Coalition for the Poor joins in countrywide protests ahead of Budget speech

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Feb 24, 2021

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DURBAN: The Coalition of the Poor this morning joined their counterparts at the South African Federation of Trade Unions in a march highlighting the plight of the needy and the working community in the country.

Community activist Desmond D’Sa said part of the N3 through to Pietermaritzburg was blocked as part of their protest.

He said the Budget speech, which is due to be delivered this afternoon, did nothing for the poor.

"We, as the Coalition, stand with Saftu," he said.

Saftu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said the protest is also against the government’s failure to stem unemployment and increase the salaries of public servants, as per the agreement reached with the unions three years ago.

Speaking to the Pretoria News, Vavi said unemployment had worsened - from 30% to 32%. Public servants did not receive an increase last year, he said.

“They will not receive one for the next four years, yet the public servants will be expected to cope with the increase in petrol and food prices.

“Clearly, somebody has got to stand up and say enough is enough. We cannot go on like this. When we speak of a 32% unemployment rate, we are talking about people here, not just statistics. These are families,” said Vavi.

Meanwhile, in Cape Town, police have used stun grenades to stop the protesters from marching to Parliament. | IOL

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