NEWS

Cosatu March Against State Capture Set To Disrupt Schools, Mines And Municipalities

While business supports the march, Saftu and Numsa will stay away.

26/09/2017 06:19 SAST | Updated 26/09/2017 06:35 SAST
MUJAHID SAFODIEN/AFP/Getty Images
South African police officers escort University of Witwatersrand students as they march to the Cosatu headquarters in Johannesburg last year during a protest to demand free higher education. The South African government vowed on September 22 to end violent student protests against higher tuition fees, after days of clashes on campuses and disrupted classes across the country.

Cosatu's march against state capture on Wednesday is set to see teachers, municipal workers and mine workers stay away from work, as it calls on all its members to join the one-day strike, Times Live reported.

This will reportedly include off-duty police officers and nurses.

The marchers will reportedly head to city halls across the country, as well as banks, Eskom, provincial premiers' offices and the Chamber of Mines.

Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla told Times Live: "Our member unions are ensuring that teachers‚ nurses‚ miners and municipal workers will down tools.

"There will be a total shutdown of schools and municipalities."

While an appeal had been made to workers not affiliated to Cosatu to join the march, South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) leader Zwelinzima Vavi said that the federation and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) would not join in.

Writing for Daily Maverick on Tuesday, Vavi said the workers would not participate because Cosatu had not admitted to its role in the "monumental disaster" of state capture.

"The fellows who are calling on workers to sacrifice their wages are still to acknowledge their role in the creation of this monumental disaster," Vavi wrote.

"Above all, exactly when did they discover that there was a state-capture programme? Hundreds of thousands have been in the streets protesting this since 2015 and before. They called those who demonstrated names. Of course, everyone is capable of changing; we too changed from believing that rubbish in 2005 right until early 2010. We suffered the consequences as you know."

Meanwhile, Business Day reported on Tuesday that business organisations were supportive of Cosatu's march.

Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) said that, while it would ordinarily not support a march like this, that the country found itself in "extraordinary times".

BLSA CEO Bonang Mohale told Business Day: "In these extraordinary times, in which our Constitution is under threat in our young nation, BLSA felt it necessary to throw its weight behind labour's call against state capture, specifically against the Gupta and Zuma families."