NEWS

Cosatu Strike: 'We Will Shut Down The Country'

Nearly half a million people will attend the national protest action against Zuma and state capture.

26/09/2017 08:59 SAST | Updated 26/09/2017 08:59 SAST
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Members of the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) take part in a nationwide strike in Johannesburg October 7, 2015. The march for workers' right is also a protest against retrenchments in the mining and steel sectors, e-tolls and unemployment. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Members of trade union federation Cosatu will be striking nationwide on Wednesday -- marching on the streets of 15 major cities -- in an attempt to "shut down the country" if President Jacob Zuma is not removed from office.

The strike -- described by City Press as "the mother of all strikes" -- is about more than just Zuma, Cosatu says. Some 450,000 Cosatu members will also march against the capture of the private sector and the capture of the state by "corrupt forces" such as the Gupta family, Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla told HuffPost SA on Tuesday morning.

"Corruption is a cancer in South Africa, and so the march is against government corruption, the Guptas, and -- like the KPGM report shows -- the private sector's involvement in corruption. We are calling for Zuma to step down, because it all comes down to him," Pamla said.

The strike has received the backing of several business associations, such as Business Leadership SA (BLSA). Other affiliate groups have also confirmed their support, BLSA's Bonang Mohale told EWN.

"I can confirm that Business Unity SA, which is our umbrella apex body, has already supported this call. The Chamber of Mines has [also joined], [as has] the Banking Association of Southern Africa... and the Black Management Forum."

With this support from business, the strike will be able to effect a complete, nationwide shutdown, Cosatu says.

"Our intention is to shut down the country tomorrow, but we are going to do so without the use of force. You can't fight corruption with corruption, but we have made it clear that the amount of work we have done to mobilise our members means we are fully confident that the majority of our people in business are coming out tomorrow," Pumla said.