Durban - South Africa is facing a major crisis because of the inequalities that are growing every day, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said in Durban on Tuesday.
"South Africa is ranked the number one country in the world in terms of inequalities and it has surpassed Brazil," Vavi said.
He was addressing thousands of members of the National Union of Metalworkers in South Africa who marched from King Dinuzulu street to the Durban city hall demanding an increase in wages.
"Africans are living in poverty with 58% earning a salary of R325 a month," Vavi said.
"We are not enjoying the fruits of our democracy because we remain affiliated with a crisis of unemployment, with 36 percent of people unable to find job opportunities to work."
About 73% of people below the ages of 35 were unemployed in South Africa. Sixteen percent of employed workers earned less than R500 while 33.4% earned less than R1 000, and 60% of workers earned R2 500.
"If you look at companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange directors are earning R59m per year on average. This is what makes me angry," said Vavi.
He warned employers that employees would not be patient.
"Workers want money because a living wage is the cornerstone of a better life for all," he said.
Members of Numsa handed over a memorandum of grievances to the Steel and Engeneering Industries Federation of SA on Tuesday.