2019 South African general election: Analysis and News

'It's illegal for employers to coerce workers to work on 8 May, it's a holiday'

President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared Wednesday a public holiday to allow workers a chance to vote.

However, reports are suggesting that some companies are sending correspondence to their workers to report to work on 8 May.

Read: The most asked question on Google: Is election day a public holiday in Mzansi?

To address these reports, Clement Manyathela on the Xolani Gwala Show speaks to Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) president Zingiswa Losi.

We have received several complaints from workers across sectors and particularly in the retail industry telling us that they have received emails from companies instructing them that they are expected to report to work on Wednesday and there will be no exception.

Zingiswa Losi, President - Cosatu

We have written to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Business Unit of South Africa, and they have responded and gave us an undertaking that indeed it will be illegal for employers to coerce workers to be at work tomorrow when this day is a holiday.

Zingiswa Losi, President - Cosatu

She says any instruction for workers to be at work on voting day is an unlawful one.

Any worker that is deemed to be essential service would have voted yesterday and today under a special vote.

Zingiswa Losi, President - Cosatu

As a federation, we say to workers that tomorrow is a public holiday which was declared by Ramaphosa and it is your constitutional right to go and cast your vote without being intimidated.

Zingiswa Losi, President - Cosatu

Listen below to the full interview:


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