Zuma: The struggle for workers continues

Jacob Zuma says 22 years after South Africa’s democracy, the struggle continues for the working class.

President Jacob Zuma addressing the Mayday rally in Mamelodi. Picture: Emily Corke/EWN.

JOHANNEBSURG - President Jacob Zuma has used May Day to remind South African workers of their rights and the strides the country has made to transform the workplace.

Zuma is currently addressing workers at Moretele Park in Mamelodi, Pretoria, today where Cosatu is holding a rally.

The international holiday honours workers for their struggle and encourages conducive working environments and fair wages.

Zuma says 22 years after South Africa's democracy, the struggle continues for the working class.

"You cannot say it is over. That is why today workers all over the world come together to celebrate this day, but not just to celebrate, to take new resolutions to develop and advance the struggle of the working people ."

President Zuma says the ANC is the only party that addresses the plight of workers and there should be no debate on whether Cosatu supports the governing party in the upcoming local government elections.

Zuma says the only weapon that will combat exploitation of workers in South Africa is if they all unite and be part of a labour organisation like Cosatu.

Zuma says workers in this country continue to be exploited.

"The organisation of workers in big numbers is an essential thing that workers should be conscious of, because if you are not conscious of it, you will be exploited from generation to generation."

The president says the organisation of workers is very important.

Meanwhile, SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande has called on supporters of the tripartite to use Workers Day to celebrate its successes and unite to address the challenges still facing the alliance.

Nzimande and South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) President Richard Mdakane were the first speakers to address the rally.

Both organisations have pledged their support for the African National Congress (ANC) in this year's local government elections and to fight issues facing workers today.

Nzimande says the alliance has come a long way in providing basic services to South Africans in a short space of time and members should be proud of this.

"We must be very proud that as a country we are still together but we must not relax."

#MayDay SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande takes the podium to give his address. EC pic.twitter.com/GA3q6xNbuL

Mdakane has called on Sanco members to vote for the ANC in August, saying without the ANC there is no future for the country.

"To the poor of the poorest, the ANC is building a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society. Without ANC there will no future in our country."


May Day festivities are also underway at the Cape Town stadium today.

Hundreds of people working in various sectors across Cape Town have come in support of today's May Day festivities.

Some of those in attendance say while they are there to celebrate, they hope some of their grievances which include among others, an increase in wages, will also be addressed.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom is expected to address the large crowd gathered at the stadium later today.

At the same time, several protests are being held across the world against unfriendly labour reforms.

#MayDay Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom will be addressing the crowd at Cape Town stadium today. IM pic.twitter.com/4gzkeK5aK8