Schools‚ municipalities and mines expected to be disrupted by Cosatu march

25 September 2017 - 16:36 By Graeme Hosken
Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali.
Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali.
Image: Supplied

Schools‚ municipalities and mines are expected to be disrupted on Wednesday as members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) march against state capture and corruption.

The one-day strike is aimed at making the ANC address workers’ concerns over the looting of State coffers. It will be followed by another in October‚ when Cosatu members plan to take to the streets over job losses which have been attributed directly to state capture.

This week’s strike‚ to be supported by off-duty police and nurses‚ will see people march on the country’s various city halls‚ banks‚ the Chamber of Mines‚ Eskom and offices of provincial premiers and the South African Local Government Association.

Cosatu spokesman Sizwe Pamla said: “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.”

He said they had appealed to workers who are not Cosatu members‚ to join them.

“Corruption not only affects Cosatu members. Every South African regardless of who you are is impacted by state capture.

“Once President Jacob Zuma goes‚ all South Africans will be left with footing the hefty corruption bill which he will leave behind.

“It will be up to us to pick up the pieces of society once it implodes.”

Pamla said while in the past appeals could be made to Zuma to intervene in provincial corruption‚ this had now changed.

“The corrupt are now in Zuma’s camp. South Africa has arrived at the point where the president can no longer be called on to help.”

He said many in the private sector could not be called on to intervene‚ “as they too are involved in State Capture".

“Just look at the actions of KPMG for the Guptas.

“It’s when political‚ economic‚ private and State structures start to collude that we as taxpayers are in trouble.”

SA Democratic Teachers Union secretary-general Mugwena Maluleka‚ said all schools would shut down.

“Parents understand that this is about fighting for their childrens’ future and would come out to support them.

“They know that money‚ which should go into education‚ is being stolen.”

National Union of Mine Workers general secretary David Sipunzi said they were expecting a total shutdown of mines.

“We want to show government that corruption and the looting of resources vital to economic growth cannot continue.”

SA Municipal Workers Union spokesman Papikie Mohale said only municipal staff who are part of emergency services‚ would be at work “and then it will only be skeleton staff shifts”.

“All other municipal services will not function. Nothing‚ including call centres‚ will operate.”

Sibongiseni Delihlazo‚ spokesman for the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa‚ said all staff not working would join the strike.

“Because nurses are essential service members‚ they cannot strike while on duty.”

Economist Azar Jammine said the strike would have a minimal impact on the economy. "Strikes like this will have less economic impact than if the economy had been booming because there is a lot of spare capacity in terms of production. People are simply not working flat-out because the economy is weak.

"The biggest impact will rather be in the message that it sends to government‚ that the workforce is tired of corruption and state capture‚" Jammine said.