Cosatu, Saftu strike to bring SA to a grinding halt
Johannesburg - Cosatu and the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) have vowed to bring the country to a standstill through various protest marches and pickets against state capture, corruption and gender-based violence (GBV) on Wednesday.
The federations were due to embark in joint protests in several big and small towns in the country to also express their disgust at the government for failing to implement the long awaited salary increases for public servants.
On Tuesday, Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said his federation would hold different kinds of protests ranging from marches to government buildings, premiers’ offices and others would march to different police stations in the country to protests against GBV and the need for law enforcement agencies to act swiftly against the perpetrators.
Earlier, Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali encouraged the workforce in the public and private sectors to join their strike action.
“We need to take a stand and push back against this flagrant theft of taxpayers’ money and the disgraceful abandonment of the working class by policy makers and decision makers,” Ntshalintshali said.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Cosatu outlining its national strike activities, revealed that its main protest action will be in Pretoria. The gathering will take place at Burgers Park and a motorcade will lead to the National Treasury’s office on Church Street, to hand over a memorandum. The protesters will then move to Francis Baard Street to hand over a memorandum to the Employment and Labour Department.
In Johannesburg, the gathering was expected to begin at Cosatu House in Braamfontein and move to the Chamber of Commerce. Later, to the office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura and to the Mineral Council Office in the Joburg CBD.
According to the agreed activities, only 60 cars are permitted and each car is allowed to carry three passengers.
“All the cars must have a sign which will indicate that it is from Cosatu and as in accordance with the current directives, a car that carries five people only three passengers allowed,” the programme states.
In other regions of Gauteng, protesters were due to hold pickets at different shopping malls while others would march to their respective mayoral offices to demand jobs and an end to corruption.
Saftu has almost also planned similar marches - one at Mjantshi House - Transnet headquarters in Joburg CBD. Saftu would also join the march to Makhura’s office.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the main picket was to be held at provincial police headquarters. The protesters were expected to gather at Curries Fountain Stadium. Other regions were to march to their respective municipal and district council offices. In Cape Town, the motorcade were to begin at Langa Multi-Purpose Sport Centre.
The motorcade was to depart from Langa via the N2 towards the city at Hertzog Boulevard where a memorandum will be handed over to the City of Cape Town. Later, the motorcade was expected to move to the Western Cape provincial legislature where another memorandum will be served to Premier Alan Winde. Then the motorcade was to move to Parliament to hand over another memorandum.
Similar protests were to be held at premiers’ offices in other provinces. One of the targets in Mpumalanga was to march to the office of Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane. In the Northern Cape, marchers were to visit Premier Zamani Saul’s office and later to Mineral Resources Department.