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Cosatu and Saftu protest separately after disagreement over ANC

Cosatu and Saftu decided to protest separately during the union’s national shutdown march on Wednesday.

The decision came after the two unions had a disagreement over some members of the ANC taking part in the march.

The country’s two biggest unions had vowed halt South Africa’s economy in a national shutdown to protest against the increasing cost of living in the country. They seemed to be putting the blame at the ANC’s door.

The unions were supposed to take part in the protest together, starting at with Burgers Park in Tshwane.

However, a scuffle ensued and Saftu members were urged to regroup. They never returned to the protest after that.

Cosatu and Saftu protest separately after disagreement over ANC
Cosatu members during the national shutdown march in Pretoria on 24 August 2022. Picture Neil McCartney

It’s believed Saftu decided to hold their own protest in a different part of Tshwane.

ALSO READ: Cosatu members call for Ramaphosa to fall

Saftu Secretary-General Zwelinzima Vavi said Cosatu insists on “bringing its alliance partner” to the national shutdown. He was expressing disappointment at the participation of some members of the ANC.

“We wanted to avoid a spectre of a disunited labour movement at such a critical moment,” said Vavi.

Cost of living crisis

Earlier Cosatu deputy president Mike Shigange said the planned #national shutdown is a message to businesses that they cannot continue ignoring the plight of the poor.

Shigange said the country is in the midst of a cost of living crisis, but businesses just care about profits.

Meanwhile Cosatu members said they are angry at government for for the challenging economic climate in the country and are calling for Cyril Ramaphosa to fall.

“We are here to demonstrate to the government that we are angry about everything, the fuel hikes and everything that they are doing to us,” one member said.

“As Cosatu affiliated workers we are angry about it, we are not happy. The economy is collapsing under Cyril Ramaphosa and we are reiterating our call that Cyril Ramaphosa must actually fall, that’s why we are here.”

ALSO READ: National Shutdown: Cosatu calls on government to assist the working class

Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele will be briefing the media after he has received the memorandum from Cosatu officials.

The briefing is expected to take place at the garden of the Union Buildings.

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