Here’s what you need to know about the Cosatu national strike

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) are readying for a national strike on Wednesday to protest against state capture, corruption and retrenchments. They’re also calling for an end to outsourcing, the exploitation of workers and e-tolls.

At a media briefing held on Tuesday, SACP deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila called for all workers to join the strike. He also called on MECs and members of parliament to excuse themselves from work and support the strike.

“We have been given that instruction from the SACP headquarters to all our members, even those in provinces,” he said.

Earlier this month, Cosatu said the strike action was prompted by revelations from the Public Protector that private interests have captured the South African state. “There is a network of the predatory elite that is engaged in looting of state resources and corrupt activities,” it said at the time.

Mapaila said Zuma was an “elite predator” and that the same could be said about elites close to him, like the Guptas.

Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali, reading from a prepared statement, said “There is no Messiah who will come and rescue us from state capture and cancer of corruption, but it is our collective effort that will put a stop to it.”

He said South Africans cannot fight corruption and state capture if “we do not acknowledge that the South African capitalists system is a deeply corrupted system”.

Cosatu has warned employers against intimidating workers who participate in the legally protected strike.

Thirteen cities will participate in the planned strike – that’s one strike in each province except for the Eastern Cape, where there will be four.

The march in Johannesburg will start at 10am outside Cosatu House in Braamfontein. Protesters in Gauteng will hand over a memorandum to the department of labour at the premier’s office. They will also visit the City of Joburg head office, the Chamber of Mines and banks in the area.

Featured image via Flickr