Speaker of Parliament Thandi Modise. Picture: Phando/Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Speaker of Parliament Thandi Modise. Picture: Phando/Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Thandi Modise, Amos Masondo say they won’t turn a blind eye to the plight of workers

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published May 1, 2021

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Speaker Thandi Modise and National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo have paid tribute to workers to mark Workers Day on Saturday saying they have endured difficulties in the last few years.

They said Covid-19 has exacerbated the situation of the workers in the country.

But the country has over the last years made progress with a number of laws to improve the conditions of the workers.

The presiding officers said they would not turn a blind eye to the plight of workers with many losing jobs and the unemployment rate increasing.

“Celebrating the contributions of workers inevitably draws attention to the scores of South Africans without jobs. The Presiding Officers note with concern the unemployment in South Africa, which particularly affects the working class, most notably women and young people.

“The Quarterly Labour Force Survey released by Statistics South Africa shows that South Africa’s unemployment rate increased to a record 32.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the third quarter,” said Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.

“On this day, Parliament cannot turn a blind eye to the reality that workers across the length and breadth of the country live with millions of their unemployed brothers and sisters, a situation that is further exacerbated by the realities of Covid-19. While the road ahead seems bumpy and impossible, we are inspired by the words of our first democratic President, Nelson Mandela, when he said ‘it always seems impossible until it’s done’. We are indeed in a battlefield and the tide will surely turn,” he said.

He said Covid-19 has also left its own devastation across communities.

He said Parliament paid tribute to healthcare workers who have been at the forefront in the battle against Covid-19.

The pandemic has claimed thousands of lives in the country with some of the healthcare workers also losing their lives.

“As Covid-19 continues to sweep the globe, Parliament takes this opportunity to salute workers around the country on the frontline fighting the virus. Their commitment and desire to serve is unmatched and deserves all our praise. Since the beginning of the pandemic, frontline healthcare workers have worked tirelessly, with their own needs often neglected. Going to work has placed frontline health workers under immense and unprecedented pressure, and has put their physical, mental and social well-being at risk. Their patriotism and desire to serve is indeed commendable,” said Mothapo.


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