Members discouraged from participating in national shutdown – COSATU

Federation says it and its affiliated unions will not be part of the stay away tomorrow

COSATU discourages its members from participating in an unprotected national shutdown tomorrow

9 June 2022

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has noted reports about a possible National Shutdown planed for tomorrow, 10 June 2022. These reports have mentioned COSATU as one of the participants of this stay away.

The Federation and its affiliated unions will not be part of that stay way. We also discourage our members from joining this stayaway because it is an unprotected action that can result in their dismissal from work. For any protected strike to take place, a Section 77 certificate needs to be applied for and issued by Nedlac as per the Labour Relations Act.

COSATU is not aware of a shutdown, nor has it been engaged to support it, neither have workers or unions mandated it to participate in one.

The Federation is busy trying to use dialogue to ensure that government take steps to stem the tide of unaffordable rise in fuel prices.  These increases are bleeding workers’ meagre wages, making it difficult for businesses to hire workers and suffocating the economy. 

We need government to extend the fuel price tax relief it has provided beyond July; it also needs to provide a more affordable tax regime for fuel. There is an urgent need to deregulate the fuel price to allow competition, and the re-submission of the RAF and RABS Bills at Parliament to place the RAF on a more sustainable financial path and lessen the need for it be bailed out through fuel levy hikes. 

Government needs to act swiftly to reopen all Metrorail lines to help 10 million commuters, and to ensure all Transnet freight lines are fully operational. The fragmentation of transport services in the country continues to undermine access to affordable, safe and reliable public transport. The public transport system should be well coordinated and integrated. In our view, this is crucial for enhancing local economic development and eliminating the apartheid spatial challenges.

The government needs to invest more in public transport, and to begin plans to move cars and other vehicles from fuel to electric and hydro.  These are critical to lessening South Africa’s dependency on imported fuel and exposure to volatile international oil prices.

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 9 June 2022