Workers’ Day is a celebration of labour and the working classes. In this regard, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) recognises the right of employers and employees to organise themselves to campaign and lobby the aspirations of their members.

Given our history it is clear that labour organisations have a role to play in society and are a strong voice of social conscience. After all, this country must never return to a situation where our people are exploited as slaves and a source of cheap labour.

Although we celebrate this day with those who have jobs, we think of the millions of South Africans who do not have work. We must not only concern ourselves with the rights of workers, but also with the right of all South Africans to work and to contribute to the economy.

The labour disputes – such as the current ones in the mining industry – makes it clear that where labour is directly affiliated and dependent upon a political master, it does not serve its primary purpose.

The ruling party has presided over so-called ‘jobless growth’ – which simply means that it has steered the economy into a direction that does not create jobs or increase the overall wealth of the country. With elections around the corner, we hope that South Africans will vote for job creation – in other words, a vote for the UDM.