COSATU Gauteng’s response to Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba’s anti-worker and anti-poor rant

COSATU Gauteng is irritated but not surprised by Herman Mashaba’s article on News24 when he said “We can no longer afford to have organised labour and governing political parties in alliances that compromise government when tough decisions have to be made for our economy”. He continued to say “This is how we end up with labour laws that have become inhibitive for small businesses that form the backbone of the economies of all developing nations. This is how we end up with a National Minimum Wage which serves the interests of those employed at the expense of the 9 million people who live without the basic dignity that comes from work. This is how we end up with an education system in desperate need of an overhaul but government unable to act because political support from unions comes with strings attached”.

What shines through from Mashaba’s statement is his stark indifference at the inequities of a system that condemns hundreds of millions of human beings to lives of brute survival. This is not surprising though because, he is one of the hypocrites who has benefited from that very system. He has always been an apologist for the system and he still continues to try and explain away poverty as a thing unconnected with the normal workings of capitalism.

Herman Mashaba must appreciate that organized labour and in particular COSATU played a critical role in liberating this country and the freedom he enjoys today. His naivety is a reflection of political bankruptcy and lack understanding of what is wrong with this country’s economy. He still does not understand that South Africa is still struggling to break the spine of monopoly capital that is perpetuated by his liberal masters.

Herman Mashaba must understand that you don’t build the economy by selling strategic state companies to the private companies and you don’t build the economy by Public Private Partnerships. His economic theory is a reflection of the mayor who is working towards pushing the resources of the country to private companies at the expense of the working class and the poor. Public Private Partnerships has milked government because these partnerships caused triple the amount government had spent for example on a building built by private companies on behalf of government. Government pay bonds to private companies for more than 20 years and these companies appoint employees to maintain these buildings and pay them peasant salaries in order for them to make hefty profits.

COSATU is vindicated in its long held assertion that the DA is an anti- workers party that remains hell-bent at reversing gains made my workers over the past two decades. Workers in Gauteng and South Africa must reject the party that is interested in taking them back to slavery. COSATU will not stand idle whilst the mayor of Johannesburg is attacking workers on a daily basis. Soon Mashaba and the DA will learn that an attack on workers will not give him a political mileage but will soon take him and the DA out of power in Johannesburg like it happened to his friends at the Nelson Mandela Bay.

Issued by COSATU Gauteng

Dumisani Dakile (Gauteng Provincial Secretary)

Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 082 727 1422