Wednesday, May 02, 2018

COSATU Takes to the Streets to Demand Jobs and An End to State Capture
By Adam Yates
1 May 2018

In honour of May Day, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) held a march in Cape Town to demand accountability from those in power on a variety of issues. The march focused on a safer and more reliable public transportation system, accepting a minimum wage, creating jobs, and serving justice to those responsible for State Capture.

In the hours leading up to the official start of the Cosatu May Day March, protesters gathered to sing songs, dance, and celebrate the rights of workers on International Workers’ Day. Following a few brief kick-off speeches, the march began.

The energetic songs of the march echoed down the Cape Town streets bringing nearby residents to their windows to observe the protesters traverse the city.

Outside the headquarters of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), Cosatu representatives read a memorandum that demanded safer public transportation, reliable transportation services, and the reinstatement of the bus systems. Cosatu representatives promised that if the demands weren’t enacted, Cosatu would take over PRASA’s headquarters from the inside and force accountability. A PRASA representative signed the memorandum, promised to pass it on to his superiors, and then the march proceeded to Parliament.

After a brief walk, the protesters made their final stop of the official march at Parliament.

Outside Parliament, Cosatu speakers presented a second memorandum that called on the ANC to stay true to its promises and rid the government of corruption. The memorandum also sought proper punishment for those responsible for State Capture, and asked for better worker rights as well as an approved national minimum wage.

An ANC representative signed the memorandum and gave a passionate speech to the crowd of “comrades” promising live up to Cosatu’s demands.

Following the rally at Parliament, the march then returned to the Castle of Good Hope, where a festival celebration was set up for the enjoyment of the protesters. Inflatable slides were available for the children of the marchers, food concessions were sold, artists played live music, and a series of speakers from Cosatu, the ANC and other partner organizations gave closing speeches to the crowd. DM

"No idea is above scrutiny and no people are beneath dignity."

~ Maajid Nawaz

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