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Cosatu strike: SADTU latest union to join next week's nationwide strike

Sep 21, 2017
Cosatu strike: SADTU latest union to join next week's nationwide strike

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) on Wednesday announced that it will join the nationwide strike called on by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) next week.

COSATU on Tuesday said that it was ready for the national strike over job losses, State Capture and corruption on 27 September.

"This protected strike was prompted by the revelations by the Public Protector that the country has been captured and there is a network of the predatory elite that is engaged in looting state resources and corrupt activities," SADTU said in a statement.

"The first casualties of state capture and corruption are workers, who stand to lose jobs and their hard-earned pensions looted. We can no longer tolerate this deafening silence from President Jacob Zuma to establish a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into state capture as per the Public Protector’s recommendation.

"We demand that President Zuma establish the Commission as a matter of urgency and for the state to deal with the predatory elite and cancel all commercial dealings with the Gupta family."

It said that over and above these demands, as a union in the education sector, SADTU shall use the strike to press for the following demands:

  • The payment of 0,5% pay progression to all education personnel in the basic and post schooling sectors to ensure parity in the public service;
  • Safety in all learning institutions;
  • Payment of rural and other incentives;
  • Formalisation of conditions of employment of Grade R practitioners;
  • Implementation of Free Higher education for the poor, focusing on the missing middle (teachers, nurses and the police);
  • Prohibition of profit making in education by edu-prenuers;
  • Education tax directed at business to pay for higher education;
  • Respect collective bargaining by the Department of Higher Education and Training;
  • Address all conditions of service of all Community Education and Training Colleges (CET) educators.

"SADTU members shall in their numbers, alongside their counterparts in the Federation, paint all the cities and towns red when we march on the 27th of September."

In a statement, COSATU said that decision to strike was submitted to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) on the 17th of July.

"What prompted this action were the revelations by the Public Protector that the current South African Administration has been captured and that there is a network of the predatory elite that is engaged in looting of state resources and corrupt activities," described COSATU National Spokespeson, Sizwe Pamla.

"In order to promote and defend the interests of workers, the working class and the poor, this perilous situation must be addressed forthwith by mobilising against this predatory elite and pushing for processes that will ultimately dismantle their network."

Pamla said that COSATU will be making a series of demands during this upcoming strike and central to that will be implementation of the Public Protector's recommendation regarding a Judicial Commission of Inquiry.

"We shall be using the strike to push the President of the Republic of South Africa Cde Jacob Zuma to establish the Judicial Commission of Inquiry.

"The federation shall be demanding that the state and all its institutions must refuse to deal with the predatory elite and in particular cancel all commercial dealings with the Gupta family," he added.

"There must be a process to identify all those involved in state capture and they also need to be similarly blacklisted. The Asset Forfeiture Unit must seize the assets of the Guptas if the probe proves that they were not legitimately secured.

"The state must terminate all the so-called 'commercial relations' with the predatory elite's network and the monies spent in these deals must be recovered."

Pamla also said that COSATU wants all contracts, which have been entered into with the Guptas, including mining licences, tenders, subsidies or other exercise of public power such as citizenships should be urgently reviewed by the Auditor General for irregularities, in order to develop a financial claim for monies corruptly secured.

"The monies to be recovered must be re-directed to implement projects addressing the plight of workers, the working class and the poor.

"We also demand an investigation of the recent spate of Gupta related emails and all those implicated in them have to be suspended," he added.

"Government Ministers, who are implicated in alleged state capture activities must be urgently investigated and if no proper public explanation for their actions is acceptable they must be charged."

The nationwide strike has also received support from the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA.