Saftu calls on all South Africans to join national shutdown on Wednesday

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) is calling on all South Africans to join their national shutdown on Wednesday.

Thousands of workers affiliated with Saftu and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), as well as other unions will down tools and strike against what they believe is an impending economic collapse.

Saftu says they are expecting all workers to participate in the stay-away, except essential workers, as the strike is protected under Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act. Marches are expected to take place across the country at various government institutions and state-owned enterprises.

Saftu’s general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi explains, “Our national shutdown is organised to show our working class that the only way is to fight back. We are calling for a general strike, a stay away and a general strike of all workers both ordinary workers and professional workers of white and black workers of the middle class, and the unemployed people who are concerned about the future of our country and the future of our people to join us.”

The General Industries Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA) alongside other workers’ unions will be embarking on a national march on Wednesday.

Giwusa says high increases in the cost of living are continuing persistently without considering the working class and the poor.

Union President and Co-ordinator of the Cost-of-Living Crisis Campaign, Mametlwe Sebei, says many South Africans have expressed their sentiments regarding the high and unbearable cost of living but the government has done nothing about it.

Sebei says, “There’s going to be a national shutdown and what it means is that the majority of the workers are going to be working on that day. We have a certificate that means no worker will be victimised. The strike is protected and people will be protesting across the country. We have a crisis. The working class is being plunged into a depth of poverty that is unsustainable for the great majority of the working class.”

“We are all suffering from great increases in the prices of food or energy, of transport so we are saying this country is not working for the great majority of working class but also middle-class people. The Government needs to implement a basic income grant for people who are not employed in this country,” adds Sebei.

The video below is reporting further on cost of living being too high and unbearable: