Labour unions in Swaziland are planning three months of protest against government over a range of issues including tax increases, the minimum wage, social welfare programmes and unfavourable labour laws.
It starts on 13 April 2018 with a mass march organised by the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) to deliver petitions to government ministers.
The protest will take place less than a week before the so-called 50/50 Celebrations designed to mark the King’s 50th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the kingdom’s Independence from Great Britain. King Mswati III rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
TUCOSWA Deputy Secretary General Muzi Mhlanga was reported by the Sunday Observer newspaper in Swaziland (25 March 2018) saying the demonstration was just the beginning and more protests were to be staged if their demands were not met.
‘We are beginning on the 13th of April. We have been writing to the different ministries concerned and they have not responded while others have provided unsatisfactory responses. For instance, we wrote a letter to the Ministry of Natural Resources alerting them that we were against the hike on electricity tariffs and we are not happy with their response, just like several other ministries,’ he said.
Mhlanga said more protests would be staged in three consecutive months; June, July and August.
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