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Cosatu in NC to join mass action

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Thousands will join protests against state capture, corruption and job losses

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THOUSANDS of Cosatu members in the Northern Cape will be joining protests against state capture, corruption and job losses after a nationwide strike was announced yesterday.

The federation will have less than a month to prepare its mobilisation campaign after stating yesterday that all members will be downing tools on September 27, in the light of growing concerns regarding corrupt and irregular government activities.

At a media conference yesterday, Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali confirmed the union’s intention to hold a nationwide strike, adding that a certificate to strike had already been obtained from the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

Yesterday afternoon, the spokesperson for Cosatu in the Northern Cape, Anele Gxoyiya, said that workers in the Province would be joining the nationwide strike, adding that the mass action was likely to bring many day-to-day activities to a standstill.

“The decision to embark on mass action was taken at a national level so all workers in the Province will be joining in the strike,” Gxoyiya said.

“Our protest in the Province will take different forms, with pickets in four of the districts and a provincial march in Kimberley.”

According to Gxoyiya, these protests are likely to cause significant disruptions throughout the Province, particularly in Kimberley, where between 1 500 and 2 000 union members are expected to take part in the strike.

He added that while both state and corporate capture and job losses were problems that impacted on the whole country, the Northern Cape was by no means exempt from these challenges, with several concerns unique to the Province.

“State capture is a national phenomenon but the Northern Cape has several instances that certainly need to be addressed,” he explained. “One such example is the way that government killed the NC Times newspaper by terminating their contract with this publication when the New Age was launched.

“However, our grievances do not only relate to the Guptas as we have also seen a number of problems arise from some politicians influencing supply chain for their own personal interests.

“This is a major problem and if you had to call for a forensic audit of various departments, you will see the irregularities and biases in these processes.”

Meanwhile, Cosatu’s national president, Sdumo Dlamini, reiterated these sentiments.

“We are striking against corruption in the private and public sector and any individual supposedly guilty of corruption will be targeted,” he told reporters yesterday.

“We should know who has been getting tenders at Eskom over so many decades. Apart from the Guptas, how many other families have been getting tenders from Eskom, Denel, SAA,” Dlamini asked.