VAVI warns anc LEADERS

Anna Majavu, Mhlaba Memela and Kingdom Mabuza

Anna Majavu, Mhlaba Memela and Kingdom Mabuza

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has warned the new ANC leadership to stop pandering to the whims of big business.

"Stop reassuring big business that economic policies will not change and address the plight of workers," Vavi told a thousands of Cosatu workers who marched to Parliament yesterday.

Vavi said the workers were sick and tired of hearing "from leaders from Polokwane that there will be no change in economic policy".

"We didn't vote for no change. We want those changes now. We want the ANC to help us change the macroeconomic policy. We hate that inflation target and we want it to be scrapped."

The march to parliament was part of the nationwide strike which brought several cities to a standstill as Cosatu workers took to the streets protesting against escalating food and electricity prices.

Vavi said the cabinet members who "created the mess, who are on their way out . may have an agenda that the ANC loses the next election".

The SACP's Khaya Magaxa hit out at cabinet ministers who ask the public to tighten their belts.

"If we tighten our belts anymore we are going to cut ourselves in half," he said.

In Pretoria, Cosatu Gauteng provincial secretary Sphiwe Mgcina told Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana to apologise to workers when his siren-blasting convoy disrupted an address by Cosatu deputy secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali.

After accepting a memorandum the clearly embarrassed Mdladlana apologised.

In Durban SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande said that instead of black economic empowerment there was "black economic enrichment".

Nzimande said the time had come for a major shake up of economic policy

He called for support for ANC president Jacob Zuma.

"We are supporting Zuma so that our rights won't be violated in the future.

"We do not want a legal system full of elites."

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