Local Politics

South Africa: What Is Wednesday’s National Trade Union Shutdown All About?


Trade union federations Cosatu and Saftu have called on all non-essential workers to strike for the day on Wednesday, 24 August. Protest action is planned for most of the provinces, with thousands expected to join marches calling for government intervention in the cost of living crisis. We break it down here.

Is Wednesday’s ‘national shutdown’ different from Wednesday’s ‘national day of action’ or Wednesday’s ‘nationwide strike’?

Nope. You may have seen a number of different labels attached to the mass action planned for Wednesday, 24 August, but they all refer to the same thing: a day of workers’ strikes and protest marches across South Africa.

So what exactly is going to happen on Wednesday?

The two largest South African trade union federations, Cosatu and Saftu, are calling on all non-essential workers to stay away from work on Wednesday. And they do mean all non-essential workers: Saftu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi stressed in a media briefing on Monday that the call to join was going out to “ordinary workers, professional workers, black and white, middle class”.

Protest marches are also planned for all provinces. The two largest demonstrations are likely to take place in Pretoria and Cape Town.

In Pretoria, diehard…



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