‘It reflects a weakling of trust’: Ramaphosa on Workers Day rally incident

President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken out for the first time since he was chased away at a COSATU Workers Day rally on Sunday. 

Sibanye Stillwater mine employees stormed the stage at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in North West and Ramaphosa had to be whisked away. The workers have been on a 3-month strike and want a R1000 increment, however, the company is offering R850, hence the frustration.


Ramaphosa was booed the minute he started speaking, and after twice attempting to deliver an address, the boisterous crowd refused to let him settle. He also tried to calm the crowd, with limited success.

In his weekly letter, Ramaphosa said he was unable to address the gathering because workers there had grievances that they expressed loudly and clearly. 

Ramaphosa said while the main grievance appeared to be about wage negotiations at nearby mines, the workers’ actions demonstrated a broader level of discontent. 

BREAKING: The president @CyrilRamaphosa whisked away as protesters demanded that he leaves. @Newzroom405 pic.twitter.com/2LVyOg6knP

— Pelane Phakgadi (@PelaneM) May 1, 2022

“It reflects a weakening of trust in their union and Federation as well as political leadership, including public institutions.

“These workers wanted to be heard. They wanted their union leaders and government to appreciate their concerns and understand the challenges they face. In raising their voices, these workers were upholding a tradition of militance that has been part of the labour movement in this country for decades.” 

President Cyril Ramaphosa

The founding general-secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said political and union leaders have heard the workers and understand their frustration.

Please take your 39 seconds of your data and watch Ramaphosa escorted by Nyala.
Black people are fed up pic.twitter.com/3D6pyDnDpW

— 𝐎𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐑𝐚𝐤𝐠𝐚𝐝𝐢 𝐒𝐨𝐥𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐫 (@Rakgadi_EM) May 1, 2022

“The wage grievances of the workers in Rustenburg deserve the attention of all stakeholders, employers and labour so that a fair and sustainable settlement can be reached. As government, we are committed to play our part.

“The workers at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium also made plain what nearly every South African knows: the working class and the poor of our country are suffering.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa

ALSO READ: WATCH: Ramaphosa whisked away in Workers’ Day rally

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