SAFTU is encouraged that more black working class are joining a new wave of mass protests against the current status quo are spreading like wild fire across the length and breath of our country. SAFTU however warns against the opportunistic hijacking of the genuine grievances of the poor for narrow elections consideration.
There can be no dispute that these protest happen on the eve of a hotly contested elections where all political parties are desperate to gain more votes in a stampede to ascend into parliament. This has nothing whatsoever to respond to the crisis and challenges facing our people in particular the working class
It is for this reasons that during our working class summit held last year on the 21 -22 July 2018 in Soweto we made a call on the working class to unite and defeat the divisions based on who has a job and who has no job, who is precarious forms of jobs and who is a more secured employment. Unity must build an independent mass working class movement that will be built democratically bottom up to defeat capitalism that has pauperised the working class across the continent.
Political opportunism should not take away the grievances of our people as they are genuine and legitimate. After 25 years, not enough has been done to address the degrading poverty, unemployment, inequalities and corruption, which these demonstrations speak to directly.
We have seen these demonstrations moving from Alexandra township to:-
- the capital city of the country, Tshwane in particular in Mamelodi, Soshanguve, Mabopane, Hammanskraal and Pretoria west),
- Johannesburg Orange Grove (not far from Mandela’s and Gandhi’s old houses), following similar service delivery protests the last few days
- The west rand in Bekkersdal and
- Sedibeng in the Vaal area in Vereeniging (where two were killed yesterday), not to mention the Johannesburg CBD when students trashed many shops,
- The hotspots on the East Rand.
- The Eastern Cape in Umtata and
- Western Cape in Khayelitsha and Somerset to make but the few
We call on the working class to keep these demonstrations militant but peaceful. Looting of shops and destruction of infrastructure should not be tolerated as it only serves as the weapon to delegitimize these genuine grievances. SAFTU reiterate the call to workers and members of their communities to reject a status quo of neglect and the marginalisation of the poor. SAFTU calls on all working class communities to intensify the demonstrations against the neoliberalism, austerity measures, which has resulted in worsening of the crisis they inherited from the apartheid era.