Media release by Mr Nqabayomzi Kwankwa, MP and UDM Deputy President

On Labour Day, 1 May 2018, we all dwell on the plight of the working South African and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) unequivocally supports our workforce.

South Africa’s painful history, with the exploitation of black South Africans, has left a scar on the psyche of our workforce and the poor. Today the formerly oppressed, comprising the biggest section of our workforce, as well as the poor, find themselves doing menial and/or physical labour for a slave wage. Only the lucky few has joined the middle class and the comrades in corruption have left their brothers and sisters to rot in the clutches of poverty which they are unlikely to escape under a ANC-led government.

The UDM takes a dim view of big corporates’ annual threat of job-shedding, because they claim they cannot afford a too-high wage bill at the time of annual increases. Pay your directors less money and reduce the gap between the haves and the have-nots! Be what Judge Mervyn King calls conscious companies and look at the big picture before you ruthlessly cut jobs.

The UDM reiterates the urgent call it made last week, for government to refer the proposed changes to our labour legislation back to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac). We believe that the proposed changes will roll back progress made thus far. We also reiterate the call that Nedlac must have a wider range of representation and should not exclusively comprise of big business, the big unions and big trade federations.

As we mark this day with those who have jobs, we also have in mind the millions of South Africans (including those with tertiary qualifications) who do not have work. We must not only concern ourselves with the rights of workers, but also with the right of all our people to work, have dignity and prosperity, as well as the opportunity to contribute to the economy.

In fact, every day should be Labour Day, where we work towards a working and winning nation.

Issued by:
Mr Nqabayomzi Kwankwa, MP
UDM Deputy-President and Chief Whip in the National Assembly