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Cosatu’s May Day celebrations descended into chaos, proceedings halted

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The African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa has abandoned Cosatu’s May Day celebrations at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, outside Rustenburg, in the North West.

Cosatu’s main May Day celebrations have descended into chaos after a scuffle broke out at the Stadium.

Hundreds of National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) affiliated Sibanye workers have been on strike for almost two months, demanding a R1000 salary increase.  The employer is only offering R800. Striking Sibanye Stillwater mineworkers were demanding that Ramaphosa address their issues.

Proceedings have been disrupted.

Every year on May 1st, the world celebrates International Workers’ Day. It’s all about celebrating workers’ rights and reminding people of the critical role trade unions play in defending workers’ interests.

Driving transformation

Earlier, the ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe said Cosatu should be driving transformation in the workplace. The federation has called on the government and the private sector to half wage freezes, retrenchments and urgently address the record unemployment rate in the country.

‘Create opportunities’

39-year-old Kimberley resident, Patrick Gabaikangwe says COVID-19 has left many families destitute in Galeshewe in the Northern Cape. He became jobless when mines where he was working as an investment facilitator, closed down.

As South Africa commemorates Workers Day, Gabaikangwe is now a hawker, who fend for his mother and four siblings, says government must ensure it creates opportunities for workers who were retrenched due to COVID-19.

“You know in the mining industry at least at once off it helps a lot but as a breadwinner, when you used to carry 50 000 or 100 000 its not coming anymore its a challenge at home. So I have decided that I am not going to sit down. I started working with my fish and chips, with my sweets until where we are.”

Source: SABC News

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