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South African Protest News 10 -25 September 2013
 (2013) South African Protest News 10 -25 September 2013
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SACP Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee
Media alert 25 September 2013

The SACP Gauteng province housing service delivery related protest is currently underway, today 25 September 2015. Over 6 Gauteng communities from Alexandra, Lenasia, Lolly, Motsoaledi, Newtown, Orange Farm and Zamimpilo are demonstrating, led by the SACP to highlight serious challenges of housing and related service delivery backlogs.

The march will start today at 10h30 at the constitution Hill (Empire Road and Joubert street) and proceed to the City of Johannesburg Mayor’s Office, the Johannesburg Housing Company and the Gauteng Provincial Department of Housing, where memoranda of demands will be delivered.

We are demonstrating against the heavy burden on the working class of bourgeois models in housing delivery which denies access to housing by the poor, against housing corruption, for the transformation of the financial sector and its role in housing delivery and for land and agrarian reform.

The media is invited to attend and cover the activities.

For enquires please contact:

SACP Provincial Secretary Jacob Mamabolo:
SACP Spokesperson: Lucian Segami: 079 522 0098

Sadtu ends KZN protest
IOL News 20 September 2013

The KwaZulu-Natal education department has met "80 percent" of Sadtu's demands, bringing to an end a six-month work-to-rule protest, the union said on Friday.

SA Democratic Teachers' Union provincial deputy secretary Nomarashiya Caluza said a memorandum of understanding had been signed between the union and the department earlier in the week.

The protest started in April.

She told reporters in Durban the department had committed an amount of R367 million to meeting the union's demands.

Some of the union's grievances were that Grade R teachers were not being paid enough, Grade 12 examination markers had not received an increase in salary, and some teachers and non-teaching staff were not on improved salary grades.

"About 80 percent of our demands have been met. Yesterday 1/8Thursday 3/8, teachers were paid some of the money owing to them," she said.

One of the key demands not met, was refunding money docked en mass from teachers during a 2010 strike.

Caluza said the department was failing to adhere to a court order obtained by the union, forcing the department to refund money docked from teachers' pay during the strike.

According to Caluza, the court had ordered the department to check what each and every teacher was doing during the strike as not all teachers had gone on strike.

She said the union was drawing up papers to take the department to court on the issue.

Comment could not immediately be obtained from the department.

Crime stats: Cops handled 12 399 protests
IOL News 19 September 2013

Pretoria - Police handled more than 12 000 public protests during the 2012/2013 financial year, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Thursday.

“Over the past four years, a total of 46 180 incidents were attended to and all were successfully stabilised, with 14 843 arrests effected,” he said at the release of the 2012/2013 crime statistics in Pretoria.

These were made up of 41 104 peaceful and 5 076 violent protests by the SA Municipal Workers Union, the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union, protests in De Doorns in the Western Cape, Marikana in the North West, and Zamdela in the Free State.

“During 2012/13 alone, police managed 12 399 public incidents. Of these 10 517 were peaceful and 1 882 were violent public protests with a total of 693 various criminal cases reported,” Mthethwa said.

“Most of the cases were reported in the Western Cape and North West provinces. Currently, stability has been restored.” - Sapa

This is abuse, say CBD parking marshals
Daneel Knoetze 17 September 2013

Parking marshall assault case in court
Cape Town - Parking marshals in the Cape Town city centre have revealed shocking details of the conditions under which they work.

They say they are charged for the shortfall if they do not make their daily quotas, and complain about having to clean the toilets at their employer’s office for no extra pay.

They also say they are being forced to pay for the use of dirty uniforms, and are body-searched to see whether they are concealing any takings at the end of a day’s work.

Dozens of protesting marshals picketed outside their employer’s offices on Castle Street on Monday.

The protest resulted from Street Parking Solutions’ announcement last week that the marshals’ daily targets were to be raised, the Cape Argus was told. The company has a contract with the city to collect parking fees in the CBD.

Zunade Loghdey, the company’s owner, acknowledged receipt of the Cape Argus queries about his employees’ claims, but declined to comment.

All the marshals who spoke to the Cape Argus did so on condition that their names not be used, saying they feared they could lose their jobs.

“We work very hard but if we do not make our targets, the boss makes us pay (the shortfall) out of our own pockets. Now, just as we are entering a period where there are fewer cars are on the road (the festive season), they tell us that the targets will be raised. It is abuse,” said one woman.

The targets vary according to how busy a designated area is, and according to the number of parking bays in an area. Examples given were R85 a day for two parking bays in one area and just over a R1 000 a day for 20 bays in another.

One man alleged that the company had retracted a contractual obligation to return 23 percent of the target to the workers, if the target is reached. Marshals were made to sign new contracts, he said, which meant the attendants now only keep what they earn over and above the targets.

“When you come back from a day’s work the managers sometimes search you to make sure you are not hiding money. It is degrading,” he said, adding that he made R150 for himself on a busy day and nothing on a quiet day.

“This is why we are frustrated and sometimes rude to motorists. Many people try to drive away without paying us, and that means the money has to come out of our own pockets. I just want to say ‘please, don’t do that’ to all the drivers. It makes our lives very difficult.”

The woman also expressed concern about workplace hygiene. She said the marshals had to clean the office toilets, a task which ate into the work day and for which they were not paid.

Failure to comply resulted in a fine or an allocation of a “bad stretch of road where it is almost impossible to make your target”.

The blue-and-orange uniforms had to be hired daily at R7. They were shared between staff and often not properly cleaned, workers said.

“We are only allowed to wear underwear and a T-shirt underneath our uniforms. I don’t know why, it is just the rules. And when it rains and gets cold, we feel like we’re going to freeze.”

Another marshal said: “If you have worked here for a long time, it means you have essentially paid for a number of uniforms. Yet, you don’t own one.”

Michael Bagraim, chairman of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s human capital portfolio committee, said the working conditions at Street Parking Solutions had been discussed on various occasions at executive meetings at the chamber.

“If these allegations are true, many of them would amount to gross contraventions of the country’s labour legislation.”

He said it was up to the City of Cape Town, which had awarded the company the contract to manage the CBD’s paid parking system, to ensure the company did not break the law.

“Failing that, the contract should be cancelled.”

City spokesman Simon Maytham originally said the dispute was an ongoing internal affair between the company and its employees.

The city had thus refrained from commenting on it in the past.

In response, Bagraim said the city could not expect workers – many of whom were non-unionised, and some of whom were foreign and lacked legal knowledge and financial resources – to fight for legal conditions of employment without help.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport, said the grievances raised by the marshals should be dealt with in terms of the contract of employment with Street Parking Solutions.

The city had once, upon receiving compaints from Street Parking Solutions staff, asked the labour department to investigate whether the company’s employment contracts and practices were lawful, and “the department confirmed that they were”.

“Our contract with the service provider requires that they comply with all national legislation.”

However, following Monday’s complaints, the city would request “evidence” from SPS that its practices complied with “all employment legislation”.

The contracts for on-street parking management would go out for tender in the near future.

“We are investigating how we can improve on the current model, including the conditions under which the parking marshals operate, in the future contracts,” said Herron.
Cape Argus

Now security guards go on strike
IOL News 17 September 2013

Pretoria - Private security guards have joined the list of employees around the country who have gone on strike over wage increases.

Gauteng security guards took part in a march on Monday to press demands that their salaries be increased to R7 500. The guards said they were not organised by a union for the march, which ended at the Department of Labour offices on Francis Baard Street.

One of them, Ronald Masoga, said he earned R3 300.

“We work abnormal hours. As the private sector, unions have failed us. We do not get transport or danger allowance like other security guards.

“They do not care about us, just their businesses. I have an eight-year-old child. Do you think I will be able to afford university with the money I am earning?”

Another guard, Christopher Motlogelo, said they had sent several memorandums to the Department of Labour and were had to go on strike.

An employer, who did not want to be named but who watched the strike, said the guards were acting the victim.

“There is already a wage deal that we are working on. The last time they went on a strike, we struck a three-year wage deal.

“The last part of the deal is supposed to be implemented now at the end of September, but they are complaining. Employers have kept their part of the bargain. Now, there is going to be unnecessary violence and people dying on trains.”

Guards who were not part of the strike dressed in civilian clothes to protect themselves from intimidation by striking workers.

Steve Conradie, chief executive of Security Alliance, said there were rumours of a strike, but not many of the group’s members were involved.

While the guards were marching in Pretoria, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa said it was negotiating with employers this week to try to end the petrol pump attendants’ strike, which enters its ninth day on Tuesday.

Last week, the union rejected a revised wage increase offer of 7.5 percent. The union is demanding an increase of R30 an hour across the board by 2016 in all sectors.


Dear staff and students

A group of approximately 100 students embarked on illegal protest action on the Howard College campus. The protest action began at Louis Botha residence at 08:30 this morning.

We have received reports that students disrupted the academic programme and every effort will be made to ensure that the impact on students is minimised. At this stage the reasons for the protest action are not known.

The University’s Risk Management Service is monitoring the situation.

Executive Management has requested a meeting with the student leadership in an effort to resolve the matter.

Issued by Professor Jane Meyerowitz Registrar

Strikers allegedly kill petrol jockey
Kowthar Solomons 14 September 2013

Cape Town - A Somali petrol attendant yesterday became the first casualty of the ongoing strike in the petrol and motor industry after he died in Groote Schuur Hospital as a result of a vicious attack, allegedly by striking workers.

Adeen Wadie, 55, died yesterday morning, hospital spokesman Alaric Jacobs confirmed last night.

He was attacked on Tuesday morning by several men at a petrol station in Grassy Park when he and a colleague were working.

They chased the two when they tried to flee, cornering Wadie at a shop near the service station, then allegedly viciously assaulting him.

The men are believed to be striking members of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa).

Last night Vuyo Lufele, Numsa provincial general secretary, said they were not aware of the death, but would immediately investigate the matter to determine whether union members were involved.

Lufele said he considered it shocking if it was indeed union members who were responsible.

“I cannot comment until we have done our own investigation, but we condemn any form of violence.”

The owner of the station, whose identity is known to Weekend Argus but did not want to be named for fear of further reprisals, said Wadie managed to walk back to the station, where he collapsed in one of the back rooms. “He looked like they had beaten him over the head several times, and there was blood running down from his face. I rushed him to a nearby doctor who treated him for about 20 minutes before an ambulance arrived.”

But Wadie never woke up.

The petrol station manager said Wadie had worked there for about seven years.

“He worked hard to support his family and his death is a great tragedy to all of us. He was killed because he wouldn’t strike,” the upset manager said.

Police said the charges would be changed to murder.

Several incidents of violence have been reported since unions began the national strike on Monday, but this is the first reported death or serious injury.

Union members have been on strike for the past week demanding higher wages, but negotiations are deadlocked. An offer of a 7.5 percent increase was turned down. - Weekend Argus

70 held in PE protests
The Herald 17 September 2013

Seventy people have been arrested for public violence and looting spaza shops during protests in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape police said on Tuesday (17/09/2013).

Brigadier Marinda Mills said the situation was "tense but stable” on Tuesday morning after sporadic looting of shops owned by immigrants on Monday night.

Looting was reported in Kwadwesi, Missionvale, Swartkops, New Brighton, and Motherwell. The protests broke out after a Somali man was arrested for allegedly shooting a man dead outside a shop on Saturday evening.

"During our interaction with affected communities, it was clear that the motive for the attacks on foreign-owned spaza shops [was] not xenophobic in nature, but a criminal element that has seized an opportunity,” Mills said.

She said looting was considered public violence, a schedule one offence in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act.

It was difficult for police to prevent looting as it was hard to predict when and where it would occur.

"Most of the foreign shop owners have been assisted to relocate their property to safer locations. A high police presence and visibility is maintained in all the townships in the Nelson Mandela metro, and police stations have been put on high alert to ensure a quick response and, as far as possible, the immediate arrest of perpetrators.” Mills said residents in the areas told police they had no problem working and living with immigrants, and many had helped them during the attacks. - Sapa

Foreigners’ shops looted in PE
IOL News 16 September 2013

Port Elizabeth - Several shops belonging to Somali nationals in KwaZakhele and New Brighton, near Port Elizabeth, were looted and burnt at the weekend, Eastern Cape police said on Monday.

Brigadier Marinda Mills said at least 10 shops were attacked.

“Two shops at Ntintili Street were looted and burnt and the vehicle which was parked outside the shop was set alight,” said Mills.

Several other shops were targeted on Sunday.

Police had since moved some foreign nationals out of the area.

The attacks followed the arrest of a Somali national after he allegedly shot and killed a man outside a shop on Saturday evening.

“According to a witness, there was an argument between the suspect and the victim. The police arrested the suspect and the firearm used... was recovered,” said Mills.

The man was expected to appear in court soon.

Meanwhile, police had been deployed to patrol the area. - Sapa

South Africa union ends building strike with 12 pct wage deal
Reuters 13 September 2013

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers said on Friday it had agreed to a deal for wage hikes of up to 12 percent with the construction industry, ending a three-week strike.

"This is a major victory for us," union official Issac Ntshangase said in a statement.

The strike in the construction industry, one of several in a number of sectors, had appeared to have a relatively small impact, with many workers refusing to heed union demands to down tools and many building sites remaining active.

Major South African construction firms include Aveng Ltd, Murray & Roberts and Group Five.

Workers in the motor and gold industries have returned to work after strikes that crippled operations at some of the country's biggest producers were resolved last week.

Airline technical workers also returned to work this week, while an ongoing strike by petrol station attendants has caused little disruption so far in Africa's top economy.

With the unemployment rate stuck at about 25 percent for years and poverty gripping millions, many South Africans have said they are more concerned with securing a paycheque than heeding the strike calls of union bosses.

EFF to make Ekurhuleni ungovernable
Maile Matsimela (Look Local) 13 September 2013 more chief, advocate Thekiso Mosome, is seen addressing "fighters" outside the Benoni Magistrates Court on September 11. less

Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) vowed to continue protesting and leading protests even in the face of arrests.

Addressing "fighters" who gathered outside the Benoni Magistrates Court on September 11, EFF national Youth commander in chief advocate Thekiso Mosome, said: "They are only trying to weaken us with these arrests but don't be intimidated, let them arrest all of us if they can."

He said a protest where no teargas is being fired is not a protest enough.

"We are a protest movement; you must protest until they fire teargas at you and when they do, you should know that you are a threat to the ANC government," said Mosome.

He said Etwatwa will see more protests.

"We are going to organise protests until the metro listens to all your needs and if they don't listen we will set our own rules; we will make Ekurhuleni ungovernable," said Mosome.

Mosome, however, urged EFF members to be disciplined.

"Stay away from damaging property during the protests, just barricade streets," he said.

Mosome said EFF members left the ANC due to "corruption and nepotism" in the ANC.

Members chanted slogans praising their commander in chief, Julius Malema.

Fears that petrol strike action may heat up
Lorna Charles 11 September 2013

Petrol attendant Lancelot Duze said he wasn't more paid to strike and he had a family to think about. less

A Glenwood garage was one of the only few garages more across the country were staff wore their uniforms to work amidst strike action. less

Some garages along the Berea carried on wiith more business as usual despite intimidation by striking workers. less

AS petrol attendants embarked on a nationwide NUMSA strike on Monday, the Berea, Morningside and Musgrave area seemed to be business as usual, with many petrol stations open and garages enjoying a steady flow of traffic.

However, this may just be the lull before the storm as reports indicate that NUMSA workers will march on City Hall today (Thursday 12 September) as NUMSA tries to force bosses back to the bagaining table with a "decen offer"to settle or resolve the strike action.
Berea police Communications Officer Lieutenant PN Naidoo said police had monitored the situation early on Monday morning. "We patrolled the various petrol stations in our area including Old Dutch Road, Clarence Road, Avondale Road, Florida Road, Cowey Road, Musgrave, Essenwood and Ridge Road. All was quiet, the owners of the garages said they hadn't experienced any problems but had suggested workers operate in civilian clothes," he said.

Naidoo said the owners were asked to contact police if any trouble arose.

Mary-Anne Stewart didn't know about the strike when she stopped to fill up on Tuesday morning, but was thankful to get her tank topped up after hearing about it.

A 27 year old petrol attendant in Morningside who wished to remain anonymous said he could not participate in the strike action because he was not part of a union. "Unfortunately it's also no work, no pay, and if we strike here illegally, we might get fired and I can't risk it," he said. The attendant said as long as there was petrol, they had to continue working. "Every year we usually get a R1 increase per hour, but we don't know what the outcome will be. Our current rate is R17. 13 per hour and we usually get R3800 a month, so I hope that we will get a a decent increase out of this strike," he said.

Yunus Cassim of Caltex service station on Cowey Road said there were no incidents and it business as usual at his garage, although his workers came in civvies. "We hope the strike continues peacefully and the issues are resolved," he added.

Meanwhile a Glenwood Service station who had been operating normally encountered picketing on Monday morning.

Tony Ball, owner of Bulwer Park Service Station said, "These guys have violated every single one of the rules set out by the Fuel Retail Association, Retail Motor Industry and NUMSA,which were all agreed and signed so I don't understand why they don't follow it." Ball said a group of striking workers armed with sticks came close to the pavement of his garage yelling and shouting trying to intimidate his staff.

"I will do what I can to protect my business and staff. It is time the government took a firm stand on these striking workers that intimidate others that want to work," he said in dismay.

About 8000 workers are expected to converge at King Dinizulu Statue opposite the Durban Christian Centre on King Dinizulu Road at 9am on Thursday before NUMSA general secretary Irvin Jim leads workers in a march to City Hall where a Memorandum of Demands will be handed to the FRA and RMI. Castro Ngobese, National spokesman for NUMSA said, after hearing allegations of striking members assaulting non-striking members, "We are taking these allegations seriously and are following up and investigating with our structures. NUMSA does not condone violence," he said.

Numsa blames 'rotten elements' for intimidation
Kabelo Maseng (Look Local) 12 September 2013

JOBURG - National Union of Metal Workers of SA (Numsa) has pointed fingers at ‘rotten elements’ for the recent incidents of intimidation on non-striking petrol attendants.

“We are suspicious that rotten elements, particularly criminals might be hijacking our genuine and legitimate strike, in order to undermine our wage grievances with the stinking rich bosses. We always encourage our members to exercise maximum discipline wherever we embark on strike actions,” Spokesperson Castro Ngobese said.

Ngobese said union members would never act outside the ambit of the law.

“Any evidence that suggest otherwise, the union is duty bound to apply its disciplinary code of conduct in such circumstances.”

Ngobese said if the employer was willing to settle or resolve the strike, they should with serious offers to resolve the strike.

“We have consistently stated our principled commitment to meet with them provided their give us a decent wage offer, we can take to our members for a mandate,” he added.

Planned marches will take place in Kwazulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and the Free State provinces on 12 September.

UPDATE: 9 September, 4.15pm

The petrol attendants strike will continue until workers' demands are met, said Numsa's Irvin Jim.

Jim encouraged more workers to join the strike.

Hundreds of workers marched to the Fuel Retailers Association (FRA) offices in Randburg to hand over a memorandum, demanding a wage increase.

FRA's Reggie Sibiya who signed the memorandum of demands, said the the association initially offered a 9. 5 percent increase to avert the strike, but the offer was withdrawn and reduced to 7 percent.

UPDATE: 9 September, 12:32pm

Petrol attendants have gone on strike this morning demanding better wages.

Workers will gather outside the National Union of Metal Workers SA (Numsa) regional office in Randburg on Voortrekker Road and later march to the Fuel Retailers Association offices in Oak Avenue, Randburg.

UPDATE: 29 August, 6.57pm

Strikes are looming in South Africa as various labour sectors take to the streets to air their grievances.

On 26 August South African Airways technicians, construction workers, metal workers, motor manufacturing workers, clothing and textile workers among others, all affiliated to their respective unions, went on strike after wage disputes.

Police administrators were the latest to join the fray on 29 August.

More labour strikes were expected across major provinces, as petrol attendants were set to strike on 2 September.

Other sectors to down tools included car dealership employees, panel beaters, mechanics, truck body and trailer builders.

According to National Metal Workers Union (Numsa), the mediation for negotiations between the union and employer reached a deadlock on 19 July.

Workers are demanding better living wages, improved conditions of employment and service.

Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese said the demands included a R3 per hour increase across the board. They were also asking for a R30 per hour increase on actual rates of pay across the board in all sectors and divisions for all workers earning above R6 000 per month by 2016.

MEC will not receive health memorandum
IOL News 13 September 2013

Motsoaledi: Quality health care eludes SA
Johannesburg - Eastern Cape health MEC Sicelo Gqobana will not be available on Friday to receive a memorandum on problems in his jurisdiction, the department said.

A senior doctor would receive the memorandum from the Eastern Cape Health Crisis Action Coalition at the health department's provincial offices in Bisho instead, spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said.

“The MEC is meeting the SA Medical Association in Port Elizabeth to discuss issues affecting doctors, including shortages, backlogs in terms of their benefits, and general issues affecting the provision of quality health care in the province.”

Later in the day Gqobana would open a tuberculosis hospital, he said.

The coalition was marching on Friday to push for drastic action in the Eastern Cape health care system.

Kupelo acknowledged there were problems in the department, but said it was trying to address inherited problems, such as lack of infrastructure in the former Transkei.

These problems would take time to resolve despite the department's efforts, which were hampered by funding issues, he said.

“We remain concerned about the manner in which the problems affecting health in the Eastern Cape have been distorted by the coalition.

“They need to resist the temptation of personalising these problems,” Kupelo said.

Problems in the province's health care system were among the reasons the National Health Insurance was being piloted there.

On Wednesday, Rural Health Advocacy Project spokesman Kwazi Mbatha said: “Researchers have found infrastructure problems that need serious improvement to help service delivery.”

A report compiled by, among others, Section27 and the Treatment Action Campaign, detailed stories of patients not getting help at hospitals and clinics because of a lack of medication.

It also described service delivery problems as a result of the poor state of health care facilities.

“The combination of a high vacancy rate and an out of date personnel salary system has catastrophic consequences for the delivery of health care services,” the organisations said in the report.

Kupelo said some of the problems highlighted in the report, such as medication shortages, had now been rectified.

He invited the coalition to take a proactive stance against the identified problems by presenting their ideas for possible solutions.

“Don't target politicians, target the system,” Kupelo said. - Sapa

Free State warders protest
News 2412 September 2013

Johannesburg - Prison warders protested outside Mangaung Prison in Bloemfontein on Thursday, the prison said.

The warders, who were employed by a security company, were angry about the suspension of a fellow employee on Monday, said the prison's contract management director Joe Maako.

He said the suspended employee was accused of intimidating and influencing members to protest during wage negotiations.

The protest began on Wednesday.

Only a few of the prison's 400 warders reported for work.

The warders were expected to meet with the security company's management on Thursday, said Maako.

Helicopters are monitoring the strikers
Look Local 10 September 2013

Police say this is a safety precaution.
MBALENHLE - Residents have been concerned over the helicopters that were hovering over Secunda and eMbalenhle on Monday, 9 September.

Members of the National Union of Democratic and Progressive Workers who are working for Sasol’s coal mining operations have been on strike since 2 September.

The helicopters are a safety precaution and residents need not be concerned as the situation and affected areas are being monitored by the police.

No incidents have been reported thus far.

Wellington Farmer Institutes Illegal Lock-out
FAWU Media Release: 12 September 2013

The owner of Leeuwrivier farm, Mr. David Bell in Wellington, near Cape Town has instituted an illegal lock-out against seven of his farm workers on Tuesday,10 September 2013 and yesterday morning after they refused to dispose of the human waste from the primitive pit latrines used by workers on the farm. Workers got fed up of the filthy toilets on Monday afternoon after the farmer instructed them to burn the human waste and they refused, calling for better facilities.

FAWU is in possession of photographs of the filthy toilets and urgently demand that the owner provide decent toilets instead of the primitive pit latrines which I am sure he would not use. The municipality is willing to provide proper sewerage systems if the owner agrees to install proper flush toilets.

FAWU and the farm is also in dispute over wages because the same farmer is deducting more than the 10 percent allowed in the sectoral determination . In fact , bad hand-written payslips show that he is deducting an extra 15% in addition to the ten percent allowed, thereby rendering the new minimum wage increase totally useless.

FAWU and the Department of Labour met with the farmer on Tuesday where it was agreed that the workers would return to work today and that the waste would be disposed of by an outside company. When workers returned to work yesterday, they were shocked to find that the farmer resumed the illegal lock-out. Our members are back at work today, but the matter has been referred to the CCMA and it is expected to be dealt with over the next couple of weeks.

We urge the Department of Labour to urgently intervene in the health and safety aspects of the case and hand-written payslips which indicate that some workers do not even earn the R 525 per week as per sectoral determination.

Released by :
FAWU Media Officer
Dominique Swartz
082 498 5631

Slow start to Marikana march in Pretoria
Sapa 12 September 2013

A march to demand that the state pay for lawyers for survivors of the Marikana shootings started off slowly in Pretoria on Thursday morning.

Marikana survivors march to Union Buildings Different political parties gathered outside the Caledonian Stadium, singing and dancing.

Members of the Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, AgangSA, and the Congress of the People sang and danced.

DA supporters sang "We have Helen Zille", and EFF members sang "If you support Zille, are you mad?"

Marikana survivors and their families entered the stadium singing "We are not here to play".

In August 2012 police shot dead 34 people, almost all striking miners, while trying to disperse them during strike-related unrest at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana near Rustenburg in North West.

Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week.

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry was established to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths but lawyers representing survivors have withdrawn for lack of funding.

They have also had numerous applications for funding rejected.

Dali Mpofu, for miners wounded and arrested, was also at the march but said he was just there to march and would not comment further.

The marchers, under the banner of Citizens4Marikana, plan to march to the Union Buildings to appeal directly to President Jacob Zuma for funding for the lawyers.

Traffic along the route is expected to come to a standstill.

Superintendent Hilda Mohale of the Tshwane metro police said thousands of marchers were expected.

"Traffic will be disrupted at Pretorius Street, Nelson Mandela Street, [and] Madiba Street, and [the March will] proceed straight to the Union Buildings," said Mohale.

Marikana marchers hope to make a 'statement' on workers' capacity
Sapa 12 September 2013

People marching to the Union Buildings on Thursday to push for state funding for the counsel of miners wounded and arrested at Marikana hoped to make a "statement" through their protest, the convenor said.

"We are hoping to make a statement to government that workers have the capacity to fight political leaders to get their way," said Bishop Joe Seoka.

Marchers were still trickling into the Caledonian Stadium in Pretoria by 11am on Thursday, ahead of the march organised by Citizens4Marikana.

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry is probing the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 44 people in strike-related unrest near Lonmin's platinum mine at Marikana, North West, in August last year.

Police shot dead 34 people, almost all striking mine workers, while trying to disperse a group gathered on a hill near the mine on August 16, 2012. Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, died in the preceding week.

Dali Mpofu, for the miners wounded and arrested, recently provisionally withdrew from the commission's hearings after failing to get state funding for himself and his team.

Among the marchers gathered on Thursday was Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

He said what was happening was an injustice but would not say whether the IFP would make a donation.

"I don't want to make empty promises, because everyone is looking for funds for next year's elections. If we have people with money and who can pledge support, we will welcome it," he said.

Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) chairman Wayne Duvenage was also at the stadium to march.

"They are forcing people to be on the back foot while they dip into taxpayers' money to pay for their case," he said.

"It is similar to the Outa case, but this is stronger because the government called the commission, but they don't want to level the playing fields," he said.

If government could not fund both sides, then funding should be terminated for all.

Citizens4Marikana had instructed its lawyers to secure permission for the Union Buildings march so it could appeal directly to President Jacob Zuma for legal funding in its quest to get to the truth about what happened at Marikana, spokesman Erik de Ridder said on Monday.

Citizens4Marikana was a group of ordinary South Africans who came together through social media on the first anniversary of the Marikana shootings, and would join the survivors and the families in the action, he said.

The group said it regretted the ruling on Monday that the Farlam Commission of Inquiry would continue hearings in the absence of representatives of the wounded and arrested miners.

"The absence of the voices of the victims calls into question the ability of the commission to reach a fair and balanced outcome," it said.

Commission chairman, retired judge Ian Farlam, ruled that it would not be prejudicial to the miners wounded and arrested at Marikana last year to continue the hearings.

Mpofu had applied for a postponement while he continued to seek funding.

Mass ride to protest bike tolling
Siyabulela Dzanibe 12 September 2013

Durban bikers have slammed toll fees as “poorly executed form of taxation” by the government and are demanding a free open lane for bikers.

Lobby group Bikers Against Tolls opposes the tolling of motorcyclists using urban and national highways.

Bikers across the country will embark on mass protest rides to various tollgates, including in Durban, on Saturday.

BAT convenor Morné ‘Lofty’ Fourie said tolls on motorcycles were unfair compared with the tolls levied on other road users.

He said motorcyclists paid R8.50 at the Mariannhill toll plaza – the same as that paid by car drivers – and elsewhere in the country, the situation was much the same.

“Our choice of transport is discriminated against due to lack of the thinking process used in ascertaining toll fees for motorcycles,” he said.

According to Fourie, the department of transport deemed the low number of motorcycles as insignificant and not worth the bother in considering a lower tariff.

BAT has demanded a free open lane for motorcycles on all national roads.

Fourie said tolls in South Africa collect revenue of R667 billion a year, according to Kapsch TraffiCom.

A mass protest ride will start on the M13 near Shongweni and proceed to the Mariannhill toll plaza, with 400 to 500 riders expected to take part.

For more details, contact Fourie at 074 633 4502 or 079 885 4349.

Excavator torched during strike
Daneel Knoetze 12 September 2013

Cape Town - As employers and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) continue to seek a wage settlement, strikers in the civil engineering sector appear to be using increasingly destructive tactics.

Since early last week there have been incidents of workers being intimidated and beaten up, and transport vehicles being attacked.

In the latest attack on a civil engineering site, a group of men, believed by police to be associated with the strike, invaded a sand mine in Macassar early on Wednesday. The mine produces industrial sand used by Afrisam in cement production.

The men overpowered two security guards, assaulted them and torched three diggers and an excavator.

Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said a case of arson was being investigated.

On Monday the owner and workers of a tiling company were attacked on their way to work

“Today we are still going to work, but we’re using normal cars so as not to attract attention,” said the owner, Alan Bissolati.

Responding to reports of builders being attacked by strikers, Rob Johnson of the Master Builders’ Association sought to clarify what he deemed to be “confusion” in the reporting of the strike.

He noted that only civil engineering workers who fell under NUM were on a national strike, adding that building workers had settled a wage increase of 7.5 percent in regional negotiations for the greater Cape Town area late last month.

Builders who fell under NUM had, however, rejected this settlement which was enforced by a majority of parties in the negotiations.

“When civil engineering NUM members went on strike, they co-opted disgruntled fellow members in the building sector. At the moment it is unclear which of these two groups are attacking builders. Yet it must be stressed that builders who are reporting for work are not in the civil engineering sector and are thus not undermining NUM’s national strike.”

On Wednesday police intercepted hundreds of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) members at Cape Town station.

As the Numsa members planned to descend on the Bree Street offices of Barry Cannings, the president of employer representative body the Retail Motor Industry, negotiators for employers and the unions were meeting in Johannesburg.

Numsa members went on strike on Monday after wage negotiations deadlocked.
Cape Argus

TAC founder Achmat held after protest
Jan Cronje and Aziz Hartley 12 September 2013

Cape Town - Treatment Action Campaign founder Zackie Achmat and 20 other activists were arrested by police and held for several hours before being released late on Wednesday night.

They were arrested outside mayor Patricia de Lille’s offices at the Cape Town Civic Centre, under the Illegal Gatherings Act, said police spokesman Andre Traut.

They were released on a warning to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on September 18, said Social Justice Coalition (SJC) general secretary Phumeza Mlungwana, one of those arrested.

Earlier, 15 SJC activists had chained themselves to railings outside the centre, refusing to budge until the mayor spoke to them about sanitation problems in Khayelitsha, but she did not.

The 15 in a group of 21 sang and waved placards with slogans including, “No more false promises, Mayor De Lille”.

Mlungwana said: “It is not like us to act like this, but she needs to acknowledge there is an urgency and give out clearer recommendations about how sanitation will be fixed.”

The city and the SJC have been at loggerheads over the provision of sanitation in informal settlements and about the way the city has monitored companies contracted to supply and clean chemical toilets.

“I am from Khayelitsha,” said Mlungwana. “There are many health issues with the toilets - they are unhygienic.”

Achmat, part of the SJC secretariat, said De Lille had been given enough time for a programme to improve sanitation.

“She has delayed too often. All us here are prepared to come back and get arrested,” he said.

Around noon, metro police and SAPS officers told the protesters they had to move. When they refused, they were again asked.

When they again refused, police cut the chain connecting the group to the railings and arrested them.

They were taken to the Cape Town Central police station.

De Lille described the protest as a “publicity stunt” which “smacks of grandstanding”. She said the city had provided the SJC with the documents they had requested about sanitation.

She said the coalition had not responded to an offer to meet on October 8 or 17.

“This makes a mockery of the claims of a lack of engagement by the city.”

The SJC said the October dates were too late, as it was “extremely urgent” to improve sanitation.

“Despite a phone call requesting an earlier meeting due to the urgency of the matter, we were informed that this would not be possible,” said the organisation.

Mhlungwana rejected as “sad” De Lille’s remark of a publicity stunt.

“We’ve got nothing to gain from a publicity stunt. The mayor must acknowledge the problem. Sanitation problems continue and we feel it has become too much to bear,” she said.

Mhlungwana said there were 10 women among those arrested.

“Police have to do their work and we are not against them, but we don’t regret what we did and we’ll persist with this campaign,” she said.

Petrol strikers chase worker to club
IOL News 12 September 2013

Pretoria - A Pretoria petrol attendant had a lucky escape on Wednesday after his striking colleagues pursued him from a Caltex service station, where he was working, to a nightclub where he was saved by police.

According to a witness, he started running away after a group of about 30 striking attendants approached the service station in Stanza Bopape Street in Hatfield.

“They chased after the guy and he entered the premises of Flamingo Night Club. Fortunately for him there were police officers nearby who rushed to the scene and quickly secured the premises before the guy could be reached by the irate striking attendants,” said the witness, who declined to be named.

The police closed the gate to the premises and told the striking workers to disperse, he said. They left after exchanging a few unpleasant words with the police.

They said they were going to visit other service stations and spares shops to see if there were any employees not heeding the strike call. Police kept a watchful eye on them, the witness said.

A service station at the intersection of Stanza Bopape Street and Gordon Road was operating, but only with a skeleton staff.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) said on Wednesday that vehicle production would stop by the end of the week as a result of the strike in the automotive components industry.

“The strike will further disrupt vehicle manufacturing operations,” Naamsa president Johan van Zyl said.

“By the end of the current week, all the major vehicle producers will again be unable to operate as a result of the unavailability of locally produced equipment components,” he said.

Thousands of petrol attendants, workers at component manufacturers and retailers, panel beaters, car and spare parts dealers, fitment workshops, and dealerships, downed tools over wages on Monday.

The industrial action followed a three-week strike in the automotive sector, during which production lines at major vehicle manufacturers, including Toyota, BMW and Nissan, shut down and production was halted.

The automotive sector strike ended on Monday.

Van Zyl said aggregate production losses at vehicle manufacturing level amounted to more than 45 000 vehicles so far, which translated into a production revenue loss of about R20-billion.

“These figures will rise further as a result of the current strike in the component manufacturing industry,” he said.

The strikes had damaged the country’s status as a reliable supplier to international markets and could negatively affect future export contracts.

“Unless the strike is resolved in the next few days, the damage to the prospects of the automotive industry and on foreign investment will be immeasurable and will take years to redress,” he said.
Pretoria News

Domestic Workers will protest against Racist, Mandela-hating, Face Spitting “white” man appearing in Magistrate’s Court today, 12 September 2013

The face and sad reality of the lives of many Domestic Workers will be tried at Court 17, Cape Town Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.

The depth of the hatred of a white man toward his girlfriend’s Domestic Worker is a sad indictment of all that we as a nation have tried to build and one of the most blatant attacks on one of the architects of this democracy we hold dear.

Domestic Worker Gloria Kente was called a {“K…..r”, manhandled and spat in the face; then told that “you are a k….r and pathetic because you stole our land”; and “I wish that cripple Mandela would die”;] - by a ruthless white man, in the home of her employer.

To the employer’s credit she advised Gloria to go directly to the Police Station to institute charges against this man. This matter was postponed at Court on the 14 August 2013, to be heard tomorrow, 12 September 2013.

The courts have a duty to deal swiftly and ruthlessly with individuals and groups of people who by their actions show that they are still racist, uncouth; and abusers of workers and women.

Domestic Work is decent work and you have no business abusing us, racially, physically, mentally, emotionally or financially. No longer will we accept this!

Members of the Press are invited to come to the Courts tomorrow where workers will show solidarity outside the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court, and where the Domestic Workers will address journalists at 10h30, on the steps of the courts.

With questions, please call SADSAWU President Hester Stephens 076 2093005 and / or Wilhelmina Trout on 076 5662915

Randfontein protest turns violent
IOL News 11 September 2013

Johannesburg - More than 100 protesters were arrested for public violence and malicious damage to property in the Protea area on Wednesday, Soweto police said.

They were arrested during a service delivery protest which started in the early hours of the morning outside Randfontein, said Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela.

Impala Road towards Krugersdorp, and the N12 from Potchefstroom, were being cleared and opened to traffic.

Earlier, Makhubela described the scene as chaotic as hundreds of community members from the Waterworks informal settlement clashed with the police.

“Police are firing rubber bullets at the protesters. We also have our nyalas (armoured vehicles) and choppers on the scene, but these protesters are attacking police,” said Makhubela.

The protesters were throwing stones and rocks at police and motorists. A journalist was injured when he was hit by a stone.

Those arrested would appear soon in the Westonaria Magistrate's Court, said Makhubela.

Randfontein rocked by protests
IOL News 11 September 2013

Violent service delivery protests erupted on Wednesday in the Protea area outside Randfontein, said police.

Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela described the scene as “chaotic” as hundreds of community members from the Waterworks informal settlement clashed with police.

“Police are firing rubber bullets at the protesters. We also have our nyalas and choppers on the scene, but these protesters are attacking police,” said Makhubela.

He said the demonstrators were throwing stones and rocks at police and motorists making their way past.

“The N12 road from Potchefstroom and Randfontein and Impala Road has been closed. We advise motorists to use alternative routes,” said Makhubela.

The protests began at about 2am. No arrests had been made.

Makhubela said no injuries had been reported thus far.

Earlier, the metro police department said the protests were in Zuurbekom.

Makhubela rectified the earlier reports.

Ramaphosa booed by angry crowd
Ahmed Areff (IOL News) 11 September 2013

Tlokwe residents shun ANC delegation
Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president of the ANC, was heckled and booed during a lecture on the National Development Plan (NDP) on Tuesday.

A member of the Marikana Support Campaign stood at the foot of the University of the Witwatersrand's Great Hall stage during a question and answer session with Ramaphosa and screamed at him.

“How do you sleep at night? You have blood on your hands,” the woman cried.

As university security guards led the woman out of the hall, she could still be heard shouting.

Ramaphosa was also disrupted in his speech after the campaign group began shaking their placards while he was speaking.

“I want to pause and ask those who are shaking the papers to be respectful to other people who do not have paper in their hands,” he said.

“It cannot be right that when the vice-chancellor allowed us all in here, he extracted an agreement from all of us and the agreement is to respect each other's right to speak.”

Several members of the audience used the question and answer sessions to level criticisms at Ramaphosa and the NDP.

One man criticised Ramaphosa, saying that the election of one of the richest people in the country as deputy president of the African National Congress was worrying.

“The NDP is old wine in new bottles, and that's what we are asking for,” he said sarcastically.

“We are asking for more Marikanas, more shooting, more inequality, more brutality and less service delivery.”

Earlier, Marikana Support Campaign members sang and danced in the hall.

The group sang against capitalism and held up posters saying: “Don't let the politicians get away with murder.”

Thirty-four people were shot dead, almost all of them striking mineworkers, on August 16, 2012, while police were trying to disperse them at Lonmin's Marikana mine.

Ten people, including two policemen and two security officers, were killed in the preceding week.

Ramaphosa, a former board member at Lonmin, was criticised for calling for action against the mineworkers before the shooting.

Ramaphosa said there were appropriate platforms for Marikana to be discussed.

“I can assure you that many people feel the pain of the people who continue to suffer as a result of Marikana, which is deeply regretted.”

Ramaphosa, who also serves as the deputy chair of the national planning commission, discussed the economic advantages of the NDP.

He said it was a plan that could deliver faster and inclusive economic growth in South Africa.

“It is only natural for economic policy to be amongst the most contested terrains,” he said.

“It (the NDP) is contested, with different approaches to how we should grow our economy. We are a nation after all, of people who love to talk... and that is good.”

He said the Constitution allowed freedom of speech.

When Ramaphosa said that striking workers had greater protection since 1994, a member of the audience shouted: “They now get shot instead.”

COSATU backs motor industry strike
COSATU 10 September 2013

The Congress of South African Trade Unions declares its complete support for the 70 000 NUMSA workers in the national motor industry who went on strike on 9 September 2013.

Workers in garages, components manufacturers, truck body and trailer builders, panel beaters, spares shops, car and parts dealerships and fitment workshops, have withdrawn their labour after protracted wage negotiations since April 2013 with the Fuel Retailers Association (FRA) and the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), under the auspices of the Motor Industry Bargaining Council (MIBCO).

COSATU shares NUMSA’s anger that the employers acted so irresponsibly by refusing to exchange proposals with the national leadership, to find a possible settlement. The union is right to see this as a declaration of war, which compelled NUMSA to embark on a strike, to force the bosses to concede to their legitimate demands.

Many of the strikers live in informal settlements, because their wages are too low to afford decent housing and other basic necessities. Over 20% on average of workers’ disposable incomes is swallowed by the cost of transport because of the persisting legacy of apartheid social engineering and its settlement patterns which have ensured that African workers general live far from their workplaces. No workers must be subjected to poverty wages and highly racialised and exploitative working conditions.

COSATU back NUMSA’s call for the FRA and RMI to respond urgently to the core demands of workers around:
• Double digit increases
• Amending the industry peace clause
• Shift Allowance
• Short-time
• Banning Labour Brokers

If they fail to respond COSATU will fully support the strike until all the workers’ demands are met.

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street

P.O.Box 1019
South Africa

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 or Direct: +27 10 219-1339
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456

Tlokwe residents shun ANC delegation
Baldwin Ndaba (IOL News)10 September 2013

Johannesburg - Residents in a squatter camp at Tlokwe in North West forced a high-profile ANC delegation led by ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to flee on Monday.

Ramaphosa was accompanied by ANC North West provincial chairman Supra Mahumapelo when they were confronted by angry residents who accused the ANC of visiting them only to get their votes.

The delegation was in ward 26 to campaign ahead of local government by-elections in the area on September 18.

Nine wards became vacant in July after ANC and DA councillors passed a motion of no confidence in former Tlokwe mayor Maphetle Maphetle.

The ANC expelled 14 of its councillors, but their memberships were reinstated after the North West ANC was found to have failed to properly follow the party’s code of conduct.

However, none of the expelled councillors were included in the ANC list of those contesting, which prompted people like Stone Mahlabe to stand as independent candidates against the ANC.

Ramaphosa received a hostile reception. A group of men, women and schoolchildren broke into song when he was due to speak. He got out of his car and spoke briefly to some people, but was whisked away when the crowd became rowdy.

The residents also protested against the supposed presence of officials from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) in the ANC entourage.

Ntshepeng Ranosi was among a group of residents who vented their anger at Sassa officials.

“We know those officials. They went door to door last week, saying they will be providing us with food hampers. Now, the very same guys are here again, this time wearing ANC regalia.”

The sentiment was shared by most of the residents.

Some residents, who have been living in the informal settlement for more than 10 years, were adamant that they were visited by municipal officials and politicians only before elections.

“I doubt that the ANC mayor, Maphetle Maphetle, knows whether this settlement exists,” Absalom Madihe said.

“We want to see Oom Stone (Mahlabe) becoming our councillor. We had no water and toilets for many years.

“It was through Oom Stone’s efforts that two communal taps where installed for us,” he added.

The ANC candidate for ward 26, Oupa Mogoshane, who is challenging Mahlabe, described the protesters as a “group of drunkards who are seeking media attention”.


the DA in Tlokwe has accused Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini of planning to spend between R3-million and R5m to distribute food parcels ahead of the elections.

DA provincial leader Chris Hattingh said Dlamini was aiming to win the ANC votes.

Dlamini’s spokeswoman, Lumka Oliphant, dismissed this.

“It is unfortunate that the DA chooses to accuse Minister Bathabile Dlamini of this… She had been to Tlokwe last month and had promised a follow-up visit as she had agreed on deadlines with Social Development officials,” said Oliphant.

City Power gets tough with workers
Anna Cox 10 September 2013

Johannesburg - City Power will not be held to ransom or intimidated into changing its planned shift changes, despite last week’s “acts of sabotage”, a mayoral official said on Monday.

In addition, security will be tightened at all 10 substations, and the SAPS and SANDF will maintain security at four national key points where electricity from Eskom is fed into the city’s grid.

Another measure will see the process of staff recruitment tightened up to eliminate “bad elements” - such as those who sabotaged Johannesburg’s power system last week.

The steps were revealed by City of Joburg member of the mayoral committee Matshidiso Mfikoe when she announced that the wildcat strike was over, that power had been restored to all parts of the city and that all workers were back at work.

According to Mfikoe, one person allegedly involved in last week’s shutdown has resigned and more resignations are expected.

Mfikoe said this would not stop the entity from pursuing those responsible for the deliberate power cuts.

“Even though they have resigned, they will still be held accountable for their actions, which endangered the lives of people,” she said, adding that because City Power was a national key point in terms of the 1980 Key Points Act, last week’s sabotage was all the more serious.

Mfikoe said City Power was able to institute its emergency preparation plan, which saw

10 command centres being set up at the depots and City Power executive committee board members manning and visiting the stations three times a day.

This would continue until the situation had been stabilised.

According to City Power managing director Sicelo Xulu, the substations were sabotaged by skilled electricians who knew exactly what they were doing.

“All substations have gas alarms which trigger and release gas when activated illegally, but these people knew exactly how to turn the alarms off as they had keys and access control,” he said.

A new log-in system has now been implemented whereby anyone entering a substation has to report to security to record their details.

Regarding a new shift system, Xulu said they were still speaking to staff but would not cancel the new system.

“These discussions have been going on for over a year and there was an agreement reached with the unions. Some staff members were earning salaries for 24-hour shifts - three times their normal salary - and which is not allowed in terms of safety regulations anyway.

“Also, other people have to be given an opportunity to fill the positions for which we have a budget. We have now hired an additional 18 people,” Xulu said.

The chairman of the City Power board, Reverend Frank Chikane, said the management team had conducted a comprehensive analysis of the internal environment aimed at identifying factors affecting the utility’s performance last year.

“The analysis found that there were many vacant positions that could not be filled due to the budgetary constraints as a consequence of excessive overtime. It was also clear that there were a number of areas where the company was acting outside its policies,” he said.

A review of all categories of allowances was undertaken.

“The board resolved to reduce the abnormally high number of overtime hours worked in certain environments by moving to shift work.

It is also our intention to shift the overtime budget towards filling vacancies and to create additional full-time employment,” said Chikane.

In terms of this new productivity policy, the board had also, for the first time, decided not to pay performance bonuses to staff last year because targets were not reached.

“Xulu and his management team have clamped down on non-performance, unnecessary expenditure and abuse of the utility’s reward policy. We want to create a culture change with zero tolerance for poor performance and complacency,” said Chikane.

These guys beat you, says fuel worker
Daneel Knoetze 10 September 2013

Cape Town - As petrol attendants joined fellow National Union of Metalworkers members (Numsa) on a national strike on Monday, some city service stations closed shop after workers failed to turn up for the morning shift.

A service station owner in Mfuleni, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s not so much fear of being assaulted at work, but people know that they may be attacked at taxi ranks before commuting.

“After what happened last week, people are scared. I don’t really blame them, but our business is suffering hugely as a result.”

Mfuleni and Delft were hotbeds of strike-related violence last week as strikers in the construction industry attacked workers waiting for transport.

With the memory of violent intimidation during a 2010 strike in the sector, Hyder Ebrahim, owner of a Caltex garage in Spine Road, Khayelitsha, said he had given his 32 petrol attendants the day off.

“It happens every three years. In 2010 one of my guys was badly beaten with sticks right here on the forecourt in broad daylight. I am losing a lot – R10 000 a day in fact – but the safety of my staff is more important than any of that.”

Another service station manager in Mitchells Plain, who asked for anonymity, said only 20 percent of his staff had come to work.

“We are trying our best to keep the pumps open. I don’t want to fall foul of the strikers and I do want to show solidarity, but I also have a business to run.”

The manager said he would pay the remaining staff a “little bonus” in appreciation for their coming to work when their colleagues stayed away.

In other instances, such as at the Caltex garage near the V&A Waterfront, managers said they had been caught off-guard by the stayaway. In one case a manager said he had “literally had to pull people in from the street” to work the pumps.

Casual workers or staff who did report for work wore casual clothing as they filled up cars.

A casual attendant at a Shell filling station in the Bo-Kaap said: “These guys don’t mess about – they will beat you, they will kill you. I am working because I need the money, but I will be out of here when I see trouble coming.”

Wage negotiations between Numsa and employer representatives, the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) and the Fuel Retailers Association, deadlocked in July.

Numsa, which claims to represent 70 000 workers in motor services, has demanded, among other things, a double-digit increase in wages. It issued a strike notice last Thursday.

About 800 Numsa members marched on the RMI offices in Parow on Monday to hand over a memorandum of demands.

Vuyo Lufele, Numsa’s Western Cape regional secretary, said other workers should be “peacefully convinced” to join their “comrades” in the strike.

Members of the Fuel Retailers Association have reverted to a seven-percent offer after their offer of 9.5 percent was rejected last week. The RMI has offered a five-percent increase.

Dumisa Ncetani, 27, says he has been working at a petrol station in Cape Town for three years without promotion. He earns a little over R750 for a 44-hour week, or about R17 an hour.

“It is very difficult to survive in this city with so little money. That is why we are asking for a bigger increase – that is why I am striking,” he said.

Numsa members also marched in Randburg on Monday.

Solidarity accepts gold wage offer
Sowetan Live 10 September 2013

Trade union Solidarity accepted the two-year salary increase offer in the gold industry made by the Chamber of Mines on Monday.

"The trade union's members accepted the offer, given the current conditions in the gold industry, and in the hope that the agreement will promote the sustainability of the industry," Solidarity said in a statement.

Under the two-year offer, category four and five employees, and rock drill operators, will receive increases of eight percent, and other employees 7.5 percent with effect from July 1.

Employees will also receive inflation-linked increases with effect from July 1 next year, and the monthly living out allowance of R1640 will increase to R2000.

Solidarity general secretary Gideon du Plessis said the union had a few concerns, including that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union could reject the offer.

He said it was likely the other three unions would accept the offer.

"We are also concerned about Harmony Gold's failure so far to pay back unauthorised medical fund deductions.

"Harmony owes up to R30,000 in reimbursements to some of its employees and approximately R4 million in reimbursements to Solidarity members," he said.

The union would not let Harmony Gold's "malicious failure" to make the reimbursement payments hold up the wage agreement, but it would consider alternative legal remedies.

Du Plessis said that signing the agreement in the gold industry as quickly as possible would be in the country's best interests.

On Monday, gold producers said the two-year salary agreement was expected to be signed in the next few days.

"The agreement hasn't been signed yet. We are finalising the agreement and it should be signed in the next few days," said their representative spokeswoman Charmane Russell.

"I can confirm that all employees are back at work and operations across the gold industry have been normalised."

Russell said the finalisation of the agreement would not take long.

The revised offer was presented on Wednesday last week by the Chamber of Mines, which represents the companies AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Rand Uranium, Harmony Gold, Evander Gold, Sibanye Gold, and Village Main Reef.

Evander Gold and Village Main Reef reached an agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Uasa on Wednesday.

On Monday, Gold Fields and Harmony Gold said striking workers had returned to work.

Striking NUM staff at Gold Fields returned to work at the South Deep mine on Friday, the company said.

"We believe a two-year agreement will promote certainty and stability," said Gold Fields South Africa managing executive Kgabo Moabelo.

Harmony Gold said operations at all its mines were back to normal.

"[Harmony] is pleased to advise that operations at all of its mines were normalised with effect from the night shift on 8 September 2013," it said.

Harmony CEO Graham Briggs said the strike would affect both the company's performance for the quarter, and employees' earnings.

"Nonetheless, we are pleased to have reached a resolution," he said.

On Sunday, the NUM said disgruntled workers, who embarked on a strike on Tuesday, had accepted a new wage offer.

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