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All systems go for May Day rally in Port Elizabeth

By Afikile Lugunya - May 1, 2018
All systems go for May Day rally in Port Elizabeth

It's all systems go for the Congress of South African Trade Unions' (COSATU) National May Day rally which, is being held in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro this year at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium in KwaZakele, Port Elizabeth.

The rally will be addressed by the President of COSATU, S'dumo Dlamini; President of the African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa; General Secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP), Blade Nzimande, and South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) President, Richard Mdakane.

COSATU is celebrating the 2018 May Day under the theme: “Building Unity and Cohesion of COSATU to advance the National Democratic Revolution. Attached is a list of other COSATU May Day celebrations all across the country."

Apparently Nelson Mandela Bay was chosen for this year's celebrations as an “attempt to liberate people from Trollip and the DA”.

Although Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, and the Democratic Alliance, might not pitch, COSATU said that they hope to deliver the message that “service delivery has collapsed ever since Trollip took over”.

Besides increasing electricity and water tariffs, Sizwe Pamla, COSATU National Spokesperson, alleged that the Metro was relying too much on outsourcing - especially to companies that are based outside the Metro.

“This is the highest charging on municipality rates; leading in electricity cuts and generate income on reconnecting fees. The outsourcing is very high, business is being given to outsiders, and costs of doing business are intolerable,” he described.

There have been several strikes in the Bay where workers demanded a decrease of municipal rates.

Pamla said “It is for this reason that workers and the communities want to restore NMM under the Alliance control; restore the sound relationship between the Municipality workers and management; re-building the NMM as an economy hub, and make service delivery accessible and affordable.

“May Day gives workers an opportunity to reflect on the struggles, sacrifices and victories of the workers since 1886, when workers stood up and demanded eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. The struggle for a living wage and for better working conditions continues.”

The meeting point in the Nelson Mandela Bay will be Njoli Square, KwaZakhele at 08:00 which will progress to KwaZakhele Police Station to hand over the memorandum of demands to NMB representative and Department of Labour at 10:00 the marches will start at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium where the keynote address will take place.