South African Labour Unions Set Date for Nationwide Strike

Trevor Malope spokesman for the South African Federation of Trade Unions

South Africa’s biggest labour-union federation, The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and its rival, South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU), are poised for a showdown with the government. They have announced to stage a parallel national strike on August 24, 2022 to protest against the rising cost of living, continuing power cuts, privatisation of Eskom and other state-owned enterprises, austerity programmes,

job losses and catastrophic levels of unemployment, amongst other issues.

The planned industrial action will also represent a response by the workers to the ongoing class warfare directed at them by both public and private sector employers.

In October last year, COSATU held a national strike over similar concerns, but the protest had little or no impact.

At the time, Saftu secretary-general, Zwelinzima Vavi, said that while the federation should remain politically independent, it was prepared to work with other working-class formations to mobilise in the interest of workers.

Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the similar dates of the COSATU and SAFTU demonstration were a “coincidence”. However, he said the two federations are meeting on Wednesday to talk about “working together” in coordinating their respective demonstrations.

Trevor Malope spokesman for the South African Federation of Trade Unions says the government must do more to ease the burden on the people.

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