COSATU Gauteng and the African Diaspora Forum Joint Statement on xenophobic attacks

COSATU Gauteng met with the African Diaspora Forum on 3rd September 2019 to discuss the current xenophobic attacks and criminality in Gauteng. The meeting deliberated at length on socio-economic challenges of African people and in particular the working class. We reflected on failures by African governments to come up with progressive economic policies aimed at solving the triple crisis of unemployment, inequalities and poverty our people throughout the African continent. Instead of responding to these challenges the elites in our respective governments are mired in corruption and looting.

The two organisations support the genuine struggles of the working class of South Africans, as well as the struggles of all the people of mother Africa. Much as these are appreciated, these organisations condemn in the harshest possible terms the criminal elements which are taking advantage of the weakness and the absence of leadership from the South African government. These weaknesses that plague many African countries  have serious ramifications for all Africans, as reflected by many of our brothers and sisters crossing the Mediterenane Sea to look for better economic opportunities.

The meeting noted with deep concern the behaviour of employers in the agricultural, hospitality and the transport sectors, who are pitting migrants and local workers against each other for profit maximization. These employers have created rifts amongst local and foreign truck drivers by making sure that foreign drivers are made to do truck maintenance as well as driving. Further to this, foreign truck drivers are expelled or exploited when they join trade unions something that is against the Constitution of South Africa. Whilst the employers are pitting workers against each other, the government has failed dismally to rein in these intransigent employers, who are responsible for the continuous blockade of the N3 at Mooi River.

The meeting acknowledged that the World Economic Forum Africa will be convened in Cape Town from Wednesday to Friday. We urge all the heads of states of African countries to move out of their comfort zone and deal decisively with the economic challenges facing Africans. This continent has immense resources and the only problem is that ii suffers from a dearth of leadership.

Having dealt with the above the meeting resolved to work together to do the following:

·         Social cohesion program;

·         Creation of migrants workers desk or recruiting migrant workers to COSATU unions;

·         Engagements with the SACP and SANCO;

·         Engagements with taxi associations; and

·         Small business exchange workshops across the province.

The meeting further condemned attacks on law enforcement officers and call the government to exercise its constitutional mandate to protect all its citizens and everyone in South Africa. We, however, discourage the use of the army to do fix this because socio-economic challenges of our people cannot be fixed by a police state. The calls for a state of emergency are an admission o failure and we reject them.

Issued by Cosatu

 COSATU Provincial Chairperson -Amos Monyela at 0794935002

African Diaspora Forum Spokesperson-Ngqabutha Mabena 083 340 1000