The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) will join the nationwide mass protest marches on Friday to demand the resignation of President Jacob Zuma after his controversial Cabinet Reshuffle that saw former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his Deputy, Mcebisi Jonas kicked out of their jobs.
On Monday credit rating agency Standard and Poor (S&P) decided to bring its assessment of South Africa forward by at least six months and downgraded her sovereign rating to junk status or sub-investment grade. This was followed by another rating action later in the day which saw Moody’s put South Africa on a downgrading review until Friday when it is expected to announce a decision similar to the one that has been taken by S&P. A third credit rating agency, Fitch, is widely expected to follow suite shortly afterwards.
A junk status or sub-investment grade sovereign rating makes the cost of borrowing money prohibitively high. In addition, many OECD countries prohibit their financial institutions from buying bonds from jurisdictions that have been slapped with junk status.
The union federation’s high level Management Committee or ManCom which took the decision to march for South Africa this Friday also mandated FEDUSA to participate in the follow –up protest marches every Friday thereafter leading up to the tabling of a vote of no confidence against President Zuma in Parliament.
“FEDUSA will support and participate in the mass peaceful protest action march on Friday which will include working with local communities, attending prayer meeting and lunch-time picketing. As a responsible union federation, FEDUSA will not support any national shutdown, acts of criminality or vandalism, nor that children should not go school or their parents stay away from work,” said FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George.
FEDUSA would therefore like to appeal all its members to take great precautions and to note that there won’t be any blanket protection for members who decide to participate in the marches on their own volition. We sincerely appeal to all our members to make arrangements with their employers before Friday so that they can protect themselves against any adverse action that could be taken against them”.
FEDUSA President Godfrey Selematsela said it is time that all patriots put the interest of the country and its future over and above everything else.
“This is not a political issue. It is a South African issue and we appeal to all our Members of Parliament in the National Assembly to put partisan politics aside and vote for South Africa when the motion of no confidence against President Zuma is tabled in Parliament,” said Selematsela.
FEDUSA also calls on Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) and the Black Business Council (BBC) to meet with shopstewards in their workplaces in order to release workers to participate in the mass protest marches on Fridays.
FEDUSA remains deeply concerned about the situation in our country and has agreed to intensify the campaign. Should President Zuma refuse to resign by this Saturday, FEDUSA will embark on an extensive civil disobedience campaign that will include the withholding all type of taxes such as income taxes and toll fees.
Marches will gather at Mary Fitzgerald Square in central Johannesburg at 11:30 am on Friday morning where they will be addressed by activist and worker leaders from different civic organizations
FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry. See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.
FEDUSA General Secretary
FEDUSA Media and Research
Cell: 060 676 9145