South Africa: Civil Society Shows Its Support for Trade Unions’ Cost of Living Protests

Activists say their support for the shutdown is understandable as many of the demands being put forward by the unions relate to fundamental human rights in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

Wednesday’s protests organised by South Africa’s two largest trade union federations, Saftu and Cosatu, have elicited strong support from several civil society organisations. Their marching together points to a possible realignment of civil society increasingly allied with a reinvigorated and more independent labour movement.

Among those that came out in support were organisations that have been at the forefront of struggles for fundamental rights, including the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Equal Education, Lawyers for Human Rights, SECTION27, the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (Cals), Corruption Watch, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute, Abahlali baseMjondolo, the Institute for Economic Justice, the Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia campaign and the #PaytheGrants campaign.

The marches were also supported by a large number of community-level organisations that are working on issues such as food security, access to housing, violence against women and community development.

Activists say their support for the shutdown is understandable as many of the demands being put forward by the unions relate to fundamental human rights in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, including…

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