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MANZINI – The TUCOSWA leadership will invoke Section 6 (4) of the Public Order Act of 2017 as they plan to march without seeking a permit from the local authority.

TUCOSWA is the trade union congress of Swaziland. Section 6 (4) of the Public Order Act of 2017, which is about notice of gathering, provides that the notification required under this section shall not apply to a spontaneous gathering or to an assembly, concourse or procession of fewer than 50 people. This was revealed by the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) 2nd Deputy Secretary General, Sikelela Dlamini, when he was asked about the latest development regarding their planned march to deliver petitions to various government departments today, where they would be raising concerns over the continued hike of prices for basic commodities.


The government departments which will be visited by the federation include, the Prime Minister’s Office, Deputy Prime Minister’s Office (DPMO), Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade. In respect of the above cited piece of legislation, the unionist said their planned march would go ahead despite the fact that they did not approach the local authority; the Municipal Council of Mbabane to seek a permit to march along the city’s streets. He said this was because the law permitted them to gather and march without seeking a permit from the municipality, if they would be less than 50.

He said in a bid to ensure that they adhered to the law, the protest march would be attended by the leaders of the workers’ federation and unions affiliated to it. It is worth noting that TUCOSWA has a total of 19 affiliates. As such, he said they would gather at the DPM’s Office and deliver a petition before proceeding to the other government departments. On another note, Dlamini said it was public knowledge that it was relatively impossible to host a protest march in the country as the local governments usually turned down applications to march along the cities’ streets, for alleged security reasons.


Therefore, he said they decided to use this petition delivery march as a build-up to a mass action which was in the pipeline. He said if the planned march would be successful, it would bring confidence among their members and they would attend when they rolled it out. In a statement which the federation’s secretariat released yesterday, it said they noted with great concern the ever escalating costs of goods and services, with the recent one being oil products and bread. It said their analysis, having been informed by historical price hikes, revealed that there was no end in sight for such exponential price increases.

Meanwhile, Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati, who was asked if the police would be deployed to ensure the safety of lives and property during the federation’s petition delivery march, she said they had not received anything about the matter. However, she said security issues were not for public consumption.

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