With South Africa’s general elections a week away, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has promised workers that their interests will be put first. He was speaking at Cosatu’s Workers’ Day rally in Clermont, west of Durban.
Ramaphosa has paid tribute to workers who make the country work, but who have been excluded from the country’s riches up until now.
“For we must never surrender your interests, and indeed the revolution to other interests and subject the interest of the working people of the country to other interests. Nor must we ever subject them to greed, to corruption and even to patronage.”
National minimum wage
Ramaphosa has called on all employers and companies to adhere to the national minimum wage. The regulated national minimum wage is R20 an hour or R3 500 a month.
He has also warned employers exploiting workers and those that disregard labour laws that the government will not hesitate to enforce compliance.
“We want them to stop violating the rights of our workers and we want as we now implement the national minimum wage that all companies must implement the national minimum wage without fail – so that the workers in our country should start moving away from poverty wages and start earning decent wages as we move towards a living wage. We will also advance and continue to advance the struggle to reduce wage inequality and ensure that every workers enjoys a decent standard of living,” Ramaphosa argues.
Addressing thousands of workers attending the Workers Day celebration, Cosatu president Zingisa Losi says while there are still challenges facing the workers, they have reason to celebrate the strides that have been made in improving working conditions.
She mentions maternity benefits that women are entitled to now. “Today women as we are the ones that bring people on this world and without us there will be no population, the government said it has listen to the workers and now move from 56 to 66% to the threshold pay of your salary benefit from the UIF. Today the government extended the maternity benefit even to women who have miscarriage to be able to claim from UIF.”