Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency /ANA
Government is urging companies to conduct their business as usual ahead of the EFF protest on Monday which aims to highlight the scourge of load shedding, unemployment, crime, gender-based violence, among a myriad of social issues in the country.
Some sectors in society have condemned the EFF protest, while President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday that security forces would protect businesses and citizens against anarchy and disturbance on Monday.
Toyota’s general manager for employee relations, Bheka Khumalo, in a leaked internal memo shared by EFF leader Julius Malema on social media, said the company was shutting down operations on Monday in the best interest of its employees’ safety.
“This decision has been made taking into consideration the safety of our employees and their families, the risk of disruption of our supply chain, the potential risk of absenteeism that could result from this national shutdown and the need to make proactive arrangements that could help us recover lost production and employee income where possible.
“In a meeting that took place on Thursday, the management confirmed that Monday the 20th March 2023 will be treated on the basis of no work, no pay and no discipline. It was also agreed to work overtime on Saturdays, 25th March 2023 and 01 April 2023 to recover the losses,” read the memo.
The EFF has declared the national shutdown protest against unprecedented levels of load shedding blackouts which have affected jobs and the economy.
Eskom announced Stage 2 load shedding on Friday.
The party has also further called on South Africans who have fallen victim to the tough living conditions and are angry or frustrated to join them in the protest.
Toyota has further encouraged salaried employees to take leave on the day and where it is necessary to show up to work, due to critical work requirements, managers should make alternative arrangements with employees to be able to fulfil their duties.
“Employees are encouraged to exercise caution and prioritise safety and that of their families on the day,” said Khumalo. By Sisipho Bhuta, IOL