It’s all systems go for tomorrow’s “mother of all marches” against state capture and corruption.
Hundreds of thousands of South Africans are expected to descend on 13 locations across the country in a show of disgust against those who are involved in what the Congress of South African Trade Unions has called “the immoral and criminal phenomenon of state capture and the cancer of corruption”.
Cosatu and the South African Communist Party have joined forces for tomorrow’s nationwide strike.
“Workers [are] ready and willing to fight the immoral and criminal phenomenon of state capture and the cancer of corruption, which robs them of their livelihoods, steals their resources, causes job losses and perpetuates poverty,” Cosatu said.
At a press briefing held at Cosatu House today, Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali called on workers and their families to march together in tomorrow’s section 77 protected strike.
A section 77 strike refers to the Labour Relations Act, which refers to protest action to promote or defend socioeconomic interests of workers. Last month, Cosatu obtained a certificate to strike from the National Economic Development and Labour Council.
Ntshalintshali raised the issue of auditing firm KPMG and its role in state capture, saying that the collusion of the private and public sector was dampening the economics of South Africa.
“We have been hit by the latest scandal involving disgraced auditing and consultancy firm KPMG. The scandal is a stark reminder of the collusion between the private and public sector to swindle South Africans and destroy our economy and jobs,” Ntshalintshali said.
He also spoke about the Public Investment Corporation, which has also come into the spotlight, after rumours surfaced of an alleged plot to “capture the PIC”.
The South African Democratic Teachers Union, an affiliate of Cosatu, will also be participating in the march, and has called upon its 250 000 members to take part tomorrow.
“A huge part of the reason why we are engaging in the strike also has to do with the rumours around Brian Molefe becoming the chief executive of the PIC,” Sadtu’s media officer, Nomusa Cembi, told City Press today.
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“As an affiliate of Cosatu, it’s high time that we took a stand against corruption and state capture. We want our voices to be heard and we would also like to highlight the challenges that we face in the education sector. One of these is rural incentives for teachers, which could help because many teachers are unable to teach in the rural areas because they don’t have this incentive,” Cembi said.
Ntshalintshali told City Press last week that, in the march, “we will be saying [Jacob] Zuma must go”.
“We can’t put it down on the notice to Nedlac because it doesn’t have power over a political strike, but deals with socioeconomic issues.”