Cosatu steps up tolls, electricity fight

Feb 25 2013 17:39

Johannesburg - The Gauteng provincial legislature accepted a memorandum from the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Monday, the office of the speaker said.

Cosatu held a picket outside the legislature during premier Nomvula Mokonyane's state of the province address, related to e-tolls and other issues of concern.

"From the Gauteng provincial legislature side, we had been notified by Cosatu that this particular picket would take place," said Gugu Ndima, spokesperson for speaker Lindiwe Maseko.

"They [Cosatu and the legislature] spoke and strengthened those relations, and we also encourage public participation," she said.

Maseko said in a statement earlier on Monday that Cosatu remained proactive in the processes of the legislature and its right to march or picket was respected.

"We encourage Cosatu to continue to use processes in place at the legislature, as they did last year, and be part of the solutions required to take Gauteng to greater heights," said Maseko.

Cosatu spokesperson Norman Mampane said members began assembling from 8:30. Cosatu used the picket as an opportunity to put forward its demands.

Mampane said that its demands include ensuring that services are provided, that corruption is cleaned up and investigated, and that jobs are created for all.

Cosatu has also rejected the rising electricity prices, and wanted Maseko to respond to the memorandum within 48-hours.

Ndima said that the matters raised in the memorandum would be addressed by the specific departments.

"In relation to that, we acknowledge the urgency of the issues raised and we have indicated that we will send through the different issues to the specific departments," she said.

"It will be the prerogative of the departments to address the specific issues raised in the memorandum."

Mampane said the atmosphere between Cosatu and the provincial government at the picket was cordial, and after the memorandum was received around 13:00, members peacefully dispersed.

"Further pickets will follow in March to ensure Cosatu's concerns are realised and addressed," he said.

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