[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Cosatu to shut three provinces tomorrow
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Tue Jul 15 19:21:14 BST 2008
Cosatu expects to 'shut down' three provinces
BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA Jul 15 2008 16:32
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The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is expecting a total
shutdown of business in the Free State, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape
during the second round of its planned protests against spiralling
electricity, food, and fuel costs.
Cosatu's provincial secretary in the Free State, Sam Mashinini, said on
Tuesday that its officials expect "thousands and thousands" of workers
and community members to participate in the Bloemfontein protest march
"We expect a total shutdown tomorrow [Wednesday]," he said.
Protest marches are planned for Bloemfontein, Kimberley and other towns
in the Northern Cape and various places in Mpumalanga.
The protests, along with a call for a day-long general work stayaway,
are mainly against the cost of electricity, which has increased up to
27% in recent months.
"This will put more strain on the income of the poor households," said
He said many workers and communities cannot pay the new prices.
"There are many signs that families cannot handle the high increases. If
you go inside Bloemfontein, you would realise that poor families send
their children to school without taking something to eat in the morning."
Mashinini said Cosatu has already urged its members to tighten their
belts. "The belt we have asked them to tighten has been tightened up to
He said Wednesday's action is a legal strike, protected by the Labour
Relations Act, adding that no one may be victimised or harassed for
taking part in such an action.
In Bloemfontein, Cosatu is expected to march to the office of Premier
Beatrice Marshoff to hand over a memorandum. In Kimberley, two
memorandums will be handed over to officials of the government and Eskom.
Mashinini said the intention is to put pressure on the government and
Eskom to review the recent increases. "We want an assurance that there
would be no new increases in future to pay for the blunders and
sloppiness of the two in failing to actively do their duties which they
were deployed to."
More protests are planned for July 23 in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape,
Limpopo and North West, while a "national strike and stayaway" for all
provinces is planned for August 6. -- Sapa
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