South Africa


Embattled ANC staff to join nationwide strike in solidarity with Cosatu

Embattled ANC staff to join nationwide strike in solidarity with Cosatu
Archive Photo: ANC staff picket outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg on 6 September 2021. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sharon Seretlo)

Ruling party staff members hit by an ‘economic meltdown’ will down tools to join alliance partner Cosatu in the national shutdown scheduled for Wednesday.

ANC employees have not received any salary increases in the past four years while the cost of living continues to rise – which is even more reason to join the planned national strike led by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), according to national staff representative Mvusi Mdala. 

In addition, the governing party has been unable to pay salaries on time for the past year, while the provident fund, unemployment insurance fund and medical aid have been unpaid since 2018. 

ANC staff protest against unfair labour practices outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg on 6 September 2021. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sharon Seretlo)

The aim of the strike is to demand urgent action from policymakers and decision-makers to take drastic steps to avoid an economic collapse which Cosatu believes is threatening the lives of millions of workers and the poor.

Cosatu has also red-flagged the recent spike in the cost of living, as South Africans buckle under drastic fuel and electricity price increases.

“The economic meltdown has not spared any staff; we are in a worse position for not getting salary [increases] for four years. Not being paid on time exacerbates the situation we find ourselves in. We have urged all staff members to participate in this national strike in solidarity with all other workers. ANC workers are subject to the same labour laws of the country and therefore the consciousness must talk to them,” Mdala said.

“We have not informed the employer that we will be joining the strike. Speaking to them is not going to make a difference because even when we have our industrial action and the employer starts to treat everything like it is normal.”

What is Wednesday’s national trade union shutdown all about?

The trade union federation wants the government, the private sector and organised labour to accelerate the implementation of the progressive commitments of the Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan.

Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), led by Zwelizima Vavi, will hold its own nationwide strike alongside Cosatu. The two largest trade union federations will be collaborating in most provinces.

Saftu’s decision to strike stems from its national executive committee (NEC) meeting last month where it raised concerns about issues including worsening socioeconomic conditions and the marginalisation of poor communities.

ANC employees picket outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg on 25 July 2022. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

At least 200 working-class formations and pro-worker non-governmental organisations, political parties including the EFF, the PAC, Azapo and the Workers and Socialist Party, have said they will join the demonstrations.

Marches will start at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the Prasa building in the Cape Town CBD, the premier’s office in Mangaung as well as Eskom Park in Witbank, Mpumalanga. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.