TMF Message on May Day!
Today the South African workers join other workers throughout the world to celebrate May Day. The Thabo Mbeki Foundation conveys its best wishes to the South African workers, other workers on our Continent and workers throughout the world.
We especially would like to pay tribute to the health and other essential service workers who continue to selflessly put shoulder to the wheel, even at great risk to their and their families lives.
We would like to send our best wishes to the Cuban health workers who have recently arrived in our country to reinforce our efforts in fighting against the Coronavirus and Covid-19. They embody the spirit of international solidarity which is a key principle of workers’ struggles.
We take this opportunity to join our Government and our fellow civil society organisations to urge both employers and workers to take all necessary measures, including respecting the regulations that have been announced, to protect the workers from the ravages of the coronavirus and Covid-19.
We share the concern of the workers, their trade unions and our country as a whole that this virus and Covid-19 should not result in worsening the problems which have been confronting our country for some time, such as poverty, unemployment and inequality.
This means that even as our country continues to grapple with the challenge of defeating the coronavirus and Covid-19, a national consensus must emerge about what we should do about our socio-economic situation in the aftermath of this virus and its disease.
We, therefore, expect our Government to take the lead in this regard. It should put to the country a Proposed Development Programme targeted at ensuring that we create a much healthier socio-economic situation in our country after we have successfully dealt with the challenge of the coronavirus and Covid-19.
That healthier socio-economic situation must be characterised by an uninterrupted advance towards the building of a South Africa of shared prosperity among all our people in which we consistently grow our economy and therefore increase our national wealth on a sustainable basis.
It must, therefore, be a healthier socio-economic situation because it would be characterised by a continuous reduction in the levels of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment, as well as a similar bridging of the race, gender and geographic inequality gaps.
The struggle to defeat the coronavirus and Covid-19 has emphasised the critically important lesson that all of us as South Africans, regardless of race, colour, gender, class, religion and ideology, share a common destiny.
That fact means that, as we did when we adopted our National Constitution, we must evolve a national agreement practically to implement a Development Programme which will produce the transformed South Africa we have tried to describe.
As we convey our best wishes to our workers, we express our confidence that our workers and their trade unions will actively participate in the national dialogue to help design the post-coronavirus and Covid-19 Development Programme.
Forward to the Development Programme!
Best wishes to our workers!
Long live May Day!
1 May 2020.
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