Cosatu, Saftu ready to hit SA's streets in protest over rising cost of living

Demonstrations have been organised in various cities across the country’s nine provinces.

FILE: Cosatu members during a protest march. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Members of the country’s two largest trade union federations, Cosatu and Saftu, are expected to put their differences aside on Wednesday and take to the streets over the increasing cost of living.

Demonstrations have been organised in various cities across the country’s nine provinces.

Saftu secretary-general, Zwelinzima Vavi, said that they would also use Wednesday to hold employers accountable.

Rising fuel prices and interest rates, along with increased inflation, have left South Africans wondering how they will make ends meet.

Vavi said that their scheduled protests for Wednesday were targeted at both government and private businesses.

He claims that the public and private sectors of this country are not doing enough to resolve the country’s poverty, unemployment and inequality.

"We have never seen these levels of unemployment, particularly youth and women unemployment. We have never seen these levels of poverty, and are exacerbated by the escalating cost of living," Vavi said.

The Gauteng leg of the demonstration is expected to start from Burgers Park in Pretoria and end at the Union Buildings.

Motorists have been urged to take the necessary precautions.

Meanwhile, Cosatu in the Western Cape said that it was set to picket on Wednesday demanding better public transport.

The demonstration forms part of a "national shutdown" to shed light on critical issues facing South Africans, such as the escalating cost of living and lacking public transport.

Cosatu Western Cape provincial chairperson, Malvern de Bruyn, said that they would be gathering at Prasa's offices to demand a more “functional, accessible, affordable, and integrated public transport” system.

"We are going to march and protest in front of the offices because in 2020 we delivered a memorandum to Prasa and to the government, we have made a couple of demands, to date they have failed to respond to our demands," De Bruyn said.

The City of Cape Town said that this is one of two marches scheduled for Wednesday.

Many others are expected to join Saftu's march from Hanover Street at 10am, to the provincial legislature and Parliament.

Cosatu has also called for a national shutdown.