In a move to counter the planned DA march against Cosatu in Joburg on Tuesday, members of the trade union federation’s KwaZulu-Natal branch are to march to the DA’s offices in Durban.
Cosatu KZN secretary Zet Luzipo said the aim of the march and picket was to convey the message that Cosatu would not allow itself to be used by the DA in its quest for “cheap political point-scoring”.
In an unprecedented move the DA announced its intention to march to Cosatu headquarters in Joburg, saying that the union federation was a stumbling block to the implementation of the youth wage subsidy.
On Monday, Joburg police said that the march would not be allowed to go to near Cosatu House because of security concerns.
But Cosatu’s KZN leaders said their march would continue on Tuesday.
“Workers know that the DA is the party of the bosses which seeks to erode workers’ rights and undermine their struggles. It is precisely for this reason that Cosatu KZN will march to the DA office,” Luzipo said.
He said this was to stop the DA from starting an “open confrontation” with workers.
“The DA is free to advocate and lobby for the youth wage subsidy. However, it has no right to impose such positions on workers, nor is there any basis for them to march to Cosatu House for such demands, as Cosatu does not formulate government policy.”
He said the only plausible explanation for what he called an absurd act was that the DA was seeking to gain popularity and hog the political limelight at the expense of Cosatu.
“As always, workers stand ready to defend themselves and their federation against the party of capital and give it a free lesson on mass political mobilisation,” he said.
The leader of the DA in KZN, Sizwe Mchunu, said his party was not aware of a march by Cosatu, and the police had not told the party of it.
“Even Cosatu themselves did not tell us they would be marching (to the DA offices),” said Mchunu.
“So in that case we will not be entertaining any illegal marchers. They are just trying to divert attention from the real issue, which is the youth wage subsidy that will benefit our youth. If they continue (with the march), shame on them.”
The ANC has lambasted the DA for its intention to march against Cosatu.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said the decision was “ill-informed, opportunistic and not adding value to the debate about labour brokers and the youth wage subsidy”.
“This action by the DA is not only confrontational, it is extremely provocative… It boggles the mind why the DA would march to a private institution that has no legal authority with regard to the implementation of government policy,” he said. - Daily News