In this Workers’ Month, the Workers in KwaZulu- Natal will hold their annual Workers’ Parliament in Nombika Sports field in Ndwedwe Local Municipality on the 19 and 20 May 2017. The main focus this year is the celebration of the 20 years of the Constitution. Workers will specifically celebrate what they call are the gains of the working class post 1994. These gains are entrenched in the constitution and these are the rights to strike, the right to form and join a trade union of one’s choice, the right to organise, Entitlement to annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave and Family-responsibility etc. These rights are contained in various Acts which the working class pride themselves of as they are the results of what the workers of this country had fought for. These Acts include the Basic Condition of Employment Act of 1997, Labour Relations Act, Employment Equity Act, The Skills Development Act, Section 23 of the Bill of Rights, Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, the Unemployment Fund etc.
These rights are a reminder to workers, that not long ago a south African worker especially non –white, was subjected to various forms of discrimination in the workplace, for example, forced labour, job reservation, migrant labour system etc.
This year the Workers have decided to focus their debates and discussions on the Vulnerable Workers under a theme: “The Struggle for the Control and Ownership of the Economy in favour of Vulnerable Workers is On, as Workers Celebrate 20 years of the Constitution”. The three major Federations in the province, namely, Cosatu, Nactu and Fedusa have jointly embraced the theme and are convinced that discussions around this theme will deliver vulnerable workers from the hardships they face in the workplace. The Federations recalled in a meeting held last week at the Legislature that the exploitation of workers was a feature of life for a South African workers for decades. Apartheid thrived on cheap labour, as workers had to contend with the migrant labour system, passes and influx control, job reservation, and other oppressive laws. Today they celebrate the gains brought about by the scrapping of all apartheid laws in the workplace and society in general. The rights of the workers as entrenched in the constitution are the basis for these celebrations.
The Celebration is set to start off with a march on the 19th May 2017, at 8h30 from Ndwedwe Central Town, and proceed to Nombika Sportsfield. Hundreds of workers are expected to participate in this march, and marchers will display key messages in their placards as they celebrate their constitutional gains. Members of the Executive Council (MECs) and Members of the Provincial Legislature (MPLs) will be part of this march.
Mobilisation of workers across the province has been initiated with Transport made available to ferry workers to the event. Attached is the Programme over the two days of the Workers’ Parliament. Media representatives are invited to cover the event.
For more information , contact:
W Canham (Mr)
Senior Communications Officer:
Media Liaison and Publications
033-3557 559/ 0833767299