Plans for a national shutdown of the economy over state capture and corruption have been put in place with Cosatu last week formally submitting a strike notice to Nedlac.
Cosatu deputy general secretary Solly Phetoe said on Saturday the strike was anticipated to take place at the latest before the end of August. Phetoe said the workers will take to streets with a clear message that President Jacob Zuma “must step down” and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa must take over.
“The strike targets workers in all sectors of the economy including those who are not members of Cosatu,” Phetoe told City Press on the sidelines of a NUM youth rally at Olympia stadium in Rustenburg in North West.
He said Cosatu had the right to call for Zuma to stand aside because it was the same trade union federation that put him into power in 2007 “when other called him a rapist and a criminal”.
Phetoe said a special Cosatu central executive committee would be scheduled soon to decide on the final date. Last week the trade union federation applied for a section 77 notice with Nedlac. The law gives notice of the workers’ intention to embark upon socio-economic strike action in line with the Labour Relations Act.
Phetoe told 300 NUM supporters at the rally that Zuma was “one man who has put the ANC into trouble and that is why as Cosatu we are saying that Zuma must step down”. He said the trade union federation “will not keep quiet and it will fight to save the ANC”.
“We do not want young workers directed by the Guptas who are going to destroy our country because of factionalism,” Phetoe said.
ANC national executive committee member Mathole Motshekga said the party must be rescued from “people who only think of their stomachs”. “These are people satisfied with eating the crumbs from the Gupta table [and] think that is radical economic transformation”.
Motshekga said Cosatu had a right to tell the world that “the only person who could lead the ANC out of the current abyss is Ramaphosa”. “In December we are getting rid of all criminals and corrupt people that are selling the ANC,” he said, referring to the upcoming ANC national elective conference where Zuma was expected to hand over power.
He said the ANC would not support the opposition-sponsored motion of no confidence against Zuma in Parliament because the December conference would achieve the same.