Mining union, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has urged its members not to celebrate Workers Day on 1 May but to rather on 16 August to commemorate the Marikana shooting in which 34 miners were killed in 2012.
AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa says s while recognising the international value and significance of May 1 to mark the day of international workers’ struggles, it’s necessary to remind South Africa of its own historic struggles.
AMCU has for years been calling for Workers’ Day to be shifted to 16 August.
Meanwhile ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa, paid tribute to the country’s workers saying they have sacrificed their lives during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure that others are safe.
He was speaking at Cosatu House in Johannesburg, where he joined South Africa’s largest labour federation in its virtual event to mark Workers’ Day.
Ramaphosa addresses Cosatu’s 2021 International Workers’ Day event:
The ANC has called for workers to unite as the country celebrates May Day.
The Freedom Front Plus lamented the country’s high unemployment rate, the over-regulation of the labour market and the Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Department’s recent to bring 24 Cuban engineers to the country to help resolve water infrastructure issues.
“Economic prosperity is hampered by red tape and overregulation such as that through BBE regulation and a complete failure by the Department of Labour to deliver of its expanded mandate of employment creation which is evident in the highest unemployment rate we have recorded to date.
In the midst of one of the greatest unemployment crises we have seen in the history of South Africa the government opts to employ Cuban engineers, while we have perfectly eligible engineers in our own country to fill these posts for one example this is a slap in the face of every South African and so the ANC government should not even be celebrating Workers Day,” says Freedom Front Plus MP and party Spokesperson, Heloise Denner.
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has also raised concerns in its Workers’ Day message over the hiring of the Cuban engineers and doctors.
“The past contributions made by Cuba in the fight for South Africa’s democracy cannot be ignored. However, how can the South African government justify creating job opportunities for foreign doctors and engineers when there are hundreds, if not thousands, of qualified South African professionals sitting at home, desperate for an opportunity to work,” says IFP President, Velenkosini Hlabisa.