SAFTU: This Government Only Listens to Protests

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Members of Parliament are too detached from the country’s problems. The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) will be holding a picket outside Parliament on Wednesday to raise this issue, amongst others. The union was meant to join forces with Cosatu on October 7 as part of a national day of action, but SAFTU General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says that they disagreed on how to protest. Cosatu will embark on motorcades and stay-aways, while SAFTU will hold pickets outside Parliament, the Union Buildings, and several farms. Vavi has lamented that the South African government does not listen when people bring petitions to make changes; he notes that even elections have not worked to change policy. “Only when the government fears losing elections, do they normally change. But…I don’t think they care anymore. They are so obsessed with the short-term, and the benefits to some individuals. Look at how they have stolen PPE money.” This form of corruption is just one of the reasons for Wednesday’s protest. The other concerns include Gender-Based Violence, and government taking an about-turn on the Public Sector Wage Bill. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced that the bill would be cut by R 160 billion over the next three years. [Picture: Ashraf Hendricks]

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