sa strike 02.09.10.jpgIn a move that might bring South Africa to a standstill, the main trade union, Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (COSATU), has rejected the latest wage offer from the government as the public sector strike entered its 15th day.

The Cosatu federation said the majority of its affiliated unions had voted against the proposal of 7,5%  insisting on 8,6%.

However, officials say union members rejected the offer without fully understanding the contents of the deal.

The 7,5% offer by government had an additional R800 monthly housing allowance and authorities have committed themselves to setting up a housing scheme project for civil servants.

It is being feared that Cosatu might be testing the waters with a view of entering the political arena suggesting a third hand at play.

Meanwhile, a local analyst Advocate Aston Musunga has questioned Cosatu’s motives as he thinks they are becoming political, likening it to ZCTU’s led strikes in 1997 and 1998 which culminated in the formation of the MDC on 11 September in 1999.

“The government has done a lot and I think there is a foreign hand that is involved. Labour movements have a tendency of being involved in politics, take a look at ZCTU,” Musunga said.

Some media houses have called this strike a test of Jacob Zuma’s power, putting to test his ability to handle pressure mounted on his government by a conscience that contributed significantly to his ascendance to power.

Others have attributed this to a foreign interest in seeing arguably Africa biggest economy coming to its knees.