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LIVE BLOG: Unions hand over memoranda to government officials

Cosatu and Saftu, who collectively represent close to three million workers, embark on a national strike against corruption and unemployment.

Cosatu President Zingiswa Losi says the government has demonstrated that it does not care about the country’s workers. 

Speaking outside the national treasury in Pretoria where striking workers will be handing over a memorandum - she called on trade unions to unite in the light of what she says is an onslaught by employers - as the economy continues to plummet.

Protesters in Cape Town have arrived with songs and chanting. They announced their arrival at the provincial Parliament's buildings.

From here the group will move on to its last stop, Parliament.

The JMPD's Wayne Minnaar said traffic disruptions were expected in parts of the Johannesburg CBD and surrounding areas.

Cosatu’s WC provincial secretary, Malvern de Bruyn said: “We can see now that there is movement in terms of government dealing with corruption, but we are of the view that they’re not doing enough. We want people to be arrested.”

In the Western Cape, protesting workers started gathering in Langa in the morning.

Mkhize said later on Wednesday they planned to meet at the KwaZulu-Natal police provincial headquarters.

He said they also planned to stage pickets outside companies that failed to comply with safety regulations, and those refusing to pay workers Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) money that is due to them.

Cosatu provincial secretary Edwin Mkhize said they had planned motorcades in various parts of the province to raise awareness about the plight of workers.

Meanwhile, in KZN, Cosatu says the majority of its workers in the province had listened to the call to stay at home.

While the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), the National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu), and the Federation of Trade Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) members were taking part in the strike, the organisations organised different activities across the country.

As the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) prepares to lead protests against corruption and other issues across the country this week, its leaders have dismissed suggestions that the action will be detrimental to the economy.

Eyewitness News reporter Theto Mahlakoana sat down with Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali ahead of the labour union’s national strike. Here they discuss why Cosatu decided on the protest.

While Cosatu’s protest action and stay-away would take place on Wednesday only, Saftu leaders unveiled a programme of mass action that would last until the end of November.

In a historic show of unity, the two biggest labour federations in the country - the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) - who collectively represent close to three million workers, will be embarking on a national strike against corruption and unemployment.

South Africans have been warned by trade unions in the country to expect services including transport, schooling, and government departments to be shut down on Wednesday.