The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal has said that it supports the call made by the party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule for solidarity against job losses amid Covid-19 as well as gender-based violence.
In conversation with the SABC on Sunday, Magashule said the ANC “is painfully aware of the deepening challenges of poverty, inequality, unemployment, racism and gender-based violence”, in particular, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said it was on the shoulders of the governing party, the ANC, and all South Africans “to address these issues”.
“It certainly can no longer be business as usual and with this reality in mind, the ANC concurs with what the general secretary of the South African Communist Party, comrade Blade Nzimande, said yesterday that the threatening massive retrenchments in the country are entirely unacceptable and resultant job losses from retrenchments will only deepen the suffering of our people,” Magashule said, reading from a statement by the governing ANC.
The party’s secretary-general said the ANC was “fundamentally opposed to the exploitative and heartless capitalist logic” which places profits above people and opts to cut jobs.
Magashule called on employers to avoid retrenchments, adding that the governing party had agreed on a restructured South African Airways with minimal job losses.
He further called on the management of the public broadcaster to also avoid job losses and to constructively engage with unions.
Magashule said the ANC joined the South African Communist Party in its call for unity among all workers to resist retrenchments and for all trade unions to set aside their differences and unite against a jobs bloodbath.
The secretary-general said the ANC was opposed to the “scourge of gender-based violence” in the country.
“The abuse of women, and I’m talking to fathers, our brothers and boys, that the abuse of women and children has been a terrible and totally unacceptable prevailing presence in our communities for far too long and the surge in the abuse, the killings, the rapes and wanting killings of women and children over the past couple of months have brought us to the breaking point where we must do everything to immediately bring it to an end and I think enough is enough.
“We are calling upon men and boys and all South Africans to heed this call of ensuring that we protect and we defend our girls, our women. And the ANC calls upon all men and boys to stand up against any form of gender-based violence and to make their voice heard loud and clear in opposition to the abuse of women and children,” Magashule read.
The party in KwaZulu-Natal said it reiterated Magashule’s call for the country to stand in solidarity with workers against the jobs bloodbath and also intensify the fight against gender-based violence.
“Due to the havoc wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown on the economy, major companies, including parastatals such as South African Airways and [the SABC] are finding it hard to maintain jobs and have already [made public] their intentions to retrench workers.
“The ANC urges employers to work together with trade unions to find amicable solutions to the impending job losses and, furthermore, government to do all that is humanly possible to avert the loss of jobs.
“On the issue of the continued killing of women, the ANC supports the call for the resuscitation of street committees as were used during the fight against apartheid to actively monitor all instances of abuse at community levels.
“Far too many women and children have lost their lives at the hands of men and it is time that communities stood up,” said the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal.
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)