COSATU will hold a picket in Parliament at 14:30 on Thursday, 12 April 2018. The federation will hand over a Memorandum to the Minister of Transport to bring to the attention of the Parliament the deepening crisis in Cape Town. We have raised the following concerns with various government institutions in the City of Cape Town and the provincial government, but nothing has been done:
The water crisis
This crisis poses a severe threat to the citizens of the Cape Town, with disease and death being real consequences. The City has mismanaged the water storage and supply and is not bringing solutions to the threat. The latest move by the city management is to increase water costs by 27%, with an additional levy for the connection. This is placing a huge financial pressure on poorer communities as the pricing of water has a greater impact on poorer communities. This budget that the City of Cape Town has proposed will put more poor households under pressure and we asking for the President of the Republic to intervene.
The Vat Increase
This VAT increase will have a devastating effect on the poor and we ask that the committee set up to speedily address the concerns raised by Labour unions. We want basic food stuffs and other basic expenses of the poor excluded from Vat. We want government to move the tax burden to the wealthy, who have not only benefitted from Apartheid grand theft and today’s government policies. The key objective of government policy must be to undo the legacy of apartheid and promote a more equal society.
The Minimum wage
We are concerned about the delay in the implementation of the National Minimum Wage, which is supposed to undo the levels of slave wages in South Africa. We appreciate that it is a minimum wage and not a living wage, which we understand will address the worst forms of exploitation. We are however demanding a living wage that will ensure that workers have enough wages to sustain their families needs. This minimum wage is a move in the right direction. It will see around four million workers increase their incomes from implementation. The federation wants the implementation to be fast tracked and we want farm and domestic workers to be included in the minimum wage as soon a s possible.
COSATU welcomes the steps taken by government to deal with rampant corruption across the private and public sectors. We demand that everyone found guilty of corruption from the public or private sector should be jailed for theft from the nation. We do not want fancy words like collusion to detract from the grand theft; we want those involved to be imprisoned.
The public transport system is collapsing and workers are bearing the brunt of it. We want the train system under Prasa and Metro Rail to be repaired as a matter of urgency. The cost to workers of this train crisis is threatening their livelihoods and their incomes and jobs. The situation in the busses and taxi sectors is also not better, with inadequate regulations to improve the efficiency of the service. The busses and taxis are very overcrowded and the cost and regularity of travel makes it an unreliable public transport system. The apartheid spatial planning has put workers furthest away from their jobs and the hardships continue.
Safety and security
Gangs and drugs are not being dealt with effectively and communities are being torn apart. The police are losing credibility due to lack of service and corruption. We need an urgent intervention in the situation on the Cape Flats, where people are virtual prisoners in their homes from gangs. We ask that our parliament, under President Ramaphosa speedily address these issues as a matter of urgency, given the impact on the most marginalised sectors of the society.
The federation expects answers on the 1st of May, when we march to parliament on May Day. Tomorrow’s event is just a picket of 1000 COSATU leaders in the province
Issued by COSATU
Contact Cde Tony Ehrenreich (Cosatu Western Cape Provincial Secretary)
Cell: 082 773 3194