Tuesday, February 7, 2023

South Africa’s nationwide strike over rising cost of living

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

Some public services in South African were disrupted on Wednesday following a nationwide strike to protest the rising cost of living begins.

Two of the country’s largest unions led the strike, calling for a “total shutdown” of the economy in protest against high unemployment levels, and rising fuel and electricity costs.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) received the necessary certificates to proceed across all nine provinces.

Members of the unions marched across all provinces, with the largest rallies in Cape Town and Pretoria.

They sang songs from the country’s liberation struggle with thousands marching towards the president’s office, demanding reductions in prices.

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“Don’t moan; Mobilise or starve,” was the message to those wondering whether to take part in the strike on a poster from the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu).

Inflation has hit nearly 8% – the highest in 13 years – and around a third of South Africans are unemployed.

The World Bank said this is the most unequal country in the world. It’s report shows that about 30.3 million South African citizens are living in poverty.

13.8 million South Africans are also facing food scarcity that has been worsened by rising food prices.

South Africa is grappling with the economic impact of global events such as Covid and the war in Ukraine.

The unions want a government cap on fuel prices, as well as a drop in interest rates and an income grant.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki has criticised the incumbent, Cyril Ramaphosa, saying there is no national plan to address the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The unions have said their action is the start of a series of actions they’re willing to undertake, until they get results.

Ghana’s economy in crisis as citizens agitate over high cost of living

Source: Africafeeds.com

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