The UF was formed by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) in December last year. It was intended to advance the interests of the working class.
UF’s national co-convenor, Kwezilomso Mbandazayo, called on the South Africans to embark on a National Day of Action when the national and provincial budgets are delivered. Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene, will present the budget speech to Parliament on February 25. This will be followed by similar presentations by finance MECs in all provinces on different dates.
“We demand a budget that provides for universal access to basic services such as water, sanitation and electricity,” said Mbandazayo. She was speaking during a media briefing in Newtown, Johannesburg.
“Twelve million people live in informal settlements in urban areas. A large majority of these and others in rural areas are without water and sanitation. We also demand a budget that finances an immediate action plan to end load shedding.”
“President Jacob Zuma’s shift of blame to apartheid for the country’s electricity crises defied logic,” said Mbandazayo. “Up to 50% of the households use less than 2% of electricity because it had become extremely expensive in the last eight years,”she added.
The movement also lamented what it called government’s denial that the recent looting of foreign-owned shops in some Gauteng townships was not inspired by xenophobia.Speaking at the same gathering, Ronnie Kasrils said the government did not want to admit xenophobia was the motive for fear of losing foreign investment.
Kasrils is a member of UF’s national working committee.