South African workers took to the streets on Wednesday protesting against the country’s rising costs of living and inflation.
Following calls from the country’s trade unions, hundreds of employees marched to Pretoria’s Union Buildings, the country’s seat of government, to urge that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration rein down skyrocketing prices.
South Africa was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic with an estimated 2 million jobs lost, bringing its unemployment rate up to 35%.
Inflation has hit 7.8% and the soaring cost of fuel has led to rolling blackouts as the state-owned power company Eskom struggles to meet electricity demands.
The price of food and nonalcoholic beverages had gone up 9.7% and electricity tariffs were up 7.5%, the national statistics agency reported on Wednesday.
Eskom has applied for an increase in electricity prices despite it failing to provide an uninterrupted power supply for industry and households
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also hit South Africa’s economy, with the gas price reaching record highs despite the government’s suspension of an increase in the fuel levy earlier this year.
The Confederation of South African Trade Unions and the South African Federation of Trade Unions are blaming the ruling African National Congress for the country’s terrible condition of affairs, which was already in recession prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.