Cosatu confident it put enough pressure on govt to reconsider wage hikes

Cosatu and its affiliate unions in Gauteng have joined thousands of other members around the country to call on the government to safeguard South Africa’s labour force from the effects of COVID-19 and to intensify the fight against corruption in all sectors.

Samwu members participate in Cosatu's national stay away on 7 October 2021 in Cape Town. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Cosatu said it was confident that its one-day stayaway had placed enough pressure on government to change its current fiscal policy on freezing public sector wages, retrenchments and cutting budget allocations.

Cosatu and its affiliate unions in Gauteng have joined thousands of other members around the country to call on the government to safeguard South Africa’s labour force from the effects of COVID-19 and to intensify the fight against corruption in all sectors.

This comes two days after workers affiliated with Numsa went on strike over a long-standing dispute over salary increases, protests which have been marred by violence.

Compared to Cosatu’s previous marches that often included thousands of demonstrators, a small crowd gathered at the federation’s main protest in the Johannesburg CBD.

WATCH: Cosatu in Gauteng demands more respect for collective bargaining

Despite the low turnout, spirits were high as workers called for job opportunities in order to address the crippling unemployment figures.

Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo received a copy of a memorandum detailing the tough economic circumstances facing people living in the province. He said their demands would be escalated to the highest office in the land.

The stay-away comes just over 20 days before the country heads to the polls for the local government elections.

Meanwhile, Numsa has condemned any acts of violence by protesting workers in the metal and engineering sector.

There have since been several acts of violence and intimidation that have been reported in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

One person was shot and killed in Boksburg on Wednesday during a march that turned to shops being looted.

In Booysens, police used rubber bullets to disperse protesters after they marched on a factory and allegedly attacked some workers.

While in Durban, striking workers allegedly tried to break into a business in Springfield Park.

Numsa's Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said: “If you are going to participate in the pickets, you have to be disciplined, you must adhere to the picketing rules. We call on all workers not to undermine their own struggle by acting unlawfully. We therefore condemn all acts of violence and criminal activities.”

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