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Johannesburg - The Gauteng provincial legislature accepted a memorandum from the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Monday, the office of the speaker said.
Cosatu held a picket outside the legislature during premier Nomvula Mokonyane's state-of-the-province address, related to e-tolls and other issues of concern.
“From the Gauteng provincial legislature side, we had been notified by Cosatu that this particular picket would take place,” said Gugu Ndima, spokeswoman for speaker Lindiwe Maseko.
“They (Cosatu and the legislature) spoke and strengthened those relations, and we also encourage public participation.”
Maseko said in a statement earlier on Monday that Cosatu remained proactive in the processes of the legislature and its right to march or picket was respected.
“We encourage Cosatu to continue to use processes in place at the legislature, as they did last year, and be part of the solutions required to take Gauteng to greater heights.”
Cosatu spokesman Norman Mampane said members began assembling from 8.30am. Cosatu used the picket as an opportunity to put forward its demands.
“The question is ensuring services are provided, corruption is cleaned up and investigated, and jobs created for all,” he said.
“The more important thing is the rejection of the e-tolls system which we regard as a form of privatisation.”
Cosatu also rejected rising electricity prices.
It wanted Maseko to respond to the memorandum within 48-hours.
Ndima said the matters raised in the memorandum would be addressed by the specific departments.
“In relation to that, we acknowledge the urgency of the issues raised and we have indicated that we will send through the different issues to the specific departments,” she said.
“It will be the prerogative of the departments to address the specific issues raised in the memorandum.”
Mampane said the atmosphere between Cosatu and the provincial government at the picket was cordial, and after the memorandum was received around 1pm, members peacefully dispersed.
“Further pickets will follow in March to ensure Cosatu's concerns are realised and addressed,” he said. - Sapa