Organised business says the cost to the economy of the Congress of the South African Trade Union (Cosatu) mass protest against e-tolling and labour brokers may run into billions of rands. Business activity was disrupted in a number of centres around the country yesterday, as thousands of protestors marched in 32 towns and cities. They want Gauteng’s e-tolling system and labour brokers scrapped. Government has in turn called for the public’s support, saying it’s tried its best to alleviate the impact the toll gates will have on them.
From small gatherings in towns to major ones in city centers-people heeded the Cosatu led call to march. There were 32 marches across the country. Downtown Johannesburg transformed into a sea of red. Tens of thousands of unionised workers gathered from dawn.
Their route took them to the labour department, the premiers office and the chamber of mines. Expelled ANCYL leader Julius Malema also put in an appearance. “This march can never be anti ANC and anti government it’s a march that demand that our government should concentrate on implementing the resolutions of Polokwane,” says Malema.
In Cape Town, about 20 000 people marched on Parliament. In Durban Cosatu’s S’dumo Dlamini led the march of about 30 000 people with South African Communist Party (SACP) leadership.
The SACP general-secretary, Blade Nzimande said: “Labour brokers have no place in a democracy they dont do work, other people do the work and they just take the money that’s tantamount to selling human beings.”
The ANC has meanwhile expressed concern about statements by Cosatu leaders. A large contingent of protestors gathered in Port Elizabeth, with another march in Mthatha. In Bloemfontein, 3000 people participated in marches. Hundreds of Cosatu members also gathered outside the SABC in Polokwane. They later marched to the Premier’s office.
Cosatu has threatened more mass action should government not yield to its demands.-SABCPost published in: News