Unions warn Wednesday’s strike will disrupt govt services, transport & schools

In a historic show of unity, the two biggest labour federations in the country, Cosatu and Saftu – who collectively represent close to three million workers, will be embarking on a national strike against corruption and unemployment.

Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

JOHANNESBURG – South Africans have been warned by trade unions in the country to expect services including transport, schooling, and government departments to be shut down on Wednesday.

In a historic show of unity, the two biggest labour federations in the country – the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) – who collectively represent close to three million workers, will be embarking on a national strike against corruption and unemployment.

While Cosatu’s protest action and stay-away would take place on Wednesday only, Saftu leaders unveiled a programme of mass action that would last until the end of November.

Saftu, to which the biggest trade union in the country Numsa is affiliated to, planned to hold night vigils from Tuesday tonight at key government institutions in every province and would join marches and pickets which will be taking place in major cities across the country.

“We will be doing a human chain at the Union Buildings to highlight all the demands that we are making, but we will centre the demands around two of them. The first one, is that the government have bolted out of a signed contract with the public sector,” said Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Meanwhile, Cosatu cautioned against taking a large number of workers out on the streets amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, the trade union federation encouraged workers to stay home on the day, while smaller numbers of people would be protesting on the streets and through motorcades.

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