Thousands of workers affiliated with the South African Federation of Trade Unions’ (Saftu) and the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) will down tools on Wednesday as they take to the streets over the rising cost of living.
They are demanding a R1 500 grant, de-escalation of interest rates and food prices, and an end to load shedding.
While many have warned of the dire economic consequences of the shutdown, Cosatu’s Deputy General Secretary, Solly Phetoe has urged workers to join the strike action: “The entire country, all of Cosatu’s nine provinces will be engaging in this action. We hope that workers in the country, whether they belong to Cosatu, Saftu or any other union. They are invited, they are covered by the certificate for them to join the strike. The strike will be protected.”
VIDEO: National Shutdown – Cosatu and Saftu call on all non-essential workers to strike: Dr Ebrahim Harvey
Meanwhile, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) says it will not be taking part in the national shutdown.
Santaco’s Thabiso Molelekwa says it does not believe that the shutdown is the right answer to solving South Africa’s economic problems.
The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) has warned that public sector workers who fall into the essential services are prohibited from taking part in Wednesday’s national shutdown during working hours.
Public Service and Administration says in a statement that it has provided government departments with guidelines to apply the principle of “No Work, No Pay” to manage public servants who intend on participating in the strike action as well as for contingency plans to deal with service delivery disruptions.
It says government is committed to improve productivity in the public service.