22 February 2013

South Africa: Cosatu Response On Free State State of the Province Address

COSATU in the Free State has welcomed the state of the province address as delivered by the Premier Ntate Ace Magashule on 21/2/2013. The federation is pleased to note that the premier has implemented what he promised workers the province in so far as in-sourcing of cleaners in all our hospitals across the province is concerned. This step will surely address what the federation has been raising in that workers must be employed on full time status instead of casual or part time workers, because these contractors that were doing cleaning services work in all the hospitals were exploiting workers for their own benefit. As of now these cleaners will at least know that they will have benefits like all other workers. They will have leave, provident fund, entitled for sick leave, maternity leave and many other benefits that workers in South Africa are entitled to.

We also welcomed the commitment of ensuring that the NHI pilot project in Thabo Mofutsanyana is implemented without fail. As the federation we are committed to work together with the government to ensure full realization of this important project

On infrastructure development, we welcomed the progress in reconstructing our roads in the province. To mention but few, a road between Bethlehem to Kestel is about to be completed, a road between Bloemfontein via Builtfontein is also about to be completed, a road between Bloemfontein and Smithfield is also almost complete. There are other roads that are also under construction. We want to urge the Premier to do more and re-construct other roads like between Marquard to Clocolan and between Winburg and Marquard as these roads are so bad.

On crime, we also wish to agree with the Premier's concern that the violence against women and children abuse has reached an alarming stage which cannot be tolerated. As the federation in the province we commit to play our part too. We have already developed a program which will be starting on the 1st March 2012 in Qwaqwa.

In health we also want to call for more employment of nurses in our hospitals and clinics. Most of workers in many clinics across the province are working under stressful situations because of the shortages of staff particularly the nurses.

We are humbled by the call he made to all the people of the Free State to work together with their government and openly apologise to all the communities that if there is a situation where our people were wrongly dealt with, the government must be forgiven. He also warned our communities against the people that will use them to advance their own interests

Lastly, unemployment is still a huge challenge in the province. The government needs to invest more on the establishment of the cooperatives. Further, government needs to support the textile industries in Botshabelo and Qwaqwa if we are to realize a decrease in unemployment .This will go a long way in addressing the crisis of unemployment in the province.

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