Cosatu march expected to draw large numbers across SA

Police say plans are in place to ensure the protests are peaceful and have urged those taking part to respect the law.

Cosatu leadership declare their readiness for a total shut down on Wednesday against state capture. Picture: @_cosatu/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Wednesday’s march against state capture is expected to see thousands of people take to the streets of the Johannesburg city centre.

The march will form part of a nationwide Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)-led strike and will be supported by the Gauteng African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP).

Police say that plans are in place to ensure the protests are peaceful and have urged those taking part to respect the law.

The provincial tripartite alliance says that while relations at a national level have collapsed, the ANC in Gauteng, the SACP and Cosatu still enjoy strong ties and they all agree on the issue of state capture.

Cosatu’s Dumisani Dakile says that the march will start at the federation’s Braamfontein offices, before heading to the City of Joburg to hand over a memorandum.

“They will also be demanding the issue of reinstatement of free electricity and free Wi-Fi and water that has been taken by the Mayor of Johannesburg.”

He says that marchers will also hand over memoranda to the country’s big banks.

“Issues that we’ll be raising with the banks and they relate in terms of their collusion.”

Thereafter, the march will move to the premier’s office before it wraps up at the Chamber of Mines, where Cosatu will demand a moratorium on retrenchments in the mining sector.

NO WORK, NO PAY

In Cape Town, Cosatu is expecting thousands of workers to participate in today’s national strike and march to Parliament.

While it may be receiving support from various business associations like Business Leadership SA, it is not receiving any backing from the Cape Chamber of Commerce or former affiliate the National Union of Mineworkers.

The City of Cape Town says that it has granted Cosatu a permit for a gathering of no more than 10,000 people.

Demonstrators are expected to march from Keizersgracht at 11:30 and move towards Parliament.

Protesters are also expected to demonstrate outside the Passenger Rail Agency's offices in the Cape Town CDB.

Metrorail's Riana Scott says that trains will be operating normally and it is not expecting any workers to participate in the march, whether they are unionised or not.

“Should they do so, any protestor will be on a no work, no pay basis.”

The Minibus Taxi Task Team says that no drivers are planning to join the strike.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)