Vavi's Saftu threatens to make SA ungovernable

Cape Town - The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has threatened to make the country "ungovernable" if government continues with its plans of a R3 500 minimum wage.

Saftu demands what it calls a living wage and, furthermore, rejects proposed Labour bills and the 1% VAT increase to 15% which came into effect on 1 April.

"We will put the economy of this country down for them to listen. This economy is built on our own sweat and blood," the federation's deputy chairperson for the Western Cape Nyaniso Siyana said during a protest march to Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday.

It said the aim of the march was to make known the plight of the working class and poor South Africans.

Saftu wants a “positive response” from Parliament before April 25. Otherwise it threatens to return to Parliament to take further action. The federation brought along a memorandum to hand over to a representative of Parliament.

Saftu claims that, if it was the business sector organising a protest, the Speaker of Parliament would have paid more attention.

Saftu is SA's second largest union federation after Cosatu, representing 30 unions, including the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa. It was launched in April 2017 and according to Saftu now represents over 800 000 workers.

Saftu recently made submissions to Parliament’s committee on labour on the national minimum wage and amendments to labour laws. The union believes the labour bills “represent an assault on the constitutional(ly) guaranteed right to strike and to collectively bargain”.


* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER