Local Politics

SACP throws its weight behind call for national shutdown

The SACP has thrown its weight behind the nationwide strike by the country’s trade union federations Cosatu and the SA Federation of Trade Unions.

Thousands of workers took to the streets on Wednesday to protest against the rising cost of living. The SACP, which is in alliance with the ruling ANC, called on government to not terminate the R350 social relief of distress grant introduced after the onset of Covid-19.

“As part of building a comprehensive social security for all, we need a universal basic income grant. This must be an immediate policy intervention while the government puts in place effective policies to tackle the unemployment crisis,” said the SACP in a statement.

“Today, the SACP calls on the government to not terminate the social relief of distress grant at the end of March 2023. The government must maintain this grant and gradually improve it to build a foundation for a universal basic income grant.

“The government must take decisive action against rising energy and food prices and tackle food insecurity.”

The party also called on workers to join efforts to build “a powerful socialist movement” of workers and the poor to confront the cost of living crisis, and reiterated that the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank must include the creation of jobs.

“Amid the acute crisis of racialised and gendered unemployment, affecting 12.4-million active and discouraged unemployed work seekers, the South African Reserve Bank continues to pursue a high interest rate monetary policy regime.

“This is unfavourable to employment creation and to those seeking affordable finance to start and run co-operatives and small and medium-sized enterprises. The overwhelming majority of the unemployed is the black youth, regardless of gender. However, their majority are women.”

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George Matlala

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