Cosatu supporters protesting against the e-tolling system and labour brokers started marching from Beyers Naude Square in Johannesburg around 10am on Wednesday.
Marshals were controlling the crowd, which had almost filled the square, while more protesters joined the throngs by the busload and on foot.
Protesters were converging on the square from all directions.
Aggie Semenya, who works for Joburg Water, said electronic tolling would eat into her already tight finances.
“I am striking to stop toll roads because I spend a lot already on transport and this is going to get worse. I travel from Soweto to Sandton every day.” Read more…
Mail and Guardian
Insisting the march against labour brokerages and e-tolling was not an anti-ruling party demonstration, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema has told thousands of protesters that he was there with them to remind the government to focus on the needs of workers — and to implement the resolutions of Polokwane.
At the ANC’s elective conference in Polokwane in 2009, Cosatu backed Jacob Zuma in his successful bid to replace former president Thabo Mbeki as the ruling party’s leader, but has since become frustrated with the failure of Zuma’s government to implement the ANC’s Polokwane resolutions, which called for radical policy changes.
“This is not an anti-ANC march. It can never be. You are the ANC as am I. We will die the ANC!” Malema told protesters outside the offices of the Gauteng labour department in Braamfontein.
‘The ANC must listen to the masses’ “But today Comrade [Zwelinzima] Vavi is my leader. By marching you are telling the government to focus on your needs and resolutions of Polokwane,” Malema said. “The ANC must listen to the masses. You are the ones who voted them in … Viva ANC viva! Viva SACP viva! Viva Cosatu viva!” Read more…
Cosatu supporters refused to be addressed by a Limpopo ANC representative in Polokwane today, calling him a friend of youth league leader Julius Malema.
They said they would not be spoken to by “the ANC of [premier Cassel] Mathale, and Malema, who are thieves”.
This happened as protesters were gathering in the city to march in support of Cosatu’s protest against e-tolling and labour brokers.
Most people in the crowd that had gathered in support of Cosatu’s protest wore ANC badges and emblems.
SA Students Congress representative Themba Masondo, who was allowed to speak to the marchers, said students would always back workers.
“We say no to modern slavery because if you earn R100, labour brokers give you R30 and they get R70. Students will always be with workers, and please support us in our campaign for free education. We believe that through education we can earn decent salaries in future when we will be workers,” he said.
The crowd was expected to deliver a memorandum to the offices of Absa and Nedbank later on Wednesday. Read more…