Nzimande addressed workers.

TOLLS

At the same time, The Western Cape's victory against tolls has been scrutinised at the mass march.

#CosatuMarch "COSATU is moving, the engines are oiled." -Cosatu treasurer Frieda Oosthuizen SS pic.twitter.com/n9MGLQdJOb

While some unionists at the march have somewhat hailed the Western Cape's victory against tolls, they want the system scrapped in Gauteng.

#CosatuMarch Marchers sing and dance their way down Darling Street in #CapeTown @ThomHolder pic.twitter.com/KtnBcgvltK

Speaking to the masses, the ANC's Khalid Sayed said, "Ban [tolls] immediately, down with [tolls], down!"

Cosatu treasurer Frieda Oostenhuizen says the province's toll win does not benefit the poor.