African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Ace Magashule has called on the ANC, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and South African Communist Party Alliance (SACP) to be united in action.

He was addressing thousands of workers who attended Cosatu’s march to steel producer Arcelor Mittal in Vanderbijlpark, South of Johannesburg.

The march began at the Bophelong Township in Vanderbijlpark.

The throngs of Cosatu members then made their way over several kilometres towards the Arcelor Mittial production plant.

Leading the march was Magashule, together with Jeff Radebe, Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Cosatu General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali.

“On this important day of the celebration of the struggle of the working class, we convey our fraternal warm greetings from the leadership and the membership of the ANC across the length and breadth of the country. In our meeting of the Secretariat of the Alliance, we agreed that during this year, the year of the centenary of Nelson Mandela, Mama Sisulu, this year the alliance (is) in action, not in boardrooms and in meetings,” Magashule said.

Meanwhile, Cosatu says workers’ exploitation is still rife in the North West and both the public and public sector should do more to promote workers’ rights. The Workers’ Day rally took place in the capital of the beleaguered province.

The premier of the province is under pressure, and the Provincial Health Department has been placed under administration.

Corruption was again highlighted as a concern, crippling the provincial government and consequently affecting workers.

Cosatu says workers’ rights must be addressed.

“There are issues that workers are facing here. You know in the North West that the Public Service workers, in particular in the Department of Health, workers have been on strike for almost two months now. It’s because they are being treated very badly. We’ve got casual workers … workers are paid according to what is expected, and there is a lot of corruption that has been raised by workers in that particular department. But also, there are private workers here. Security workers, domestic workers, retail workers are being exploited in this province,” says Cosatu Deputy General Secretary Solly Phetoe.

Cosatu members marched from the local taxi rank to the nearby rugby stadium where a memorandum was handed to government and various retailers.

Among those attending were ANC NEC members Obed Bapela and Malusi Gigaba. They are part of the national government task team investigating the North West Health Department.