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News > South Africa

South African Workers Protest Against Rising Cost of Living

  • South African workers protesting, Aug. 24, 2022.

    South African workers protesting, Aug. 24, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @_cosatu

Published 24 August 2022

"We demand the government changes the structure of the economy which is widening the gap between the rich and the poor," SAFTU Secretary Vavi said.

On Wednesday, with calls from the country's two leading union groupings, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU), workers marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where President Cyril Ramphosa's offices are located.


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"We want the government to address corruption and neo-liberation policies. We are fighting capitalism and demand that the government changes the structure of the economy which is widening the gap between the rich and the poor. We are facing high food and oil prices," SAFTU Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said.

While some businesses opened in Pretoria and Johannesburg, other shops owned by foreigners remained closed due to fears of looting.The taxi industry ignored the call for a national shutdown and continued ferrying passengers.

The Ramphosa administration should find the right formula urgently to stimulate the economy and address the challenges facing the South African society, Vavi said, adding that the government should address underfunded health and education, and improve service delivery and work to ensure that the police are well-equipped to combat crime.

The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) anounced that it will implement "no work no pay" on the government employees who took part in the shutdown.

"The principle of no work no pay will apply for absence for a full day as well as part of a working day. In addition, leave will be strictly managed, and no leave will be granted unless under extreme and compelling situations," DPSA warned.

South Africa is facing internal and external challenges, citing erratic electricity supply, policy uncertainty, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Global economic factors have resulted in the increase in fuel and food prices exacerbated by the disruption in international supply chains.

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