Decent jobs will solve protests: Cosatu

By Drum Digital
16 February 2014

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) says a transformed economy and decent, sustainable jobs are the solution to strikes and protests taking place throughout the country.

Cosatu spokesperson, Patrick Craven says, "The long-term solution to strikes and protests lies not just in regulations and police action, but through the transformation of our economy. What we need is the creation of thousands of decent, sustainable jobs, decent wages and a far more equitable distribution of the country's wealth."

The trade union federation was referring to President Jacob Zuma's State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday night.

Zuma criticised the loss of lives during strikes and protests which were taking place throughout the country. He also touched on regulations to prevent arbitrary strikes and retrenchments.

"We note however his off-the-cuff announcement of' regulations to prevent arbitrary strikes and retrenchments' and urge him to clarify what he means and to reassure us that any such regulations will be fully discussed by roleplayers," added Craven.

He says very few of the proposals Zuma mentioned during his address at Parliament were new, which was concerning.

He described the speech as a repetition of many pledges already made in previous SONAs and that there was not enough focus on the way forward.

Craven says Cosatu has consistently backed the policies Zuma  mentioned, including the Industrial Policy Action Plan, the Infrastructure Development Programme and parts of the New Growth Path.

Cosatu is still calling for the reshaping of the economic elements of the NDP, "as agreed at the 2013 Alliance Summit, in line with the resolution for radical economic transformation.

Craven says the country's task now is to achieve the same advances on the economic front as it had on the political front.

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