12 Jan

UASA Media Release: 12 January 2024

Statement by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA:

2024 is the year for South Africa to be proactive and solution-driven. Accountability and transparency are the first steps forward.

In the past year, South Africans have been plagued by economic, social, and natural disaster challenges that aggravated and disrupted their lives, whilst the challenges of poverty, unemployment, poor service delivery and exorbitant costs has left many citizens in unpleasant, gloomy circumstances.

Is there hope for 2024?

Energy. The long-awaited draft of the Integrated Energy Plan (IRP) of 2023, gazetted for public comment last week, raised eyebrows among energy analysts who described the plan as “shoddy” and “lacking”. This, on the back of South Africans having to endure a whopping 332 days of load shedding in 2023. According to analysts, energy insecurity will remain a factor until at least 2030. This is a major barrier to economic recovery.

Given South Africa’s lack of resourcing and inability to meet its energy demands, the Just transition aimed at navigating away from coal to cleaner sources of energy suffers too and remains a divisive topic.

Water. The water crisis urgently needs viable solutions. A significant number of the population is still with no access to clean running water to this day. To aggravate the situation, due to a lack of political will and two decades of poor maintenance and lack of upgrades to water infrastructure, the country’s economic hub, Gauteng, and particularly Johannesburg saw unprecedented water cuts in the latter part of 2023, with the Water and Sanitation Minister announcing a new concept of “Water Shifting”. Another crisis that could have been averted!

Fuel prices and inflation. Last year’s high fuel prices into mid-year and high inflation devastated consumers as they were left scraping to make a living, while their disposable income was eroded by higher prices. Hopefully, there will be some relief in the year ahead, but with the economic outlook uncertain across the globe, workers and consumers will bear the brunt in trying to make ends meet.

Unemployment. With disappointing numbers of young graduates sitting at home as our economy fails to create a sustainable employment landscape that can absorb the unemployed, we urge government, stakeholders and industry partners to work as a collective to create permanent and sustainable jobs. Our Government needs to address the structural decay caused by years and decades of poor administration that is hampering growth and the reduction of unemployment.


UASA showed stability, growth and resilience over the past year, remaining a reputable role player amongst labour unions, amidst the economic pressures. As always, the union strives for the delivery of excellent service and provision of quality benefits to our members. As an active affiliate to one of the largest worker federations FEDUSA and to the global union IndustriALL, UASA also plays a role in improving the lives of workers across the country and the globe.

The annual UASA South African Employment Report (SAER) incorporating the UASA/BMR Employment Index was published last year. The partnership with the well renowned independent market research entity, the Bureau of Market Research (BMR), aims to address various labour market-related challenges through the UASA SAER and the index.

Ahead of its 130-year celebration this year as one of the country’s oldest trade unions, UASA pays tribute to its members for its continued existence and keeping the organisation relevant whilst navigating throughout the disruptions and troubled times.

We are committed to best serving the interest of you, our valued member!

Into the future

UASA calls on fellow South Africans to participate in the public comments on the Integrated Energy Plan (IRP) and take an interest in actively seeking a better country. Working as a collective for the benefit of our country is the only way forward. Active citizenry is a positive way to influence change for the better.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) showed CPI at an average of around 6.0 % up to November 2023 and forecasts it to moderate to 5% in 2024. Our rand also depreciated around 9.5% against the US dollar in 2023. Sadly, the economic growth outlook for the next three years is not as positive as the SARB hoped, as 2023 delivered growth of a mere 0.8%, while 2024 is expected to increase moderately to 1.2%, then slowly to 1.3% in 2025 and 1.6% in 2024. This is not nearly enough to create jobs and positively turn the economy in favour of workers and citizens, so it is up to each citizen to try and turn every challenge into an opportunity.

With the general elections coming up, UASA calls on all South Africans to commit to casting their vote. We urge citizens to research and inform themselves about the political sphere. Voting is an opportunity for change and never a waste of time. Five years is a long time to be stuck with an administration that does not best serve the interest of citizens and fails its people.

For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Abigail Moyo at 065 170 0162.


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