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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

National shutdown off to a slow start, as unions fail to get support from all sectors

It’s business as usual in some parts of the country, including in Tshwane, despite calls for a national shutdown.

The chairperson of Cosatu, Amos Monyela, says the African National Congress (ANC) has shortcomings when it comes to addressing the challenging and difficult economic climate in the country.

This is one of the reasons the trade union federation had cited in its push for a national shutdown, which appears to be off to a very slow start in several places around the country.

National Shutdown

It’s business as usual in most parts of the country, including in the City of Tshwane, despite the concerted calls for a national shutdown. Many roads in Gauteng were busy but largely absent of taxis transporting passengers to work.

On Tuesday, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) made it clear it will not be part of the protest.

“Despite numerous requests to participate in the national shutdown, Santaco will not participate in the planned national shutdown,” it said.

ALSO READ: National shutdown: Here are the routes and places to avoid

In Tshwane, there was a heavy police presence and empty taxis lined the roads as drivers waited for passengers, an indication that many have decided to stay at home.

Two of the country’s largest trade union federations, Cosatu and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), have put their differences aside and vowed to bring the country to a standstill over the increasing cost of living.

Monyela told The Citizen while the ANC has not failed the people of South Africa, it does have shortcomings that must be addressed.

“The ANC government has achieved a lot of things. There are some shortcomings as we know, the majority of our people are now living in poverty and if you trace it back, it is also affected by international balance of forces and international situation,” he said.

‘Neo-liberal austerity measures’

Monyela, however, says there are certain areas where the ANC has not lived up to the expectations of the people.

“There are areas where the ANC has not done what it was supposed to have done. For example, the ANC is implementing neo-liberal austerity measures which affect the working class and the poor.”

“So when you implement new liberal austerity measures, it means you can’t budget from social spending and when you can’t budget from social spending, those who are affected by the budget cuts on social spending are the working class and the poor,” said Monyela.

Monyela says the ANC must deal with these shortcomings and ensure a more viable economy that assists the poor and working class.

NOW READ: National Shutdown: ‘It’s not about the numbers’

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