Socio-Economic Challenges Facing Workers and the Working-Class in Gauteng 

The Provincial Office Bearers of COSATU in Gauteng convened a meeting to develop an implementation plan to implement the 14 Provincial Congress Resolutions. The POBs in their engagements noted dire socio-economic conditions challenges facing workers and the working class. This has resulted in mushrooming organisations like Dudula which seek to address these challenges through radical and dangerous means which has the potential to fuel war amongst workers and foreign nationals.

The POBs noted with concern the current unfortunate situation in the Gauteng Department of Health in which the majority of hospitals have run out of food, termination of services of COVID-19 health care workers and community service nurses. COSATU in Gauteng views this as cowardice and barbaric from the Gauteng Provincial Government and the National government. These workers were at the forefront of fighting COVID-19 and some of them lost their lives. It is distasteful to see the MEC of Health in Gauteng tell South Africa that the Department is owing service providers dating back to 2014 and the Department is waiting for the 2022/23 budget to address the challenges in hospitals and within the Department. Contract management, security services, procurement, and financial services have collapsed in the Department of Health while the leadership of the Department is focusing on other things which are not helpful for service delivery. Soon the Department of Health might fail to pay performance bonuses to hard-working employees. COSATU in Gauteng fully support DENOSA and NEHAWU in their quest to fight the Department of Health. 

The Federation has warned about the dire consequences of neo-liberal austerity measures that are aimed at cutting 

the budget on social spending particularly on health, education, wages, and safety and security. The neo-liberal policy trajectory has worsened during the 6th Administration and has targeted workers and the working-class broadly. It is no surprise that organizations like Operation Dudula have occupied the space because our government is out of sort and has no new ideas to circumvent the dire socio-economic conditions the people of Gauteng are confronted with. Instead of harshly condemning Operation Dudula, we will seek an audience with them as mandated by the 14th Provincial Congress to intervene.

The Provincial Office Bearers have noted the onslaught on municipal workers in the Cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane in recent times. The POBs support the actions of SAMWU in Tshwane and Johannesburg and will engage the leadership of SAMWU in Gauteng to develop a fight-back program against these municipalities.

In the midst of all these challenges which are a result of neo-liberal policy trajectory, lack of leadership, and political will, the Federation will convene an urgent meeting with the GPG led by Premier David Makhura before the end of this week. Further to this intervention, POBs resolved to convene a socio-economic conference at the end of May 2022 to develop strategies to deal with these challenges. The strategies will culminate into a program of action which will specifically fight austerity measures and the onslaught on workers and the working class.

As a build-up to the socio-economic conference and May Day, the province will engage with alliance partners, community organisations, churches, small township businesses, hawkers, federations of workers, young people organisations, and many other organisations sympathetic to the working class because we believe that what the working class is confronted with is a class war which we cannot afford to lose.

Provincial Secretary: Louisa Modikwe – 066 182 2402

Provincial Chairperson: Amos Monyela – 0794935002