Marizka Coetzer
3 minute read
23 Jul 2022
5:20 am

‘People weren’t jobless under National Party’: Cosatu members march against high cost of living

Marizka Coetzer

One members says there wasn’t a solution to the current crisis in the country.

Cosatu members march in support of Samwu members working in the City of Johannesburg, 7 April 2022, demanding job security for contract workers. The group marched through Braamfontein. Picture: Michel Bega

“End poverty” and “High electricity pricing kill the poor” were just some of the slogans on placards of Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) members who marched to the department of trade and industry to hand in a memorandum lamenting the high cost of living.

The members handed over a memorandum of demands to a representative of the ministers of public enterprises, finance, minerals and energy and employment and labour.

The memorandum highlighted the impact of the fuel price increases, high transport costs and unemployment, poverty and the electricity crisis.

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Nzalamazi Dee was interviewed as he watched the march pass by him, while waiting for paperwork he had to collect for his employer.

“We are all struggling. I can’t keep up with all the electricity, petrol, food increases and the list goes on,” he said.

He said his budget was so tight he had to forget about himself.

“You tolerate whatever you are getting. It means you have to sacrifice. We will have to share to survive,” Dee added.

He said there were many job losses when businesses closed down during the lockdown.

Dee said he was pleased with the peaceful march.

“The action of handing over memorandums without violence was the way to do it. Violence was not the way,” he said.

John Sithole said he was fed up with the government.

“We are not suffering, we are dying. You talk about budgeting; we don’t even know what that is. We don’t have money to budget because we are not working. It’s a problem: the water, electricity and the petrol,” he said.

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Sithole said when Eskom went on strike, the government quickly jumped in because they knew it could bring the country to a standstill.

“That’s why they make them quiet with 7%. So, in SA if you want money and an increase, you need to jive it, you must dance but they don’t care about us,” he said.

Sithole said there wasn’t a solution to the current crisis in the country.

“The solution is nonexistent. Let me be honest with you, not talking about anything else but under that National Party people were not jobless, money was there and crime was less. Now we are prisoners of the government,” Sithole said.

He said the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) wasn’t the solution.

“It’s just a different label but the same flavour. The EFF is the ANC,” he said.

He said South Africans wanted to work, but not for peanuts.

“There are people who go for cheap labour. It’s not that we don’t want to work, but we know what we are worth,” he said.

Sithole said his children, who completed school in 2016 and 2017, were also unemployed.

“Our kids today, if we tell them about school. They want to know for what reason I can’t send them to college,” he said.

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