South African President Cyril Ramaphosa had to abandon the Mayday rally after protesting workers of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) during the stage during the president’s address in a stadium near Rustenburg.
The workers were demanding the annual wage be increased by R1k. The president tried to address the workers directly, letting them know that he’s heard their complaints and would address them. He also promised to speak with relevant authorities to meet the workers’ demands.
But the workers would not be mollified. They instead continued their protest, holding placards demanding that the president must go.
With repeated attempts to appease the workers unsuccessful, the police had stepped in while a bodyguard led the president away.
— eNCA (@eNCA) May 1, 2022
May Day is an annual event celebrated by workers in South Africa and other parts of the continent. It usually draws unionists from many industries, and the event is generally thronged.
However, only a few hundred turned up to listen to the president — an indication, according to some observers, that the president wasn’t welcome.
South Africa is one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus. And with rising unemployment, Mzansi isn’t exactly smiling. For workers, it’ll be interesting to see how the president carries out the promises he managed to make on May Day.