King William’s Town was brought to a standstill last week when the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) launched its nation-wide strike which affected municipalities across the country.
In King, Cosatu members marched from Victoria Grounds through to Leopold Street.
Cosatu provincial chairperson Thabile Kunene spoke to the marchers while they waited for Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle to arrive.
A memorandum was then handed over listing Cosatu’s demands, which included government intervention to help curb unemployment, a reversal of the VAT hike and an introduction of increased corporate tax.
The memorandum was signed by Masualle, Kunene and King William’s Town Labour Centre manager Mzwandile Yekela.
“We are here because our problem of ending work is a big problem. He [President Cyril Ramaphosa] said we must not forget to fight corruption in our government. When we go to elections on May 8, we want our government to have full energy of doing things correctly,” Eastern Cape provincial executive council member Mncedisi Nontsele said.
“Our youth are sick and tired and we also want work for our youth and adults of this country.”
Other speakers expressed support for the ongoing Zondo commission into state capture and demanded that government scrap plans to privatise Eskom.
“The information in the petition is clear and we will deliver it to President Cyril Ramaphosa. I hope he is going to take full consideration of this message,” Kunene said.
Cosatu officials worked closely with police and traffic during the march and there were no arrests or reports of property damage by the time of going to print.