25 April 2018
The Secretary General
SOUTH AFRICAN FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS
The Azanian Peoples Organization (AZAPO) fully supports the South African Federation of Trade Unions on the workers’ strike against the National Minimum Wage as well as the amendments to the Labour Relations Act.
Azania is known to be amongst the top three most unequal countries in the world. It is a country characterised mostly by high rate of poverty, inequality and unemployment. The main reasons for poverty and inequality are lack of access to resources such as land, education and employment opportunities. This can never be a good story to tell.
AZAPO believes that any discussions on National Minimum Wage must take place within the context of the abject poverty, extreme inequalities and the high unemployment rate faced by the majority of Black people.
The Cabinet’s approval of a minimum payment structure of R11.00 per hour for employees of Extended Public Works Programmes; R15.00 per hour for domestic workers; R18 per hour for farmer workers and R20.00 per hour for other workers is an insult to the workers and indictment to the ANC led government. The important question to ask here is, how much do the owners of the means of production and their executive earn per hour?
These wages can only guarantee entrenchment of cheap labour by Blacks. At best it will continue to promote income inequalities and perpetuate the poverty of black people, and at worst, a blatant violation of the rights and dignity of workers. Decent housing, comprehensive medical cover, quality education for their children, entertainment and other amenities will forever remain foreign to the majority of Black workers in their land of birth. This can never be a good story to tell about workers in the agricultural, industrial and mining sectors who are primarily responsible to create the wealth of this country.
It is very painful to be reminded of the Marikana Massacre of 16 August 2012 which claimed the lives of innocent workers for demanding a mere wage of R72.00 per hour.
AZAPO calls for decent and meaningful wages for workers. We firmly believe that land distribution to the rightful owners and labour market activities in agriculture, construction, manufacturing and mining sectors are paramount to the total eradication of poverty and restoration of the dignity of indigenous owners of the land. We further reiterate our stance that the overhauling of education system remains fundamental in addressing poverty, inequality and unemployment
AZAPO further calls for the unconditional inclusion of SAFTU in NEDLAC so that her representatives can participate fully in all matters affecting the workers of our country.
Forward with the workers’ struggle for a decent living wage!!! Forward with SAFTU!
Azanian People’s Organization (AZAPO)