Cosatu vows to shut eSwatini borders in solidarity with Swazi workers

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has pledged solidarity with the striking eSwatini public servants.

Hundreds of eSwatini government workers were expected to embark on a national strike over salary increments on Wednesday.

According to the federation’s Mpumalanga spokesperson Thabo Mokoena, Cosatu would protest in solidarity by blocking three border gates between SA and eSwatini. The affected borders would be Mahamba, Matsamo and Oshoek.

“As Cosatu, we will embark on border protest action in support of a strike by the National Public Services & Allied Workers Union, as part of our initiatives to pledge international solidarity to workers even outside our borders,” said Mokoena.

Speaking of the protesters’ demands, Mokoena said they wanted better pay and salary increments after they had not received increments for three consecutive years.

“There are quite a number of issues, but I think the most important is that of 7.8% salary adjustment and better working conditions,” he said.

Mokoena said protesters would gather at the country’s capital, Mbabane, on Wednesday morning.

Other issues that workers cited include, calls for the country to be governed democratically to allow for workers to have a voice, according to Cosatu.

“As things stand, workers don’t enjoy their rights, they have a king that does not attend to their needs. Workers want the introduction of a legislation that would protect workers and permit for labour unions,” added Mokoena.

Pearl Nicodamus

Click here to subscribe to our weekly newsletters in English and or French. You will receive one email every Monday containing links to all articles published in the last 7 days.