South Africa


High living costs and poor pay: what led to the call for a national shutdown?

Protesting Cosatu and Saftu workers marching in Cape Town as part of the national shutdown strike on 24 August 2022. (Photo: Victoria O'Regan)

Trade unions Saftu and Cosatu convened a national shutdown to protest high costs of living on Wednesday, 24 August, 20242 These articles explain the context and background of the strike.

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

Trade union federations Cosatu and Saftu have called on all non-essential workers to strike for the day on Wednesday, 24 August. Protest action is planned for most of the provinces, with thousands expected to join marches calling for government intervention in the cost of living crisis. We break it down here.

By Rebecca Davis


Jobless rate dips slightly in Q2, survey finds 47% of women are ‘economically inactive’

South Africa’s unemployment rate fell slightly in the second quarter to 33.9% from 34.5% in Q1. The best that can be said is that the number is at least going in the right direction. But the level remains at simply appalling levels, and the data show that 47% of South Africa’s women are economically inactive in a formal sense, exacerbating poverty and gender-based income disparities. 

By Ed Stoddard


As prices rise, the R350 Social Relief of Distress grant buys less and less

social relief of distress grant

As part of our ongoing coverage, Maverick Citizen has been keeping track of what essential food items the Social Relief of Distress grant recipients can buy as food prices head upwards. Here’s what they could afford over the past three months.

By Michelle Banda


Cost of living crunch is global, but not all countries are in the same bread basket

As South Africa braces for Wednesday’s national shutdown in protest against the surging cost of living, it is worth noting that this worrying state of affairs is a global phenomenon. Given this context, a march to the Russian embassy would be more appropriate than one to the Union Buildings as Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is among the key drivers of global inflation.

By Ed Stoddard


Petrol and diesel prices are falling: Why it’s happening and can it continue?

Cost of living crisis worsens — consumers face petrol price increases of up to R2.57 a litre 

Petrol and diesel prices are set to drop in September for the second consecutive month after a sustained period of unrelenting increases worsened the cost of living crisis.

By Ray Mahlaka


South Africa’s spiralling social crisis – ‘act now or watch the powder keg explode’

cost of living andrews

This week the Maverick Citizen editorial focuses on three issues that suggest South Africa is a country increasingly out of control, with a government that has turned its back on the poor and most vulnerable, unable to protect them from hunger or violence. Fortunately, in each instance, civil society organisations work tirelessly to try to defend decency, dignity and rights. But it’s getting more and more difficult every day.

By Mark Heywood


Saftu and allies plan national shutdown on 24 August to demand a better life for the working class

At a Working Class Summit held in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, on Friday, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) and its allies in civil society took a decision to stage a national shutdown on Wednesday, 24 August.

By Mark Heywood


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