Jobs Campaign: Workers relive Gqozo march

On June 27 thousands of Cosatu members gathered in Victoria Grounds in King Williamstown. They then marched to the Premier’s office in Bisho to present their memorandum.

It was a five kilometre march but the marchers were chanting anti-privatisation slogans and they couldn’t feel the long walk. It was the biggest march in this area since 1992 when marchers were massacred by the Ciskei defence force under Oupa Gqozo.

On the day Cosatu slogans “An injury to one is an injury to all” were visible. Workers marched in solidarity with their brothers and sisters who had lost their jobs through retrenchments and closing of the companies especially in the clothing, textile and mining industries.

Remember half-day provincial stayaways starting at 12 noon:Limpopo – 22 AugustMpumalanga – 29 AugustKwaZulu Natal – 5 SeptemberGauteng – 12 SeptemberWestern Cape – 18 SeptemberEastern Cape – 26 September

“However job losses does not only affect these sectors,” Num general secretary, Gwede Mantashe told the massive crowd, “it affects all the South African workforce.”

At the entrance to the Premier’s office, Numsa president Mtutuzeli Tom, reminded workers that their presence showed how angry they were about job losses and militancy. United, militant and vibrant, Cosatu workers demanded that the government they elected should address these crucial issues. “On June 27 we had a minimum of 40 000 people according to the conservative police and media. In the front were paraplegics from the mines and disabled workers. Not a single person died, no serious injury or even a>n incident was reported.” Zwelinzima Vavi, Cosatu general secretary.