Thousands of workers staged a march across South Africa Wednesday, demanding a suspension of job losses.

The march took place in all the nine provinces except Western Cape, for which the march is scheduled to happen next week.

With unemployment rate standing at 27.1 percent, South Africa’s largest labor federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), said looming job cuts in both the private and public sectors must not go ahead.

“We are against any job losses in the sectors of our economy. Any intention to retrench in the public sector is condemned and must be stopped,” Solly Mapaila, South African Communist Party (SACP) deputy general secretary, told marchers in Johannesburg.

With at least 14,500 jobs set to be slashed in mining sector in the next two years, marchers in Johannesburg handed a memorandum to the South African Chamber of Mines.

COSATU said it expected to meet with government officials regarding the unbundling of power utility Eskom. It wanted the government to ensure that the splitting of Eskom would not result in job cuts.

“We are opposed to any retrenchment of workers at Eskom. We are against the privatization of the company,” Mapaila added. Enditem

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