COSATU threatens mass shutdown of KZN freeways and CBDs
Durban - Yet another disruption of traffic flow on the N2 and N3 freeways in KZN is on the cards after the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in the province said it will shut down major roads across the province.
The shutdown planned for Wednesday, October 7, will be part of a strike organised by the labour federation across the country in protest against rising corruption in several spheres.
As part of the KZN protest, Edwin Mkhize, the provincial secretary of COSATU in the province said they would disrupt traffic on these major roads and further disrupt operations in all town centres.
He made this undertaking on Tuesday while addressing the media in Durban following an ordinary provincial executive committee meeting of the federation held virtually last week.
“Our provincial plan of action will culminate in the form of protest actions i.e. pickets, marches, stay-aways, motorcades etc. In government departments, municipalities, institutions and various companies across the province.
“Members of the public must please note that the following highways will be affected, N3, N2 and all CBDs (central business districts) in the province, and therefore are urged to make prior arrangements, hence COSATU will not take any responsibility on any inconvenience caused due to this genuine demonstration, hence this well in-advance notice,” Mkhize said.
On Friday last week, there were attempts by the disgruntled MK (Mkhonto Wesizwe) military veterans to disrupt traffic and business operations in the Durban CBD.
Regarding the upcoming national strike which is expected to be massive considering COSATU’s reach, Mkhize said their meeting resolved that the strike should not be narrow and focus only on corruption. According to him, the strike should also zoom in on several socio-economic challenges confronting the populace.
“Hence the following issues among many are being elevated: the campaign against retrenchments, and for the creation of more jobs, respect for the collective agreements.
“Fight against Gender-Based-Violence and child abuse, health and safety of workers in the workplace and campaign for decent and affordable public transport,” he said.
Turning to Covid-19 related corruption, Mkhize said it was painful to note that the majority of South Africans would be taxed to death for the country to repay the loans it took from lenders like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), yet they did not benefit from the government’s borrowing spree.
“Post Covid-19, the poor people will have to bear the brunt of paying back the billions of rands that were borrowed from the International Monetary Fund, while on the other (hand) the government refuses to fully account on the use of this money, their beneficiaries and conditions thereof.
“The provincial executive committee is of the view that COSATU in the province must challenge the government to reveal all companies and government departments that have benefited (from Covid-19 funding), and what conditions and mandate were attached to them accessing this fund.”