The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) Parliamentary coordinator, Matthew Parks says society also has a crucial role to play in addressing some of the economic challenges the country is facing.
He says there are calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to deliver a State-of-the-Nation-Address with measures of how to address rolling blackouts and create jobs.
Parks says with the unemployment rate sitting at 43%, workers believe the situation is set to deteriorate unless Ramaphosa presents implementation benchmarks.
He says, “We can easily engage in self-pity or despair and lose hope but when we have the workers’ jobs in the line we don’t have the luxury to give up. We have a huge crisis of electricity, unemployment and corruption and struggling economy and many failed SOEs and we’ve got to deal with it.”
Meanwhile, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) Spokesperson, Trevor Shaku says Tuesday’s SONA should serve to restore public confidence in the ANC.
Shaku says, “We are also not optimistic, in fact we have lost confidence in the ability of the governing party’s ability to tackle many issues which our people are facing. For instance, the levels of unemployment which have risen to over 40%, this is a catastrophe especially in the context of the rising cost of living.”
“Those who are losing employment are also losing a form of income. Government has to put in place social security measures to ensure that those who are unemployed and marginalised in the economy are able to afford a living,” he adds.