The Gauteng branch of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) have called on the Gauteng provincial government to act decisively and swiftly on allegations of corruption relating to coronavirus (Covid-19) efforts.
The unions said action must be taken against those who have overwhelming evidence against them.
Both unions said they were also concerned by the rising Covid-19 infections in the province.
This follows a bilateral political workshop that took place on Sunday attended by the SACP’s provincial working committee, Cosatu’s provincial office bearers and leaders of its affiliates.
The meeting was convened to address Cosatu’s 'Covid-19 and the Workplace' report, which covered the impact of the pandemic on workers in the public and private sectors, as well as compliance with regulations.
Among the resolutions taken was the establishment of the Covid-19 Street Committee, which topped the agenda.
The unions are directing their structures and members to work together to establish the committee to lead in the fight against hunger and poverty.
They also hope to mobilise the working class to promote progressive social consciousness and conduct that enforces basic Covid-19 regulations.
“We believe only a people’s victory against Covid-19 remains the most revolutionary and progressive way to defeat the spread of the pandemic. We also believe that only through popular and revolutionary effort of the people can we sustain and mobilise against hunger and [succeed in] food distribution as opposed to self-praising and celebrity-type food distribution that has proven unsustainable. This we believe, will drastically reduce the spread and the negative impact of Covid-19 that has made our province the epicenter of the pandemic,” they said.
Both unions are also calling on the private and public sectors to ensure compliance with Covid-19 regulations in the best interest of their respective workers.
They called out “dodgy tenders” and called for action against perpetrators in the province, in the name of the late freedom fighter and Rivonia Trialist Andrew Mlangeni, who passed away last week.
“We converged on the thesis in tribute to our stalwart Andrew Mlangeni, that our martyrs will surely turn in their graves to hear that the movement they built in exile, prison, underground and under conditions of life and death is gradually being turned on its head. This is literally turning the movement of their revolutionary ideals into a cash-cow of self-serving and pathetic souls, stealing from the poor, even worse, under extreme conditions of a life-threatening pandemic,” the unions said.
They called out gender-based violence and urged government to play their part in protecting those affected.
Next week, both unions will host a virtual seminar to unpack ways to grow Gauteng’s economy.