Media statement by the Working-Class Summit Steering Committee, 16 July 2018

The Working Class Summit, which is to be held on 21- 22 July 2018 at the University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus, aims to unite civil society formations, employed and unemployed workers, those in the informal sector and in more secure work, the students and the landless, the homeless and those fighting against the scourge of violence against women and children, into a struggle for a truly free, corruption-free, democratic and equal South African society.

It is expected that over 30 trade unions and over 75 civil society organizations will attend.

The overarching objective of the WCS is to overcome the fragmentation of struggles, which has characterised the movements of the working class and poor in the democratic era. The WCS will aim to co-ordinate these struggles at local, regional and national levels.

Central to this objective is to unite workplace and community struggles –  rural and urban, unemployed and employed, informal and formal, women and men, young and old, environmental groups with the unemployed, homeless with the rural poor. The issues to be discussed will include:


1.Unemployment, the economy, deindustrialisation, the state of work and poverty

2. Trade union rights and the state of the organised working class and building workers’ unity

3. Free decolonised, quality public education, and ending the two-tier education system

3. Taking forward the demand for a free National Health Service and the end of the two-tier health regime

4. Corruption’ fraud and other economic crimes in the private and public sector

5. Decent and affordable housing near places of work, an end to apartheid spatial development and improved service delivery

6. Struggle for an egalitarian society in the world’s most unequal society

 7. Climate change, pollution and sustainable environment

 8. Mining-affected communities

 9. Informal economy, casualised employment and informal traders

 10. International solidarity and migrant justice

 11. The working class and the 2019 elections

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