SACP salutes South African workers
Workers in South Africa staged a general strike May 10 under the leadership of the
Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). Following is a statement issued by
the South African Communist Party (SACP) on the strike.
* * * *
All reports indicate massive and enthusiastic support for the general strike against
job losses and for job creation. The SACP salutes the South African working class,
under the revolutionary leadership of COSATU, for today's actions.
The success of the general strike is a clear and strong message to the bosses that
they must meet the COSATU demands to stop job losses. It is also a strong and clear
message to our African National Congress (ANC) government to take urgent steps to meet
workers' demands for amendment of relevant legislation and reviewing our economic
policies to create new, quality and sustainable jobs. Today's strike was also a
conscious offensive against capitalism itself.
Tens of thousands of striking workers gather in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa
May 10. The continuing bad economic news is pushing President Thabo Mbeki's goal of
bettering the lives of South Africans still recovering from the racist apartheid
regime further out of reach.
To those who think that the workers' struggle against job losses ended today, let them
know not to underestimate the resilience, fighting spirit and anti-capitalist
consciousness of the South African working class.
Millions of South African workers sacrificed more than R1.5 billion in wages today. We
challenge government and the bosses to donate this money to COSATU's Job Creation
Fund. This will be clear indication of their seriousness about job losses and job
Further, we reiterate our calls for the following:
* Convening of sectoral summits in the next three months to discuss how to stop
retrenchments and create jobs in each sector of the economy
* Reviewing our country's economic policies to boost job creation
* The mobilization of domestic private and public capital (state assets and budgetary
resources) for job creation through a state led industrial strategy
* Defend, extend and strengthen the public sector - keep state assets in public hands
In conclusion, we call on COSATU, the ANC and other progressive organizations to
convene People's Forums Against Job Losses between now and July. These forums must be
held in townships, rural areas, informal settlements, the cities and wherever our
people are in order to report back, consult our people and plan the way forward in
transforming our economy in favor of the working class and the poor. In this regard,
the SACP will mobilize its structures across the country to convene these people's
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