The Mpumalanga branch of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Friday embarked on numerous marches across the province to commemorate the World Day for Decent Work, which also led to the handing over of a memorandum of demands to Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane.
World Day for Decent Work is marked to address factors that impede workers’ rights, such as conditions of employment, safety and all other issues related to their physical and mental integrity in the workplace.
Among the grievances raised by workers were corruption, job losses and retrenchment, the plight of farm workers and farm dwellers, as well as the informalisation of work through as labour brokering and casualisation.
Issues of land restitution and settlement, the persistent upsurge of the rate of poverty, unemployment, inequality, and the provision of quality service delivery in municipalities and quality health care for all were also part of the agenda.
The organised labour union also demanded that effective policy be implemented to regulate illegal migrants and they also called for a push for the advancement of measures to stabilise and sustain the country's State-owned enterprises and other economic drivers.
Petrol price hikes through government levies and electricity challenges were also decried. The movement also demanded a tax reduction, decent work and insourcing of basic services, as well as that the social compact negotiation process be concluded.
According to Mtsweni-Tsipane, government is working to resolve water and electricity provision issues and upgrade of road network infrastructure.
“Now, if we can find a balance in the midst of all difficult economic circumstances we are certain that we will be able to create job opportunities and, of course, the economic growth trajectory of all provinces must be focused on being informed by the needs analysis of the particular province,” she said.
According to the Premier, the Mpumalanga province has its own economic recovery plan which primarily aims to ensure that its economy creates job opportunities for people and that investors find South Africa attractive.
In response to the corruption grievances, Mtsweni-Tsipane acknowledged it as intolerable and said there should be zero tolerance for corruption.
“Corruption and fraud is a challenge and cannot be ignored and we must declare as government that we must undermine corruption everywhere it raises its ugly head. The province has all systems in place, including law enforcement , with the aim of uprooting corruption,” she said.