Saftu to march against minimum wage proposal and the Cape Town water crisis

2018-04-10 23:00
People queue for water at Newlands Spring, Cape Town. (Nazeem Davids, file)

People queue for water at Newlands Spring, Cape Town. (Nazeem Davids, file)

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The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) will march to Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday to protest against the proposed national minimum wage and water issues in the province.

The federation has dismissed the proposed R20 an hour or R3 500 a month minimum wage as "entrenchment of the apartheid wage structure".

"Saftu insists that the national minimum wage will do nothing except keep millions of workers trapped in poverty and slave wages," said provincial secretary André Adams during a media briefing in Bellville, Cape Town.

"Whereas the idea of a national minimum wage is a hard-won victory of workers' struggle and will be celebrated by many workers scandalously earning below these figures – the national minimum wage is a legislative attempt to pour cold water on the militant struggles of the immortal mineworkers who were massacred for demanding a R12 500," said Adams.

Saftu will also be marching against the City of Cape Town's "mismanagement of the water crisis".

Various civil society organisations such as the Water Crisis Coalition (WCC) have pledged their support for Saftu and will participate in Thursday's mass march.

Fears of water increases 'at will'

The WCC has publicly rejected the City of Cape Town's proposed budget for its "anti-poor policies".

The annual budget has added a fixed Level 6B water restriction tariff increase of 55% and a fixed charge cover of R56 per month for homeowners with water meters that are 15mm in size.

"It is clear that government does not want to save water, but the intention is to force water management devices onto everyone in an attempt to move towards prepaid meters, which will allow for the increase of the [price of] water at will," said WCC representative Michael Helu.

"If you don't have money in your pocket, you don't get water."

Stop COCT (Stop the City of Cape Town), an organisation that promotes public participation, has revealed that it has accumulated 18 900 comments objecting to the water tariffs, according to a representative.

Marchers are expected to gather at Keizersgracht Street on Thursday at 10:00.

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