COSATU KZN to actively mobilise workers for the National Day of Action on Thursday, 6th of July

05 July 2023

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) convened its Provincial Executive Committee, PEC Meeting last week Monday and Tuesday, 26 – 27 June 2023, at Garden Court South Beach, Durban.

The PEC spent more of its time deliberating on the Industrial Strike of Thursday, the 6th of July 2023. Workers are fed-up with the economy that continues to serve the elites when workers and poor people of this country continue to live in squalor. Disturbingly, the current adverse state of the economy has been blamed to the very same but not to those who consume more.

The PEC was especially worried about the irresponsible increase in the repo rate by the South African Reserve Bank. This increase comes at a time when workers are distressed by the ever-rising increase in the cost of living, underemployment, retrenchments etc. The high increase in fuel, food prices and electricity suffocate workers, and as a result workers are losing their assets such as houses and motor-vehicles.  On one hand there is a spiteful move to downgrade the working condition of workers by the employers.  The public sector strike, Makro strike and many industrial protests taking place in our country indicative of this offensive by employers against workers. Adding to the above challenges, the PEC was also worried about the ongoing energy crisis in our country affecting the economy and workers in particular. We are of the view that this state of affairs if left unimpeded will exacerbate unemployment levels which is already high at around 42.1%. 

Further, COSATU in the province is extremely concerned about the high level of crime facing our country and therefore, the PEC felt that there is an urgent need to take up campaigns against the scourge of crime and corruption facing our country. We should demand government to take action against unaccounted funds and wasteful expenditure in municipalities and government departments. Further, we encourage our unions to expose corrupt activities and implicated individuals in the private sector. Many workers have approached COSATU to raise its voice about workers who are suffocated by Labour Brokers in government departments and private sector. COSATU in the KZN Province has since raised the need for the ANC led government to decisively deal with this matter. Our PEC intensely resolved that our industrial action must as well sharply raise our opposition against privatization, in particular in Transnet and PRASA.

Our strong view is that more needs to be done to develop programmes that are aimed at cushioning workers. It is on this basis that the PEC has supported the call for COSATU to allow workers to have access to their pension funds. We further decided to support the NHI bill and to ensure that the objectives of the NHI are not compromised or hijacked for purposes of wealth accumulation by opportunists.

As a result of all the above, the PEC vehemently decided that KZN must mobilize workers to fully participate on the declared Industrial Strike on the 6th of July 2023. COSATU in the province will stage a march in the Durban CBD from King Dinizulu Park through Dr. Pixley ka Seme to City Hall where the memorandums will be handed over to the Premier, the Reserve Bank, Eskom, eThekwini Municipality and Transnet.

It is high time that our government and company bosses begin to appreciate the role and contribution workers make in the economy and their profit margins.

It is for this reason we are calling all the workers to come out in their numbers in support of this essential call by our COSATU.

We further encourage other Federations and sister unions to encourage their members to join, as we always say, united we stand but divided we fall.

We further call on the Mass Democratic Movement structures to mobilize their members for support.

COSATU affiliated unions have taken this decision to go to the streets due to the difficult conditions their members are exposed to everyday. Hence, we say organize or starve and die.

Issued by COSATU KZN

For more information, please contact:

COSATU KZN Provincial Secretary

Edwin Mkhize 

0823997756 / 076 522 8839