The Public Service and Commercial Union (PSCU) has accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of abandoning workers since he took over as leader of South Africa. The union’s secretary-general, Tahir Maepa, said the country had witnessed weaknesses within the working class under the current administration.
“The miscarriage of justice for millions of unemployed young voters and a wasted golden opportunity.
“The deceptive, illusory and very violent show of impunity by government and the private sector has been running for far too long and started when the current president of the country abandoned workers in favour of cruel austerity policies underpinned by the same monster called capitalism in its various brutal and exploitative forms,” he said.
In a statement released a day before International Workers Day (May 1), Maepa called for steps to increase the purchasing power of the working class and to eliminate their economic problems. Ramaphosa has consistently been accused by workers of abandoning them and allowing his administration to renege on a three-year wage deal. Last year he was cheered and booed off stage by angry workers at a Cosatu May Day rally in Rustenburg.
“This must be done urgently to ensure justice in income distribution. Our demand and expectation as we commemorate Workers Month is the completion of the mission to create synergy between workers income and employers’ profits.
“This will ensure fair distribution of income and protect workers from inflation pressures. It is time workers be compensated in line with output, not how they can strangle employers through strikes and in return employers must compensate equal to the profits made per year,” said Maepa.
The union added that since the Department of Labour was renamed the Department of Employment and Labour, it has taken four years to reconfigure, at the expense of the unemployed. The union further stated that billions allocated to the department at the end of the financial year on the 31st March 2023 will be carried over to the next financial year.
“Millions of youths are living in poverty and despair due to economic hardships created by part time communists,” he said, demanding explanation on how the Presidential Youth Initiative functioned.
“How many jobs have been created via the Labour Activation Programme (LAP) over the last 3/4 years and how much was spent on the allocated budget ranging from R2.5 to R3.1 billion per annum. What projects are there to sustain the UIF given the R62.5 billion spent on the Covid Pandemic?
“The time has come that workers and their families must mobilise and revolt to save themselves from this man-made suffering and humiliation while this country has the resources to look after its citizens and to provide basic needs as enshrined in the Constitution,” Maepa said.
Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya did not respond to a detailed media inquiry on the issues the union raised.