COSATU to embark on nationwide protests to mark the World Day for Decent Work on the 07th of October 2022

The Congress of South African Trade Unions will embark on nationwide protests and other activities all across the country on Friday, 07 October 2022 to mark the World Day for Decent Work. This is a Section 77 protected National Action that forms part of our International Day of Decent Work Day.

The Federation is encouraging all workers to participate in the planned activities and exercise their right to demand that employers and policymakers respect labour laws and take seriously the calls for decent work.

From its very founding the Federation committed itself to organise and unite workers on the basis of improving their wages and raising their standard of living and making sure that they protect themselves from the insecurities of life.

Recently, the South African government finding itself incapable of dealing with this ongoing capitalist crisis has resorted to increasing austerity measures. This has seen cuts in public spending, leading to massive reduction in all aspects of social and economic benefits to the people, in wages, retirement benefits and pensions, health and education and social welfare transfers.

These draconian public service cuts in the public service wage bill have plunged this economy into meltdown and decimated the township and rural economy.

The numbers of people suffering from depression and mental illness have increased as a consequence of these attacks on working people’s livelihoods.  As more working people are attacked, through salary cuts, job losses and foreclosures, inequalities have widened. The increase in inequality means working families’ purchasing power is significantly diminished.

The workers need to unite in defending jobs, fighting corruption, as well as the shortcomings of our law enforcement agencies in fighting corruption and gender based violence. We need to fearlessly express our determination to protect the integrity of collective bargaining, and to resist all attempts by employers to undermine it.

We will be using this coming National Action to demand a response to the memorandums that were submitted last month during our Socioeconomic strike on the economic crises. A strike remains a primary tool of exercising power that workers have at their disposal.

Acts of  sustained civil disobedience are paramount at this time because sitting down and doing nothing will mean that we accept the death sentence that is handed to us by the political and business power structure that is mismanaging the economy and attacking workers’ rights. We need to refuse to be fooled by empty commitments and public declarations but demand action and effectiveness from our leaders.

The 14th National Congress was clear that being a leading federation is not merely a matter of the numerical size, it is a question of the quality of contributions, both in theory and practice. Our priority is to deal with the structural economic changes that are also associated with the changing workplace organisation and mode of work.

We demand that this upcoming Medium Term Budget Policy Statement( MTBPS) show that government is ready to abandon the ineffectual budget cuts and adopt a macroeconomic framework geared to address the basic needs of our people, transform the economy, strengthen the public service, and renew efforts to build a capable developmental state. The upcoming MTBPS must clearly provide a commitment on the Eskom dept in order to finally address the energy crises that continues to weaken the South African economy.  

The failure of the public transport system during the extreme COVID-19 lockdown and the rising cost of fuel this year are a reminder that very little will be achieved without the majority of people having access to a reliable, affordable, and integrated public transport system.

It is impossible to fix the serious economic challenges without dealing with the major problems such as transport in the country which is the lifeblood of the economy. Transport is key if we are to dismantle the system of apartheid separate development and eliminating the apartheid spatial challenges. The current inadequate public transport failure reflects the failures of our overall economic system.

South African workers built this country’s economy and they continue to keep its wheels turning. They deserve a decent  living wage and working conditions.

Workers should also remember that they are their own liberators, and that there is no saviour on the horizon. We must organise, mobilise and be ready to fight relentlessly to shape a future that is free of exploitation, corruption, unemployment, poverty and inequality.


Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)

Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080

Cell: 060 975 6794