Workers, who are participating in the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) organised march, have arrived at the office of Gauteng premier David Makhura in the Johannesburg CBD, where they will hand over a memorandum.
Their meeting point was in Newtown. Many roads in the city centre have been blocked off.
Saftu’s nationwide action is against the R20 minimum wage and amendments to the labour law.
Earlier, Saftu general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi called for strict discipline among the marching workers.
“Watch out for the agent provocateurs among us. We are occupying the city of Johannesburg. But as we do it we are the disciplined bosses of Saftu and its allies who want to register the strongest message to those who are selling us out at Nedlac. No one must walk ahead of the marshalls. Everything must be in order we must not lose the control.”
However, Saftu says it is not happy with the turnout of workers for the march.
Saftu says about 6000 workers are participating in the march
They will also go to the office of the offices of the Chamber of Mines. Traffic towards the CBD has been diverted elsewhere.
Dr Pixley KaSeme Street – formerly known as West Street – in Durban’s CBD has been closed as marchers make their way through the city streets.
March organisers say they want to make their voices heard about the proposed minimum wage.
Most stores and street vendors are selling their goods as usual as marchers make their way to the Durban City hall.
A few stores have however closed their doors. Police are closely monitoring the march.
Trade union Numsa KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Mbuso Ngubane has dismissed claims that setting the minimum hourly rate above R20 would cripple some companies, especially small businesses.
Ngubane was speaking at the Saftu march in Durban.
The protest, which is part of the labour federation’s nationwide action, started at King Dinuzulu Park. It will end at the Durban City hall where workers will hand over a memorandum to provincial government representatives.
Ngubane explains why the labour federation is opposed to the national minimum wage.
“There is no such. Actually the more money you give to the majority it actually boosts the economy itself because it will mean that the majority of people will have a buying power but also to be able to play a meaningful role in the household and the business sector. It cannot be that every time when workers are supposed to get money then we are told that the economy is going to die, whereas we got individuals who are earning millions of money in the same companies.”
Minimum Wage App
The National Minimum Wage Act, 2017 is set to be implemented in May 2018. However, according to the Department of Labour, the process could be delayed by one or two months.
SABC Digital News and OpenUp (formerly Code for South Africa) has partnered to develop a Minimum Wage App that will give answers to the question: “Can South Africans survive on R3 500?”
Where does the information come from?
OpenUp has used the following data sources:
- Stats SA “Poverty Trends in South Africa” report
- Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA) “Food Price Barometer“
- Stats SA “Income and Expenditure of Households Survey”
How is it calculated?
The money available for food is calculated by subtracting the money used for other expenses from household income. It could be said that it comes after these expenses, though they are actually in conjunction with each other.