Unions warn Ramaphosa to put workers first

Unions warn Ramaphosa to put workers first

South Africa’s largest trade union federations, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) have sent a stern warning to President Cyril Ramaphosa – to prioritise job creation during his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Ramaphosa writing SONA speech

It’s all systems go for SONA on Thursday, but organised labour is set to scrutinise Ramaphosa’s speech as to how he will curb unemployment which stands at 27,1%

ANC alliance partner Cosatu believes reviving the economy should be Ramaphosa’s first order of business.

The trade union’s Matthew Parks has lashed out at Ramaphosa over the failure to implement the resolutions taken at the in October last year.

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“The economy is in a crisis. Its on the verge of going back into a recession. Thousands of workers are being retrenched across all sectors every month. We really need to see a clear, decisive plan and action by the president to get the economy growing.”

He believes the implementation of structural reforms are utmost importance. 

“We want the president come with clear time frames and targets, and he should hold the executive to account.”

Saftu’s Zwelinzima Vavi says he’s expectations are very low.

“We expect more hell to come out of the State of the Nation Address for workers. We expected to be told that the public servants are too many and they should be slaughtered.”

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He believes Ramaphosa will move ahead with the unbundling of the struggling Eskom – which organised labour vehemently opposes.

“Without explaining how that will help Eskom address the massive debt of R230 billion. We expect that he will tell us that the IPPs are here to stay, which will lead to the loss of 20 000 jobs by the closure of five power station.”

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