The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) hosted 25 rallies that took place yesterday (1 May 2013) in celebration of Workers Day, with the central rally hosted in Kimberly at the Galeshewe Stadium. The confirmed rallies took place in reminiscence of all the workers who died 10 years ago on their way to a May Day rally in Qwaqwa from Kimberley.
At the event South Africa’s President Zuma, addressed the importance of the miming and agriculture industries by emphasising those sectors as the back bone of South Africa’s economy, and that organised labour MUST focus more attention and efforts to the living circumstances of the country’s miners as well as farmworkers.
After the Marikana heartbreak that made headlines when labour commotion at Lonmin’s platinum mine terminated in a violent feud amongst police and striking miners last year, there seems to be much emphasis on improving workers conditions and to also overcome the struggles the country has faced together. For me personally, it is imperative that disasters like what happened at the Marikana mine do not repeat and that Government and all other necessary power groups strive to find efficient solutions to crisis as such. The saddening figures of 44 mineworkers shot dead in total and 78 injured left the country, and world, in shock and rage.
Zuma disclosed his feelings concerning Cosatu and addressed that unity is vital; in order to support the rights of workers across South Africa we need a cohesive Cosatu. He reached out to the rally members in saying that it is a must-factor for workers to avert their efforts to create more favourable vehicles than the National Union of Mineworkers, Cosatu and the ANC, and guard against division in their ranks.
At the Kimberly rally yesterday, workers were encouraged to stand up for their rights whilst respecting the rights of others. Zuma insisted that the labour movement must work to towards truly uniting the alliance and find solutions for dissimilarities. He further added that unity among workers was their finest weapon and that they are also the corner stone of the tripartite alliance’s democratic services.
Meaningful words by Zuma reflected that in order for South Africa to be entirely successful, we must embrace that political freedom must come with economic freedom. The Freedom Charter, designed by the ANC, was on the basis that the people had to share the wealth in the country.