JOHANNESBURG– Ace Magashuie, the Secretary-General of South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), has called for unity among the ANC, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), which is the county’s biggest labour federation, and the South African Communist Party Alliance (SACP), the three members of the Tripartite Alliance.

He was addressing thousands of workers who attended Cosatu’s march to steel producer Arcelor Mittal in Vanderbijlpark, south of Johannesburg, on Tuesday, which was Workers Day. The march began at the Bophelong Township in Vanderbijlpark and the throngs of Cosatu members then made their way over several kilometres towards the Arcelor Mittal steel plant.

Leading the march was Magashule, together with Energy Minister Jeff Radebe, Gauteng Province Premier David Makhura and Cosatu General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali.

On this important day of the celebration of the struggle of the working class, we convey our fraternal warm greetings from the leadership and the membership of the ANC across the length and breadth of the country. In our meeting of the Secretariat of the Alliance, we agreed that during this year, the year of the centenary of Nelson Mandela, Mama Sisulu, this year the alliance (is) in action, not in boardrooms and in meetings, Magashule said.

Meanwhile, Cosatu says workers’ exploitation is still rife in North West Province and both the private and public sector should do more to promote workers’ rights. The Workers’ Day rally took place in the capital of the beleaguered province, Mahikeng.

The premier of the province, Supra Mahumapelo, is under pressure and the Provincial Health Department has been placed under administration. Corruption was again highlighted as a concern, crippling the provincial government and consequently affecting workers.

Cosatu says workers’ rights must be addressed. There are issues that workers are facing here. You know in the North West that the Public Service workers, in particular in the Department of Health, workers have been on strike for almost two months now. It’s because they are being treated very badly,” said Cosatu Deputy General Secretary Solly Phetoe.

“We’ve got casual workers workers are paid according to what is expected, and there is a lot of corruption that has been raised by workers in that particular department. But also, there are private workers here. Security workers, domestic workers, retail workers are being exploited in this province.

Cosatu members marched from the local taxi rank to the nearby rugby stadium where a memorandum was handed to government and various retailers.

Among those attending were members of the National Executive Committee of the ANC, Obed Bapela and Malusi Gigaba. They are part of the national government task team investigating the North West Health Department.