Cosatu seeks action on low wages at mines

Comment on this story


[email protected]

SOUTH Africa needs a national minimum wage in order to avoid another situation similar to Marikana, says Cosatu.

This was one of the issues discussed at a shop stewards’ council meeting in Turffontein, Joburg, yesterday for Cosatu’s Gauteng members, including the National Union of Mineworkers.

More than 1 000 people held a minute’s silence in remembrance of the 34 deceased Marikana mineworkers.

Later, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was greeted by loud cheers and singing.

Ikhomanisi uVavi alisoze lathengisa abasebenzi [A communist, Vavi, would never sell out the workers],” sang the crowd before he addressed them.

The situation in Marikana was exacerbated by the low wages of between R4 000 and R6 400 earned by the miners, said Vavi.

He said no worker in SA should earn below the “national living level” of R4 500 and that the unions affiliated with Cosatu should consider pushing parliament to legislate a national minimum wage, which would then adjust existing wages upwards.

“A worker who goes down [into a mine] to risk his life deserves not only R12 500 but many more times above that,” Vavi said to loud applause.

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines