Faizel Patel – 23/02/2021
The SA Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) says while the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected everyone economically in the country, it has affected the poor the most.
Saftu is embarking on a nationwide general strike on 24 February, taking their grievances to Parliament.
The trade union has accused the government of not doing enough to uplift South Africans from the ravages of poverty, growing unemployment and inequality.
The organised strike will coincide with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s Budget Speech on Wednesday.
Speaking to Radio Islam and echoing the remarks by secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi, Saftu’s Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says the Coronavirus was not a cause for “we are all in this together.”
“The statements that you got from the presidency was that this pandemic is affecting all of us, we are all struggling together. But the reality is that we are not all struggling together, we certainly not all in this together. If you are part of the wealthy 1% in this country, this pandemic has barely touched you.”
Hlubi-Majola says beyond COVID-19 the country cannot continue on the “downward slope the government has chosen” for South Africans.
“When you look at the macroeconomic framework, that the path that we’ve chosen, our government is perusing a macroeconomic framework. All it’s budgets, policies are based on austerity measures and on cut backs and on reducing social spending at a time when we are dealing with a pandemic, a pandemic which affects the poorest and the most vulnerable of us.”
Hlubi-Majola says Saftu is a demanding a radical shift in the way South Africa is implementing its policies.
Listen to the interview with Phakamile Hlubi-Majola