Cosatu: Govt & private sector cannot retrench workers

The union federation’s leadership on Tuesday reported back on its latest central executive committee meeting.

Cosatu’s leadership on Tuesday 5 February 2019 reported back on its latest central executive committee meeting. Picture: @_cosatu/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says the retrenchments of workers in the private and public sectors directly contradicts the resolutions and promises made at the recent job jobs summit.

The union federation’s leadership on Tuesday reported back on its latest central executive committee meeting.

Cosatu President Zingiswa Losi says government and the private sector cannot retrench employees after promising thousands of more jobs over the next three years.

“And if you’re going to create jobs - says 10,000 jobs in 10 years and you’re retrenching 10,000 workers now – what impact are you making? Are you really creating jobs? You can’t say to workers we are going to retrench now, go and sit at home with the hope that we will then reemploy you.”

Losi says their campaign will be linked with demands for redistribution of wealth and state intervention.

Cosatu says all provinces will be marching on 13 February with the exception of the Western Cape, which will hold its demonstration closer to the budget speech.


Cosatu has likened the partnership between the Mineral Resources Department (DMR) and the mining sector to the failed neutrality pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

The trade union federation commemorated the three-year anniversary of the deaths of Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Nkambule and Solomon Nyarende at the Lily Mine in Mpumalanga.

The trio were trapped underground in a metal structure during a massive ground collapse; their remains have still not retrieved.

Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali says workers are paying a huge price for what the federation calls a cynical alliance between the DMR and the mining sector.

“A dark shadow will continue to hang around the Mining Indaba in Cape Town until all the role players acknowledge the orphans, widows and the lives that have been destroyed in the name of profit.”

Ntshalintshali has demanded that the remains of the three be retrieved and all surviving workers be compensated.

“The health and safety of workers in the mining sectors have deteriorated further. The families, workers and the community around Lily Mine have been treated very badly by the DMR and the mining sector.”

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union on Tuesday held a commemorative event at the mine outside Barberton where the family members were in attendance.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)