Protesting Miners Stop Speech by President Cyril Ramaphosa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa abandoned his Workers’ Day speech at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, northwestern city of Rustenburg on Sunday when striking mine workers stormed the stage.

The workers employed by Sibanye-Stillwater mine are demanding a wage increase of 1,000 rand ($63) per month instead of the 850 rand ($54) being offered by the mine.

Ramaphosa had decided to mark the Workers Day, a public holiday in South Africa to mark May 1, by giving a speech to union members in Rustenburg, a mining centre.

Ramaphosa had to be whisked away as protesters demanded that he leaves.  He had attended the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) organised Workers’ Day celebrations.

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Cosatu was holding its main Workers’ Day celebrations at the location where ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa was expected to deliver the main address.

Cosatu had warned that government and relevant stakeholders need to acknowledge the plight of workers. 

They say government has failed to honour the 2018 public service wage agreement.

Cosatu President Zingiswa Losi, says, “It is a very unfortunate situation, the fact that the proceedings could not continue and the alliance partners were not able to speak…”

Negotiations have met stablemates for close to two months now.

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