- President Cyril Ramaphosa commented on the drama at the May Day rally after he was booed off stage
- Ramaphosa said the government is committed to helping workers and he understands the workers' anger
- He added that the government can not work alone and needs laborers and businesses to grow and transform the economy
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NORTH WEST - President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government is committed to assisting angry workers to ensure their needs after met following the Worker’s Day drama. Ramaphosa was booed off stage during a May Day rally moments before he was to address workers at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
In his weekly newsletter, Ramaphosa said the workers have spoken and government must listen. He said Worker’s Day is meant to celebrate victories and reaffirm labourers’ commitment to improving their working conditions.
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Striking mineworkers from Sibanye-Stillwater were among those in the crowd and have demanded an R1000 salary increase, however, their plight has fallen on deaf ears for the past three months, according to TimesLIVE.
“While the main grievance appeared to be about wage negotiations at nearby mines, the workers' actions demonstrated a broader level of discontent. It reflects a weakening of trust in their union and Federation as well as political leadership, including public institutions,” Ramaphosa said.
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In his statement, the president said the workers were “upholding a tradition of militance” and the government understands their frustrations. He said the government can not work alone and needs labourers and businesses to grow and transform the economy. Ramaphosa said the wage grievances need attention, but all parties involved must work together. The president added that the incident on Worker’s Day revealed that both the working class and the poor people in the country are struggling.
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Workers believe that Ramaphosa did not truly understand the extent of their issues and ridiculed his statement on social media:
“Did you know since you became a president all government employees never received a salary increase, so don't think the issue of mine workers is the only thing that makes ordinary citizens feel you're totally against them. Again, those who keep on advising look like they're misleading you.”
“Your government is running an austerity budget. It has been proven time again that it does not work as an economy cannot be run like a household budget.”
“The best way to listen to people’s grievances is to ACT. This country is falling apart in all directions and most SAns feel like there is no one steering the ship because the leadership of that ship has jumped off and are floating to safety with their lifejackets.”
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“But your government failed to honour the wage deal with Public servants, anything you say it’s just a political speech it’s not taken seriously, when campaigning for ANC position you said something different about Foreigners but now you're calling us vigilantes.”
"'You want your one thousand rands' I’m a fan of Mr president kodwa why speak to them like kids? I would think it’s important to take full advantage of these global coal prices by ramping up production kodwa giving CEOs raises won’t achieve this right?”
Cosatu breaks silence after President Cyril Ramaphosa rushed off stage on workers' day, say it’s a warning
Briefly News earlier reported on Cosatu's comment on the matter. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) believes that workers forcing President Cyril Ramaphosa off the stage during the Worker’s Day rally in the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Phokeng, was unacceptable but also a reflection of their struggles.
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In a statement released by the trade union group on Monday, Cosatu said the “regrettable disruptions” will be addressed during its Central Executive Committee meeting. Ramaphosa did not deliver his speech after striking Sibanye Stillwater’s workers refused to settle down after being asked twice.
The workers who have embarked on a strike for months are displeased with Cosatu and the government’s response to their difficulties, according to News24. Cosatu’s national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said Worker’s Day is a time for people to push for change and the ANC cannot ignore their struggles any longer.
Source: Briefly News