SAFTU plans national shutdown against rising cost of living

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The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) is planning a national shutdown to respond to escalating food, electricity and fuel costs.

SAFTU General-Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is encouraging South Africans to turn up in their numbers to speak out.

Vavi says the current state of the country is not the freedom that people should be celebrating.

“We cannot allow our country to be at the doorstep of a failed state as we have seen in Zimbabwe and other countries. As I speak to you now we are load shed. We get load shed three to four times a day. We are losing our country and if we don’t stand up now and start a process of unifying, all those who disagree with this path that has been travelled for the past 28 years, we will follow Zimbabwe.”


Economist Dr Iraj Abedian says the poor and pensioners are among the hardest hit by the high inflation rate and fuel hikes in South Africa as prices of goods and services are on the rise.

Motorists experienced more pain at the pump this week after the government announced another hefty fuel price hike for July. All grades of petrol went between R2.37 and R2.57 a litre.

All grades of diesel increased by R2.32 while paraffin saw a R1.66  increase per litre.

Abedian says government’s hands are tied.

“The government is literally caught between a rock and a hard place, they don’t have the fiscal resources to keep subsidising the price of petrol. They have at the same time missed about almost 20 years to get the national network of transportation such that our dependency on petrol as an economy becomes more efficient. We are highly inefficient in terms of tracking transportation, so all of that means the government has no option but to pass on the cost to the consumer at a time consumers are under pressure.”