Strike plans take shape

2012-03-06 15:26

Trade union federation Cosatu says it’s “all systems go” for tomorrow’s nationwide general strike.

The strike – which gathers the issues of labour brokers, “the casualisation of labour”, restrictions on protest action and the controversial Gauteng e-tolling project under one banner – has received “overwhelming support”, Cosatu says.

Thirty-two marches are scheduled to take place around the country, with the largest turn-out predicted in Johannesburg.

Marches are planned in, among others, Cape Town, George, Worcester, East London, Mthatha, Nelspruit, Polokwane, Klerksdorp, Durban, Kimberley and Bloemfontein.

In the Eastern Cape, Cosatu officials are calling for a complete stay away.

Provincial secretary Mandla Rayi said up to 20 000 workers were expected to take part in marches at six venues across the province.

Rayi said the federation hoped workers everywhere would heed their call and stay away from work.

Both East London and Port Elizabeth are expected to be the province’s hotspots, where the majority of the expected 20 000 marchers will gather.

Police in the province will be on high alert and issued a stern warning to the unions not to break the law in the course of their strike.

“We will act against any lawlessness because we don’t want people who are not part of this being affected,” said provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Marinda Mills.

Meanwhile, Cosatu’s KwaZulu-Natal secretary Zet Luzipho told City Press today the federation’s affiliates in KwaZulu-Natal had decided to join the mass action.

“Our view is that the e-tolling is not a Gauteng (issue). This is a national issue that impacts on everybody, not just people in Gauteng. Remember, there have been plans to introduce those kinds of tolls here and we resisted allowing government to build these structures. The issue of labour brokers affects us all,’’ Luzipho said.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said security forces were on alert for all three marches in the province and would secure the routes and government offices at which memoranda were to be delivered.

He said additional police officers were on standby but that no specific threats or problem areas had been identified for the day.

» Follow our live coverage of the strike here and on Twitter: @City_Press

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