Premier Ndebele pays tribute to workers

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pietermaritzburg - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sibusiso Ndebele has paid tribute to South Africa's work force ahead of Workers Day on Friday.

"Through you, we as representatives of our communities can continue making programmes to create jobs, closing the wage gap in some sectors of our economy, allowing us to introduce minimum wages and prescribe working conditions," Premier Ndebele said on Thursday.

Friday, 1 May, marks the 15th anniversary of Workers' Day, since it was first celebrated in 1994.

Mr Ndebele said the democracy enjoyed today was largely owed to the millions of workers through their support and sweat.

"You have played a fundamental role in building South Africa into what it is today. We thank you and salute you for that and call on you to continue the heroic struggle to bring about a better life for all," he said.

He, however, noted that the workers struggle was far from over and government would continue with programmes such as rural and economic development, the emancipation of women, particularly rural women, and ensuring that the youth build their lives in the economy.

Mr Ndebele said government's vigorous programmes to protect the most vulnerable workers had resulted in the active role of women in previously male-dominated workplaces.

Women are now playing a central role in shaping our economic growth and have become captains of their destiny within our economy and beyond, Mr Ndebele said.

He said the 2010 FIFA World Cup would present workers with a great economic opportunity to participate in government's shared economic growth and he said they must seize the opportunities it presented to ensure they had their fair share of the cake.

The Premier further pledged government to contribute as much as it can in efforts to better the lives of all South Africans, especially the poorest of the poor.

"We also pledge to intensify our struggle against the eradication of illiteracy in our province, as our present efforts through our Masifundisane Campaign demonstrate that such a goal can be achieved," Premier Ndebele said.

He called on South Africa's workers to continue the fight and to transform South Africa into the country of our dreams.