Ramaphosa salutes workers for contribution to the economy

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ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has commended South African workers for their hard work and significant contribution to the economy of the country.

He is addressing the Cosatu May Day Rally at the Wolfson Stadium, in Port Elizabeth.

Ramaphosa says the country’s GDP depends on the commitment of the workers.

“The entire nation needs to be gratetful to you as workers because it is you who have built this country to be what it is. It is you who have made South Africa what it is today. This progress was achieved through your hands, labour, suffering, blood and sweat.”

This is Ramaphosa’s first Workers’ Day speech. Cosatu says this year it wants to focus on the national minimum wage.

Meanwhile, thousands of mineworkers across the country, remain divided on whether to be part of today’s Workers Day celebrations or not.

Members of trade union AMCU, which is dominant on the platinum belt in the North West, have snubbed the celebrations, saying they must take place on August the 16th to remember the struggle of the working class – when police shot and killed 34 mineworkers at Lonmin mine in Marikana in 2012.

However, members of the NUM, which is a COSATU-affiliate have already started the celebrations, maintaining that they are part of the global community.

NUM deputy president, Joseph Montisetse explains, “The national union of mine-workers have fought for May Day. You will understand that during apartheid May Day was not recognised. This is the day of workers internationally. We are not part of those that are saying this day must be moved to August whatever. We celebrate May Day.”