Workers in Mpumalanga are considering their lot and things don't look so good.
At the Workers' Parliament this week they discussed the challenges facing them under the theme "Educating, empowering and involving communities for a better future".
The workers took note of the poor, unbearable and inhumane working conditions of farmworkers, domestic workers, taxi drivers, security guards and those employed in the construction and retail industries.
They noted how some of these workers are abused by their employers.
Among the challenges facing workers in South Africa were poverty, unemployment and jobs with an uncertain future, the workers said in a statement.
"The spread of HIV-Aids is a challenge that not only affects the economy of the country but also erodes the precious lives and skills base of men and women of this country," read the statement released by the Workers Parliament.
The workers also noted the need for and importance of workers who play a role in the legislative process.
"Workers are already bearing the brunt of the increased cost of living that is manifesting itself in rising food prices, high interest rates, high transport costs and the proposed 60percent Eskom rates hike."
"This rubs salt into their already raw wounds."
The statement said those fortunate enough to be employed were forced to share their meagre wages with unemployed extended family members as a result of retrenchments caused by restructuring.
The workers called on the government to impose a moratorium on food price increases, zero rating of value-added-tax on basic foodstuffs such as milk, bread, rice and mealie meal.
They also called on the provincial government to reject Eskom's proposed tariff increase and on the government to investigate, and invest in, alternative energy sources.
The workers committed themselves to a campaign to expose employers who fail to implement labour laws and educate workers about their rights.
The function took place in the provincial government's legislative chambers.