Cosatu plans strike next week against load shedding, rising prices

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  • Cosatu plans a national strike against the cost of living, fuel price hikes, and load shedding for next week Wednesday.
  • The South African Federation of Trade Unions is planning a national shutdown on the same day.
  • Cosatu also attempted a national shutdown last year. 
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Cosatu will hold a national strike on 24 August against the rising cost of living, fuel costs, and load shedding, adding to labour formations planning demonstrations on that day.

READ | Cosatu vows to push more businesses to reverse vaccine mandates, dismissals

"The national strike is in response to ongoing load shedding, fuel price hikes, and escalating food prices," said a notice from Cosatu.

In October last year, Cosatu held a national strike over similar concerns, but the protest had little discernible impact. The federation also held a march in Cape Town protesting public transport costs earlier this month.

On Thursday, Cosatu will update the media on details and arrangements regarding the national strike. 

The ANC-aligned labour federation will hold a national strike on the same day as the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), which the latter resolved to do at its Working Class Summit earlier this month.

At the time, Saftu secretary-general, Zwelinzima Vavi, said that while the federation should remain politically independent, it was prepared to work with other working-class formations to mobilise in the interest of workers.

Vavi used to be the secretary-general of Cosatu until he was expelled from the federation in 2015. He and the unions loyal to him left to eventually form Saftu in 2017.

Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla told Fin24 that the similar dates of the Cosatu and Saftu demonstration were a "coincidence". However, he said the two federations are meeting on Wednesday to talk about "working together" in coordinating their respective demonstrations.

However Saftu spokesperson Trevor Shaku told Fin24 that the timing of each federation's shutdown was not a coincidence and that Cosatu's central executive committee accepted Saftu's invitation to mobilise.

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