Labour analyst Andrew Levy says Wednesday’s national shutdown that the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) have organised will not yield the intended results.
The Public Service and Administration Department has warned that public sector workers who fall in the essential services category are prohibited from taking part in the national shutdown.
SAFTU and COSATU are expected to stage marches and pickets across the country against the economic situation in the country.
Rising prices of basic commodities and high unemployment are among the challenges that South Africans are facing.
Levy says the labour federations will not help the workers to get what they want.
Full interview with Andrew Levy:
COSATU in KwaZulu-Natal are expected to march from King Dinizulu Park in Durban to the City Hall.
Thousands of union members are expected to be part of the march. The provincial COSATU leaders say they will hand over a memorandum to government officials at the City Hall.
So far, taxis are operating normally in and out of the Durban CBD, despite calls for workers to remain at home.
A KwaZulu-Natal-based private security company PT Tactical Unit say there are no signs of disruptions or intimidation relating to the national shutdown in the Durban area.
The company’s spokesperson Devan Govindsamy has been patrolling areas in and around the CBD since theta early hours of Wednesday morning.
Govindsamy says, “So far coming from the N3 to Durban, all the way to Umhlanga, down south to Toti, Pinetown, Chatsworth, Clairewood all is clear. Taxis and busses are operating normally, there are no signs of intimidation or stopping people from going to work. It’s just there’s minimal movement of people going to work, some people are taking this advantage of staying at home due to the strike, but so far all in order.”
The City of Johannesburg says it expects the delivery of services to continue normally during the national shutdown.
The City of Johannesburg expects a full staff complement across its seven regions.
The Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse says the Johannesburg Metro Police have assured her that they will deal with any labour-related matters that might affect their operations.
The Mayoral spokesperson Mabine Seabe says, “The JMPD, the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies have been engaged in joint meetings over the last few days to ensure that the safety and security of the City are not compromised and that the rights of both those participating in the march and those electing not to do so have their rights protected.”
VIDEO: SABC News reporter Katlego Legodi reports from Soweto:
Tshwane Metro Police say several roads will be closed during the shutdown during which workers will march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
Spokesperson Isaac Mahamba says, “The affected streets are your Francis Baard, Visagie and Helen Joseph, around that period of time until 14h00 there might be disruptions. So we are just warning people that they can still use alternative roads such as Jeff Masemola, Struben Street and Bosman. It’s not only the CBD that we are focussing on. There are also places where they will be gathering like Soshanguve, Attredgevile, Mamelodi and Garankuwa and the likes.”
There are no disruptions in parts of Tshwane. Taxis and busses have continued to transport commuters to work and school and trucks are carrying cargo to various destinations.
Some commuters at the Rosslyn taxi rank north of Pretoria, say they cannot afford to stay away from work as their employers might implement the no work, no pay principle.
A mother of four who has joined a long queue for a taxi says although she supports the reasons for the shutdown, participating in it would affect her take-home pay.
“If you are not going to work they’re going to cut my salary. And I can only not go if my employer sends me a message to say I must not. So if I just do it on my own they will give me a warning letter as they will say all people did go to work. Taxis are running so I’m afraid they will as me to sign a warning form.”
VIDEO | Some marchers here in Burgers Park in Pretoria, singing a song that says ‘workers let’s unite, we’ve been working for nothing for far too long’. #NationalShutdown #SabcNews pic.twitter.com/B3sF9hrGVF
— Tshepiso Moche (@tshepimoche) August 24, 2022
Some workers in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro in the Eastern Cape have not heeded the call for them to participate in the national shutdown.
There are long queues at the Motherwell taxi rank in Gqeberha.
This is because the Algoa busses have suspended services, fearing for the safety of its staff and passengers.
Some people who are on their way to work, say they fear participating in the national shutdown as their employers would implement the no work no pay principle.
VIDEO: SABC reporter Lwando Nomoyi reports from Gqeberha:
Meanwhile, SANTACO says it will not take part in the national shutdown that labour federations SAFTU and COSATU have organised on Wednesday.
Additional reporting by Nonkululeko Hlophe, Phanuel Shuma and Mcebisi Ngcina.