South Africa Prepares For National Shutdown
Photo Credit: Fani Mahuntsi/Gallo Images via Getty Images

South Africa Prepares For National Shutdown

On Wednesday, the General Industries Workers Union of South Africa will collaborate with The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and other workers' union for a national shutdown.

The General Industries Workers Union of South Africa are collaborating with South Africa's Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) and Congress to stage rallies and worker strikes across South African provinces on Wednesday, August 24.

The rallies will be aimed at protesting the rising costs of fuel and livelihood. In a statement last week, the coalition said that the living conditions of the country's working class and poor had become bankrupt, especially during the pandemic. The statement also pointed out that wealthy people in Sub-Saharan African had been able to grow their riches by 15%. Saftu also shared that the purpose of the planned shut down was to ensure that government agencies would make efforts to put South Africans first, and improve the standard of living for many who are struggling financially.

Photo Credit: David Silverman / Contributor

At a media briefing in Johannesburg on Monday, Saftu's secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi's acknowledged that the call for a national shut down on Wednesday would not draw numbers like they did during mass protests in 2018. Although he alluded the low turn out primarily to the break down of South Africa's public transport in recent years, Vavi mentioned that he still expected the support of many people toward the moment would shut the economy down. During the briefing, Vavi urged workers across the nation not to go to work on that day, but instead stay home as a form of protest. Saftu is one of many organizations planning demonstrations against the rising cost of living set for Wednesday.

According to the establishment, the rally organized for Wednesday will include marches to the Western Cape Parliament and Free State Premier's office, among other prominent locations. Although Vavi and other Saftu leaders were skeptical about Wednesday's turn out, he said that 200 other organizations were supporting the movement, and some of those supporters included Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), Workers and Socialist Party (WASP), and countless others. Saftu is also calling on influential trade unions like the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) to join forces in executing the national shutdown.