Public employees in South Africa were warned not to take part in the planned country shutdown that Cosatu and Saftus had planned for Wednesday, August 24, was actually scheduled to happen. Participants’ demands include the basic income grant of R1,500, the de-escalation of interest rates, the reduction of fuel, electricity, and food costs, the cessation of privatization of government institutions, the elimination of wage reductions and below-inflation wage increases in both the public and private sectors, and the completion of the justice system for all victims of GBV and femicide. Numerous businesses, including large retailers and shopping centres, and service industries in Accounting and tax, continued to be open while some public schools were running as usual.
Since the cost of living is too high for everyone, even public employees and transportation fares are rising, the government could simply permit those employees who wanted to participate in today’s nationwide shutdown (taxis and buses). In February 2020, Cosatu handed a note to Prasa, but the memo went unanswered. Cosatu demanded that Prasa decrease train tickets by 50% and increase security on trains. At the Union Buildings, the demonstrators hoped to deliver a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Many individuals, including employees of the private sector, returned to work since everything was as usual in townships today. However, some portions of Soweto joined the nationwide strike, and the roads are closed. DA and Santaco chose not to participate. While the cost of food is always rising, businesses are not raising compensation. This country’s youth struggle to find employment.
People who are unemployed suffer the worst because some of them do not even receive the Social Relief of Distress Grand (SRD). Even those who do receive R350 argue that it is insufficient because they claim they cannot even purchase cooking oil. Government should abolish contracts, make employees of agencies permanent, and mandate that no one receive less than R500 per month.
Finally, during a nationwide strike, the public should attend, have their complaints heard, and submit a memorandum. In order to address these concerns, South Africa still has a long way to go. As an accounting firm we have to comply with regulations handed down officially, we do not have the privilege of shutting down.