Mantashe booed off stage at the Cosatu’s national congress

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Two-thousand members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) affiliated unions have booed the African National Congress Chairperson Gwede Mantashe off the stage at the labour federation’s national congress in Midrand, north of Johannesburg.

The members rushed in front of the stage chanting slogan refusing to allow Mantashe to address them saying he represented a party that did not care about workers. The members are calling for an end to austerity measures and say they want to see real salary increases.

“Gwede (is a) representative (of) the ruling party which has refused to pay public service workers what is due to them in the last three years, and they want to hear when is the ruling party going to deploy its deployees to consider their plight on the ground because they’re suffocating,” says one those who booed Mantashe.

“Ngekesikwazi uaddreswa uGwede Mantashe ngoba silambile, asinamali (We can’t be addressed by Gwede Mantashe because we are hungry and we don’t have money).  The ANC government is taking us for granted. We’ve been waiting for them to pay our increase of resolution 1 of 2018 but they’re refusing.”

VIDEO | Union members gather ahead of Cosatu’s 14th National Elective Congress in Midrand:

Meanwhile, Cosatu President Zingiswa Losi says the ANC needs to address corruption within its structures.

She has called on the ruling party to address the current electricity crisis facing Eskom, fix the challenges at Transnet and Metrorail as well as tackle the high unemployment rate.

“We must help the ANC to rid itself of criminals if it is to be saved. We must continue to support the SACP because its voice is critical more than ever. Comrades, the left axis of the alliance must be strengthened. Workers have sent a clear message to the ANC in the local elections. If the ANC does not get its act together, if the ANC does not deliver quality public services, then we will face a repeat of the disastrous 2021 election results in 2024.”