Home South African Ramaphosa calls for workers to be celebrated for their sacrifices

Ramaphosa calls for workers to be celebrated for their sacrifices

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says the sacrifices of workers and those particular individuals who helped South Africa achieve freedom from apartheid must be celebrated.

On Workers’ Day, President Cyril Ramaphosa said we need to celebrate 30 years of democracy and reaffirm our shared determination to fight for a South Africa that truly belongs to all who live in it. Picture: African National Congress, X

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa said that the sacrifices of workers and those particular individuals who helped South Africa achieve freedom from apartheid must be celebrated.

Ramaphosa said this during the keynote address at Cosatu’s National Workers’ Day rally in Cape Town on Wednesday.

“We celebrate the achievements of the workers of our country. We remember the generations of worker leaders, organisers, shop stewards and unionists who fought for the rights of all workers and the freedom of our people,” Ramphosa said.

The president said sacrifices were made and lives were lost to attain South Africa’s freedom.

Ramaphosa said that on Workers’ Day, government will continue to fight against oppression and exploitation.

“As the African National Congress, as the revolutionary alliance, we will continue to fight for workers. We will continue to fight for the poor, for those who do not have land, for those who do not have jobs, for those who do not have houses,” the president said.

“We have worked to ensure that all are equal before the law, that all shall enjoy equal human rights, that there shall be houses, security and comfort, that there shall be work and security, that the land shall be shared among those who work it, that the doors of learning and culture shall be opened, and that there shall be peace and friendship,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the government wants to ensure that all South Africans share in the country’s wealth.

“It is only when the people truly share in the country’s wealth that we will have ended poverty and unemployment, and will have achieved a more equal and just society,” he said.

Moreover, the president said that we as a society must put the interests of workers, the poor, and the dispossessed at the centre of the struggle for a better life for all South Africans.

What does Workers’ Day mean to SA?

The Department of Employment and Labour said that Workers’ Day serves a dual purpose – a celebration of workers’ rights and a poignant reminder of the pivotal role that trade unions, the SA Communist Party and other labour organisations played in the struggle against apartheid.

“Workers’ Day in South Africa carries its unique cultural significance. The public holiday has come to symbolise not only the sacrifices made in an arduous journey towards fair employment standards but also the fierce battle against apartheid, where trade and labour played a crucial role,” the department said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Prior to the 1994 elections, labour and trade groups frequently used Worker’s Day as a rallying symbol against segregation and oppression of the apartheid regime, organising demonstrations and fostering widespread resistance. This day serves as a testament to their resilience and determination,” the department said.

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