Look after farmworkers, miners - Zuma

2013-05-01 21:16
President Jacob Zuma. (GCIS, Sapa, file)

President Jacob Zuma. (GCIS, Sapa, file)

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Kimberley - Organised labour must pay more attention to the living conditions of South African miners and farmworkers, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.

"We need to fight that part of the struggle together," he said at a Workers Day rally in the Galeshewe Stadium in Kimberley.

The rally was hosted by the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu).

Zuma said South Africa should bear in mind that mining and agriculture were the back bone of the country's economy.

He said the lives of miners lost at Marikana was a tragedy and plans to improve the conditions of workers should be accelerated.

"We have to draw lessons from Marikana, a tragedy and the untold pain it caused must not re-occur again in South Africa."

Marikana made headlines when labour turbulence at Lonmin's platinum mine culminated in a violent clash between police and striking miners on August 16 last year.

A total of 34 mineworkers were shot dead on the day and 78 were wounded. Another ten people were killed in the preceding week.

Unity is paramount

Zuma said workers should work for unity in Cosatu.

He said workers must prevent efforts to establish a "better vehicle" than the National Union of Mineworkers, Cosatu and the ANC, and guard against division in their ranks.

"Unity in Cosatu is paramount, we need a united Cosatu to promote the rights of workers."

Zuma urged the labour movement to work seriously to unite the federation and to resolve any differences.

He said unity amongst workers was their best weapon and they were also the corner stone of the tripartite alliance’s democratic forces.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  num  |  jacob zuma  |  kimberley  |  labour

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