SA the most unequal place on earth - Vavi

2015-04-30 16:43
(File: Matthew le Cordeur)

(File: Matthew le Cordeur)

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Durban - Expelled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Thursday warned that unless issues of accountability and corruption are addressed, "South Africans would be attempting to cross the Limpopo to Zimbabwe in search of a better life".

Vavi, who was addressing a National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) press conference ahead of May Day celebrations on Friday, said: “As a result, today South Africa is the most unequal place on earth."

He said that in the 21 years since the advent of democracy, the country had failed to implement any of the goals of the Freedom Charter.

He said that lack of accountability, together with corruption, would see the country heading towards becoming a failed state and that unless something was done, “South Africans would be attempting to cross the Limpopo to Zimbabwe in search of a better life”.

He said workers were about to celebrate May Day under the most “strenuous and difficult conditions” that were not of their choosing.

“The Congress of South African Trade Unions is in a state of paralysis and permanent turmoil.”

He described Cosatu as having been reduced to a “toothless and sweetheart Federation”.

He said there was a campaign by a “dominant and powerful faction” that used smear campaigns, intimidation, and dirty money to sideline those who were perceived as a threat to those in power.

Vavi declined to answer questions on whether he regretted previously supporting President Jacob Zuma. He also declined to comment on the current state of his relations with the president.

'Kleptocratic order'

For the first time in 25 years workers were so divided that they were holding separate May Day rallies, he said, describing it as an indictment on the ruling ANC government that the workers and the youth had splintered.

“How did it happen under their watch that the youth movement has been fractured?

“We are marching slowly with our eyes wide open to a kleptocratic order with no accountability.”

Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim said the march in Durban would go ahead and members of nine unions would take part. He urged people from all unions to participate.

The union had initially been granted permission to march in Durban, but this permission was later withdrawn.

Numsa had approached the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban in a bid to force the eThekwini Metro Municipality to allow the march.

The court ruled on Thursday that the march could go ahead.

Cosatu, from which Numsa has been expelled, is holding a rival May Day rally at Durban’s Curries Fountain.

Zuma is expected to address the Curries Fountain rally.

Vavi said that workers had a right to hold the march and claimed the withdrawal of permission by the municipality showed it had been manipulated.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  numsa  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  durban  |  politics

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