Western Cape Premier says COSATU strike is 'misguided'
Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, has lamented COSATU's planned strike for Thursday, describing it as misguided.
COSATU in the Western Cape, alongside its affiliates, is set to march to the City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government, and Parliament on Thursday regarding violent crimes in the province as well as the exorbitant fuel prices.
Winde says the strike is not the solution.
“It is safe to say all law-abiding Western Cape residents, including the government, are fed up with high crime rates and are tired of living in fear, but staging a protest and strike to draw attention to this issue is not the way to go,” lamented the Premier.
“This demonstration comes at a time when we need to buckle down to jumpstart the economy and create jobs after the Covid-19 State of Disaster. This action, however, is counter-productive as it will likely prevent hard-working citizens from getting to work on the day and will most certainly scupper the earnings of those taking part.”
The Premier said he invited Cosatu to meet with him to discuss a way forward on taking the unions demands to National Government.
“[We need to take] the grievances of the labour federation, as well as the millions of Western Cape citizens, to the doorstep of the National Government, specifically the President and Police Ministry, which sits in Pretoria, not the Western Cape.”
“We should rather seek to engage the President and Police Minister Bheki Cele together, to constructively raise our concerns and put solutions on the table.”
Speaking to Bush Radio on Tuesday, COSATU's secretary-general, Malvern de Bruyn, says the union has not received any communication from the Premier's office.
“It is sad that he (Premier Alan Winde) said we must meet them to discuss the issues, but we have been trying for the last 2 years to arrange a meeting with the Premier. I have sent numerous letters to the office to the Premier. Now you want to be the hypocrite and tell the media that COSATU can discuss the matter. The door was always open and is still open. Please send a formal communication and we will respond as COSATU and give a date to meet. We want partnership in this province. They must stop seeing COSATU as an enemy. We can jointly deal with issues affecting the working class.”
De Bruyn says taxi associations like CATA & CODETA will engage with the union on Wednesday regarding Thursday’s strike. De Bruyn says until then, he cannot respond whether public transport will be operating.
Premier Alan Winde has called on COSATU to join his office in finding solution.
“The WCG is going all-out to push for the devolution of the police service,” stressed the Premier, adding, “we have the political will and constitutional basis on our side to do this. I am sure Cosatu shares our goal of seeking real solutions to crime and should then join us in this call.”
Members are set to march to the three spheres of government buildings on Thursday, whereby they will hand over a memorandum in which they have 14 days to respond.
Done By: Mitchum George