Ramaphosa thanks Cosatu for national minimum wage, vows to fight for effective implementation

2019-05-01 16:16
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Blade Nzimande at the May Day rally in KZN. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Blade Nzimande at the May Day rally in KZN. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has thanked the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) for its hand in the formulation of a national minimum wage.

"I applaud you for the victory you achieved in raising this issue of national minimum wage with the ANC. This is your victory. It was you who said there should be a national minimum wage."

He added: "You were doing this for many workers not only members of unions, but you felt duty bound this will benefit all workers. Cosatu is the voice of our working people in our country."

Ramaphosa was speaking at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Clermont, Durban, where Cosatu hosted its national Workers' Day rally.

He said he wanted the violations of workers' rights to stop.

"The national minimum wage must be implemented without fail so workers move from poverty wages to decent wages as we move toward a living wage."

Ramaphosa said he would do everything to ensure the minimum wage was implemented effectively.

"We will also advance the struggle to reduce wage inequality to ensure every worker enjoys a decent living."

Speaking on land, he said that it would be returned to the people of SA "without fail".

"The land of our forefathers and mothers will return to our people. We will create agricultural production to employ more and more in our country."

He said they also wanted to improve train transportation.

"We want you to go to work with ease. I experienced the challenge of transport recently," said the president, in reference to his experience in March when the train he was on in Pretoria was delayed by three hours.

Ramaphosa said Eskom played an important role in generating growth but had been plundered.

"Certain people conspired to steal money from Eskom. It must never get back to the rot that was in there. We are cleaning up in there. Those accountable will have to face the music. We are now in repair mode."

He said they would re-position Eskom to ensure solutions would take the parastatal forward.

"Those found to be accountable must be accountable before the law. Corruption is not just against the state, but also from the people of our country."

Raised to conquer enemies

Cosatu President Zingiswa Losi said the trade federation was "born and raised to conquer class enemies".

"We are still fighting in the boardroom and on the street with militancy and vigour. We helped defeat the apartheid regime."

She said that they feared nothing.

"We must remind ourselves that we are coming from workers. We have survived much, including apartheid bombings."

Losi said that the federation would always move forward in the face of all challenges. She affirmed her support for the ANC come May 8.

"Any trade union that forms to dismantle Cosatu will not succeed. Come this election, it is the ANC that you must vote for."

Alliance must be reconfigured

SA Communist Party General-Secretary Blade Nzimande, who also attended the event, said the country was heading into its second phase of the democratic revolution.

He said that while much work had been done in the country, there was a lot more that government had to attend to.

Nzimande also commended Ramaphosa for directing investment into SA.

"I support your drive to have more foreign and domestic investment into our economy. You have done a lot to bring new change."

He said that workers would not allow state institutions to be stolen.

"We want a developmental state. We want to live in a place where the working class benefits from the economy."

He said the SACP had a clear directive for the ANC.

"We are not giving ANC a blank cheque. The working class knows exactly what we want. We want the alliance itself as SACP want a reconfigured alliance that will work collectively to drive the interest of the majority of our people."

Nzimande also demanded public servants have decent housing subsidy.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  elections 2019
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