Don't march, ANC asks DA

2012-05-14 18:35
Johannesburg - The ANC has urged the opposition Democratic Alliance not to march to Cosatu's headquarters on Tuesday, saying this will "heighten unnecessary tension".

"If the DA has any view regarding the issues of labour brokers and youth wage subsidy, our contention is that they must engage with Cosatu rather than being confrontational and provocative," ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement on Monday.

"The only way, in our view, that any of the parties can influence one another and even influence government around these matters is through meaningful engagement."

The DA plans to march over job losses, spokesperson Kelly Miller said earlier.

"The march is to protest against the trade [union] federation's continued opposition to the youth wage subsidy, a policy that could create an estimated 423 000 jobs for young, unemployed South Africans," she said.

'Boggles the mind'

Mthembu said the decision to march was "ill-informed and opportunistic".

"We would like to remind the Democratic Alliance that Cosatu is not a public service institution, but... a private workers' federation.

"It therefore boggles the mind why the DA would march to a private institution that has no legal authority with regard to the implementation of government policy and policy direction."

Miller said Cosatu had become the key stumbling block to job creation.

DA leader Helen Zille, DA youth leader Makashule Gana, the party's parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko and its national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane would lead the march.

It is scheduled to start on Beyers Naude Square at 10:45.

Marchers would proceed along President, Rissik, Jeppe, Sauer, Melle, Stiemens, and Simmonds streets.

Defend Cosatu


The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has called on all workers to help it defend Cosatu against the DA.

"We welcome this class provocation and we will grab this opportunity to be frontal against white monopoly," it said in a joint statement on Sunday.

"We call on the workers and the youth to occupy the streets outside Cosatu House on Tuesday. We cannot allow the DA to mock us.... They now want to spit on the shield of the black and African working class."

It said the DA was a "representative of white monopoly capital and apartheid apologists".

On Tuesday, Numsa would be joined by the Progressive Youth Alliance, the African National Congress Youth League, the SA Students' Congress and the Young Communist League of SA.

Warfare

"This DA march marks the beginnings of an open class warfare that will characterise the South African landscape," it said.

"We also view this open class warfare as a reflection of the deepening class antagonisms in our society."

DA spokesperson Pierre-Charl du Preez said the party had noted the statement by the affiliate unions regarding the march.

"We have also noted their implicit threats of violence, their declaration of open political warfare, and their promise to mobilise their members to meet us at Cosatu House."

He said the statements were "blustering threats" and attempts to draw attention away from their "indefensible opposition to the youth wage subsidy and their own hypocrisy".

"We are not distracted or intimidated by their provocations. If anything, it only strengthens our resolve to stand up for the right of all South Africans to access the economy, find work, and build a better life."

He said none of the affiliates had applied for permission to gather or march.
- SAPA
Read more on:    cosatu  |  da  |  anc  |  numsa  |  politics  |  labour
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