Ramaphosa: United tripartite alliance can help SA defeat poverty, inequality

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the tripartite alliance will continue to work towards advancing the rights of workers.

FILE: ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa addressing thousands of people at Cosatu’s main Workers Day Rally in Port Elizabeth. Picture: @MYANC/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa says it’s only through a united tripartite alliance that the country can defeat poverty and inequality.

Ramaphosa was speaking at this year’s main May Day rally in Port Elizabeth.

In 2017, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) workers' day event in Bloemfontein had to be cancelled after it degenerated into chaos. A scuffle broke out between pro- and anti-former president Jacob Zuma supporters.

Ramaphosa has praised today’s rally, describing it as very peaceful.

He says the tripartite alliance will continue to work towards advancing the rights of workers.

“It’s only through the united action of this alliance that we’ll be able to defeat poverty, unemployment and inequality.”

‘PROPOSED MINIMUM WAGE IS A FOUNDATION FOR BETTER SALARIES’

Ramaphosa says despite its criticism by some trade unions, the proposed national minimum wage is a victory for workers.

Ramaphosa has acknowledged that R20 per hour is not a normal living wage but says it’s a good start.

The president says the proposed minimum wage is a foundation for better salaries.

“Cosatu and the other federations, the National Council of Trade Unions and the Federation of Unions, took it up as their revolutionary duty to make sure that we lift 6.6 million workers in our country so that we can start the process of doing away with wage inequality.”

SACP general-secretary Blade Nzimande has congratulated Cosatu for the victory on the minimum wage.

“Let’s not act opportunistically on the minimum wage. Six million workers in this country earn less than R3,500. We can’t, therefore, say no, it’s all or nothing, if the minimum wage is going to benefit those workers, that’s infertile and ultra-left.”