21 September 2017

South Africa: The Cosatu National Strike Is About Pushing Back Against Kleptocracy and Neopatrimonialism

press release

The preparations for the upcoming COSATU led National strike on the 27 September 2017 are in full swing and the workers are making it very clear that they are tired of State Capture and Corruption. They are clear that these twin evils lead to economic decay and job losses.

Workers and ready and willing to fight the immoral and criminal phenomenon of State Capture and the cancer of Corruption, which robs them of their livelihoods, steal their resources, causes job losses and perpetuate poverty,

South Africa is struggling with the real unemployment rate of 38%, with close to 10 million people struggling to get jobs and over 17 million people on welfare.

This is happening while South Africa is losing roughly R147 billion from the money that is illegally taken out of the country per year. This is the money that will allow South Africa to accommodate all South African students at a university level for free. According to Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel, Corruption costs the SA gross domestic product (GDP) at least R27bn annually as well as the loss of 76 000 jobs that would otherwise have been created.

The recent data by Statistics South Africa report that shows that out of a population of 56 million, around 13,8 million people are now living below the food poverty line of R17.38 per person per day .It also shows that more than 30 million people out of 56 million are poor.

This is happening at the same time that the U N Conference on Trade and Development released last year in July showed that mining companies hid more than R1 trillion of tax invoices to avoid taxes between 200-2014.

Millions of South Africans are struggling to buy and build homes for their families, while the notorious GUPTA Family has managed to steal more than R10 billion rand from the country and have bought mansions costing up to R450 million in Dubai. Out of 1,4 million public servants, over 900 000 of them do not have houses.

What makes this possible is the fact that our government has been captured. Our government has adopted policies that benefit the private sector and the tiny elite. The Public Protector report showed us that the president sold our mandate that we gave to the ANC to the Gupta Family and their network of corrupt individuals.

It is obviously clear now that the President, some Ministers and some Premiers are not working for the people anymore but they are working for the Gupta family. Members of the predatory elite have infiltrated government, state institutions, and state owned enterprises like Eskom, Transnet, and Denel, private businesses, security agencies, family networks and the governing party.

They have taken our taxpayers money and gave it to the Gupta network and now they want to take our retirement savings and hand them over to the Guptas.

State capture has destroyed public trust in the state and its organs. It has, and continues to, amongst other things , eat away at confidence in South Africa's economy; erode revenue collection; stifle investment and reinvestment in productive parts of the economy; promote a culture of corruption; and, result in the failure to uncover additional corruption in other tiers of government and the private sector.

The majority of South Africans bear the brunt of corruption and state capture. If state capture is allowed to continue, it will not be possible to achieve the transformative objectives of the state that serve to improve the socio-economic predicament of the poor and working class.

The latest scandal involving the disgraced auditing and consultancy firm KPMG is a stark reminder of the collusion between the private and public sector in swindling South Africans and destroying our economy and jobs.

Thousands of jobs of KPMG employees are now at stake because of the corrupt and greedy tendencies of those who are at the top. The rot that we see in both the public and private sector is being hidden , abetted and endorsed by firms like KPMG. This shows that we have become a kleptocracy and that there are no angels in both the public and private sector.

COSATU has noted that some employers, who want to maintain the status quo are trying to intimidate workers from participating in the upcoming strike by circulating memos that are about intimidating workers. The federation wants to make it very clear that we will not allow the intimidation and victimisation of workers who want to join the strike on the 27th of September 2017.

Workers should know that all South African workers from all the sectors of the economy are protected to go on strike as Nedlac has issued COSATU with a certificate in terms of Section 77 of the LRA.

Workers should push government to stop serving the interests of White Monopoly Capital and the politically connected individuals. The COSATU National Strike is about reclaiming the mandate that was given to the ANC by the voters that was sold to the Guptas and the private sector.

Let us reclaim our SOE's!

Let us reclaim our economy!

Let us reclaim our country!

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