Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Strike in platinum belt has potential to free the entire working class by Mothobi Tshabalala

The longest ever strike in South Africa that is happening in platinum belt is the sign that in the 20 years of our democracy the material living condition of our people has not changed and as well our people are not paid minimum wage for work that they do so that they cant afford the basic needs for entire month.

The strike for demand of better wage had to be started by miners than any other sector as they are the people who are most at risk and face with hardest working condition. The expectation was entire working class of South Africa will stand in solidarity with mineworkers instead of criticizing them as the issue of minimum wage is still problem across all sectors of our economy. The fact that most South Africans are failing to note is that the strike in platinum belt has potential to free the entire working class economically in all sectors of our country, as successful negotiation will lea to other sectors to pay workers minimum wage or equal pay for work done.

When our political leaders fought the struggle that led to freedom we are having today they forgot to note that apartheid is based two forms which are race and class, but instead they fought apartheid on racism and forgot the issue of class as is diving our people and making others superior than others. That is what also led to us finding ourselves in poverty in period of 20 years with 16 million of our population on social grants and continuing to open the bigger gap between the rich and poor people.

On other hand we have the government and ruling party that is well known and rooted in food parcels programmes, but failed decimally to assist striking miners that are starving,but instead their intention was to starve workers to death. This is an indication that out government is continuing to protect the interest of mine owners at expense of our workers and communities. We thought that Marikana Massacre will be an eye opening experience enough for government to find solution for working class but individual interest are first than those of masses.

The demands of workers are fair enough to help communities be sustained as this people are members of communities before they are workers. We can’t have situation where the demands of union are dismissed or not taken serious only because they are not part of tripartite alliance to ruling party or they are not federation linked to ruling party. We also have part of media houses painting a bad picture about Joseph Mathunjwa President of AMCU on his assets which is not happening with leaders of other unions.