Durban - Supporters of Cosatu, South Africa’s biggest trade union federation, were gathering at Curries Fountain on Friday ahead of picket at the Marianhill Toll Plaza on the N3 against the rising cost of fuel and VAT increases.
The trade union believes that the petrol price and tax increases were above the inflation which the working class are battling to cope with.
A placard demonstration will be held on Friday on the eastbound lanes of the toll plaza.
By 9am on Friday, a small contingent of police at Curries Fountain watched over a small group of Cosatu members who had assembled at the stadium. The police planned to escort them to Marianhill.
This campaign has received the wide support of the public by many social movements including People Against Petrol and Paraffin Price Increases (Papppi), the Progressive Youth Alliance and the SACP.
Visvin Reddy, the convenor of Papppi , who has been at the forefront of the petrol price increase recently was excited that people were taking cognisance of the ripple effect petrol price increases are having.
Edwin Mkhize, Cosatu KZN Provincial Secretary, pointed out that Stats SA revealed that approximately 34 million people live in poverty.
“The most daunting facts about the current increase in fuel and VAT are that, when comes to expenses and cost of living the poor and the rich are expected to share equitably,” Mkhize said.
He said Cosatu is strongly opposed to government’s VAT and fuel hikes.
Mkhize said workers salaries remained very low, with the current outcomes of the wage negotiations showing that employers refused to consider the cost of living in offering salary increases.
“There is also rising food, transport, water and electricity inflation. We reject the VAT and fuel hikes as nothing less than dumping the bill for the looting of billions of Rands of workers’ taxes by some public servants officials, politicians and private sector officials,” Mkhize said.