COSATU in Gauteng has been observing the impact and implications of the national lockdown since it was declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Gauteng. The implementation of measures to curb the spread of Covid 19 by the Gauteng Provincial Government led by Premier David Makhura and his executive are commendable.
The federation acknowledges that Gauteng has the highest number of infections and this number will increase exponentially but we are comforted by attempts to reduce fatalities.
We salute the heroes and heroines who are confronting this virus on the frontlines, the essential service employees. These lifesavers deserve to be protected and fully equipped at all times. They are a reminder of the importance of having a solid and well-resourced public service.
We call on the GPG to provide frontline health workers and other essential service workers with Personal Protective Equipment’s (PPE) as well as providing security for Community Health Workers.
The federation also request the GPG to ensure that security services personnel are properly protected from the ravages of the virus. We also call for the police and the army to handle properly those who are transgressing the lockdown rules. The death of a person at the hands of soldiers is condemned and should never happen again.
The federation is also worried about the manner in which food parcels are distributed. We call those who are entrusted with this responsibility to ensure that food parcels are distributed to the less fortunate and should not be used for corrupt means as the Premier has alluded to. The federation is also appreciative of the roll-out of mass screening which will assist in curbing the spread of the virus.
Similarly, we call for employers to not exploit workers during this difficult period for the country and the province. No worker should be forced to work under an unsafe environment and no worker should go unpaid irrespective of the sectors they are in until the end of the shutdown.
The Federation has received a number of complaints from members in the retail sector in particular SPAR Supermarkets for the exploitation of workers during this trying period. If this continues, we shall push for the closure of Spar shops.
The Federation in Gauteng also appreciates the work done by businesses in Gauteng for their support to the poor and vulnerable people in our province. We call for more businesses to come to the party and lend a helping hand to our people.
COSATU salutes the police for apprehending those who are alleged to have vandalized schools. Whilst this is appreciated, we are disturbed by the continued destruction of schools in Gauteng, we reiterate our call to communities to be vigilant and assist the police to apprehend to stop this anarchy.
Issued by COSATU
Gauteng Provincial Secretary: Louisah Modikwe – 0846453779
Gauteng Provincial Deputy Chairperson: Thabang Sonyathi – 0834993729