Solidarity and protest action against Zuma

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Dear Solidarity Member

 

Like millions of South Africans Solidarity has lost its confidence in President Jacob Zuma. For us it is not just a political issue but a very practical one that affects our members’ jobs and prosperity.

Zuma’s recent move to reshuffle the cabinet and a series of actions that have characterised his entire term are harming investor confidence and creating instability that has a direct impact on our members’ jobs. The downgrade to junk status can be directly attributed to Jacob Zuma’s term. This may, in the medium to long run, have serious negative consequences for people’s jobs.

Addressing the problem is unfortunately not simply a matter of removing the president. There are deep-seated problems in the ruling party and in what underpins the party ideologically.

In principle, Solidarity supports any action to pressure the ruling party to replace Jacob Zuma. Removing Zuma from office involves a protracted process, and it does not present a quick-fix overnight.

However, Solidarity believes protest should be orderly and should take place within the framework of the law. The trade union has sent a letter to all trade union federations calling on organised labour to embark on joint action. In the letter we are suggesting that we submit a joint section 77 application to Nedlac with a view to organising protected protests.

As far as this coming Friday’s actions are concerned, Solidarity itself is not involved, but members can participate in their personal capacity. Members are requested to make sure they participate in actions that are lawful and orderly.

Employees should note that this coming Friday’s protest actions will not enjoy protected action status. As such one cannot simply stay away from work, nor could members be forced to put in leave or be intimidated in any way to participate in protest action.

Solidarity has received a request from a group of members who want to have a prayer meeting at work a prayer meeting at work this coming Friday between 13:00 and 13:30. Solidarity supports this request and calls on members to organise similar prayer meetings at places of work throughout South Africa. We are also calling on our members to involve fellow employees across a wide front in similar actions. We also request employers to allow time and the use of facilities for such meetings at work and to also attend the meetings.

We trust that the different actions undertaken by the various groups will lead to a leadership change and that a change of direction will take place in South Africa. Ultimately, the final decision lies with the ANC and we hope that South Africa and millions of jobs will outweigh the interests of an individual and those of a party.

Meanwhile, Solidarity will continue to actively build a future in which our community can be free, safe and prosperous. We will continue to make the trade union stronger; to grant study aid to young people; to build a new university; to expand Sol-Tech into becoming South Africa’s leading technical college; to support our schools and our people; to expand our media capabilities and to embark on many other constructive initiatives.

We will not let our future depend on a weak president and government. We don’t focus on matters we have no control over. We take the consequences of such matters into consideration while applying ourselves to those matters we can control – we will simply intensify our building actions, with or without Zuma.

We take responsibility and are building the future ourselves, yet at the same time we will do our bit to bring about change.

 

Kind regards

 

Dirk Hermann

Chief Executive: Solidarity

 

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