Reaction on Violent Protest in Gauteng

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Gauteng has observed the ongoing violent protest, looting, and destruction of poverty in Gauteng. We are concerned that these protests are taking place in the midst of a deadly coronavirus pandemic and surging of cases in the province. The reported loss of lives is regrettable, and we call for cool heads amongst members of communities and allow law enforcement agencies to do their work unhindered.

COSATU in Gauteng is also concerned about the interruption of critical services like vaccination and health care in the province and will derail the fight against Covid-19. The looting and vandalization of property are derailing economic recovery interventions and will further increase unemployment in the province and unfortunately, the working class will pay the price. Whilst we condemn criminality, we call our leaders to be sensitive to what they are uttering on social media platforms and mainstream media. Political opportunism, point-scoring, and adventurism at this point in time is criminal and political parties should deal with this abstract behavior decisively within their ranks.

The current situation in our province requires a socio-politico-economic reflection from the alliance. Whilst criminality is condemned and criminals should be arrested, our people are venting out anger they have bottled for far too long. This anger arises from poor service delivery, corruption, unemployment, poverty, and inequalities. The working class is angry in many corners of the province because it has been whipped from all angles, but this cannot be dealt with through violence that leaves a trail of economic destruction which will add to unemployment statistics.

Violent protests and COVID-19 are badly threatening the economy, the livelihoods of our people, and the lives of our people as it is observed by the number of deaths from these two twins. This being the case, COSATU in Gauteng is pleading and appealing with communities to refrain from violence and resort to dialogue to resolve their grievances.

We also call our structures working with Alliance partners across the province to be vigilant and report suspected criminals to law enforcement agencies and engage with communities on possible solutions. The Federation will work together with Alliance partners to intervene in affected areas in the province.

Provincial Chairperson: Amos Monyela – 079 493 5002

Provincial Secretary: Louisa Modikwe – 066 182 2402 / 074 226 6879