Police disperse protesting Saftu members outside parliament

Image: Twitter: @ChrisMabuya

Security is tightened outside parliament in Cape Town ahead of the Budget Speech by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

Police have fired stun grenades to disperse members of the labour federation, South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) in Cape Town ahead of the Budget Speech by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

The group planned to march to parliament against unemployment and retrenchments. Police issued a warning to disperse under Level 3 lockdown regulations.

Police also dispersed a group near parliament protesting under the banner of the Right to Know Campaign.

All roads around the parliamentary precinct have been cordoned off under the Disaster Management Act.

Saftu says the strike demonstrates their frustration against employers for imposing the burden of the pandemic onto the workers through mass retrenchments, wage freezes and brutal austerity measures.

Statistics South Africa released the country’s unemployment figures on Tuesday.

The video below discusses SA’s unemployment rate increased by 1.7 percentage points to 32.5% in Q4 of 2020:

The stats show that seven million people are officially without jobs.

Saftu General-Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says, “The call to workers is that they must stay at home in their millions, but we have a select few who within the regulations are asking to stage demonstrations and pickets in Johannesburg. There are a number of places we will march to including Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital this [Wednesday] morning, going to the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to protest the fact that the CCMA is no longer allowing walk-ins,” adds Vavi.

The video below is Vavi’s full interview on Morning Live:

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