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SA Protest News 11 -20 September 2009 (2009) SA Protest News 11 -20 September 2009.  : -.

Wits signs agreement
17 September 2009

Wits University has signed an agreement with student representatives on
some of the issues that led to a campus protest this week, the
Johannesburg institution said on Thursday.

It agreed to increase the allowances for students on financial aid from
R1500 to R2000 per quarter, although this would mean a reduction in
financial aid packages available next year.

Management would try to reduce the proposed residence fee increment from
the proposed 11.68 percent and convene committees to investigate the
student fee structure, student transport and contractors' pricing.

Student cards blocked in 2009 would be unblocked and the current Student
Representative Council (SRC) would carry on telling students to approach
the fees office for financial aid for the rest of 2009.

The SRC would also conduct a campaign encouraging students to settle
their fees.

The upfront fee of over R6000 for 2010 would stay intact, but there will
be mechanisms to deal with individual cases of students who could not
afford to pay the amount upfront.

Earlier, SA Students Congress (Sasco) president Mawethu Rune said this
payment made entering university very difficult for children from
struggling families, or families coping with a recent retrenchment.

Meanwhile, as many organisations, including the SA Municipal Workers'
Union, the Young Communists League and the ANC Youth League supported
the students' protest, the youth wing of the Independent Democrats
called the protests a "propaganda campaign".

Bevin Dorkin, chairman of the Young Independent Democrats Students'
Organisation (YID-SO), said: "... some in the media have incorrectly
reported that students have been demonstrating since Monday, while it is
actually only the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), made up of the
ANCYL-SO, the YCL-SO and Sasco that are upending rubbish bins,
preventing motorists from entering Wits and disrupting lectures."

He said it was not a surprise that the "race card" was being played by
saying white students were not supporting their cause.

"This, after all, has characterised much of the rhetoric from their
national president."

Dorkin added the strike was not initiated by the SRC, which had the
authority to negotiate on behalf of the students.

"This strike is extremely disruptive considering that most students are
studying for their crucial end-of-year exams, meaning that the PYA is
not serious about the education of our youth."

Students say they can't afford more
By Angelique Serrao 17 September 2009

Wits students who live on campus will have to pay R5 419 more next year.

And this is the minimum increase they can expect from a fee increment
for academic courses and residence.

Gallery: Wits Students Protest

Wits University management has proposed a 9,5 percent increase for
academic courses and 11,8 percent for residence fees.

This has resulted in student protests on campus since Monday.

Yesterday, police stood guard at the gates of Wits as it faced a third
day of protests.

The protests were calmer after several hundred students had gone on the
rampage on Monday, storming lecture halls, tearing up exam papers and
blockading roads.

Police yesterday were on hand to quell upsurges and prevented students
from blocking cars from using the main road on the Braamfontein campus
and overturning some of the concrete barriers.

Students from the Progressive Youth Alliance met with the university's
management to negotiate fee increments.

A student leader said at the end of the meeting that management had
agreed to increase student allowances from R1 500 to R2 000 for three
months, that they would investigate the current student fee structure
and that they would restructure the bus service.

Management had yet to confirm this.

Some tutors joined the protest yesterday, adding their voices to the
call for no fee hike.

One tutor said she felt fee increases were inherently discriminatory.

"Everyone should have a right to education. We don't want to just teach
the privileged," she said. "So many students are excluded before they
even come here because they cannot afford the fees. Then more are
excluded when they are here. I have to teach students who haven't eaten
all day and who can't hand in assignments because they can't afford
transport fees to get here."

Protesters said some students had to sleep in computer labs or lecture
rooms because they had no accommodation.

"I don't know where they think we will get this money," said a
second-year student.

"We are facing a recession. Our parents are struggling as it is, and
some of them have lost their jobs."

One third-year student said her student card had been blocked and she
could not enter her residence or the library because her parents owed
R30 000 on her fees.

"My dad is struggling to pay. What can I do but protest?" she asked.

Another student said she was upset that 98 percent of the protesters
were black.

"If we win this, it won't only be us that benefits. I hear the white
students say we are barbaric because we disturb their classes. They say
we are overreacting, but altogether we could be paying R9 000 more next
year. We are not privileged. We can't pay that."

* This article was originally published on page 5 of The Star on
September 17, 2009

Tow truck drivers on silent protest
By Monica Laganparsad 17 September 2009

About 150 disgruntled tow trucker drivers held a silent protest in
Durban yesterday claiming they were losing their livelihood to a
Johannesburg owned company who had muscled in and monopolised the industry.

Driving in convey through the streets of Durban, the tow trucks with
flashing lights were escorted by police in a peaceful demonstration.

Cardboard posters stuck on their trucks read:"Cut out the middle man.
Let Dbn be Dbn (sic)".

Spokesman for the KwaZulu-Natal Towing Fraternity Paul Poilly said I-Way
Roadside Emergency, a subsidiary of the Sandton-based First Road
Emergency (FRE) had muscled into Durban and had monopolised the towing
and panel industry.

Poilly said FRE's Durban counterpart First Accident Management, held
contracts with Telesure Investments, a holding group of the country's
biggest insurance companies which include Auto & General.

Last week, I-Way were granted an interim interdict in the Durban High
Court against eight Durban tow truck companies.

In its court papers I-Way claimed violence and intimidation were used in
an orchestrated campaign to run them out of town.

Poilly said FAM dished out the work to its own subsidiaries which
included panel beating shops, cutting out the smaller competitors and
monopolising the industry.

The drivers handed a memorandum to Telesure's Durban office demanding
that all existing contracts with towing companies be declared null and void.

The memorandum said "The local towing and panel industry has been
experiencing financial problems in terms of the towing rates and volume
of repairs, distribution and allocation of work and the monopolising of
towing/call centres by major groups. This in turn has made a negative
impact on the Panel Beating Industry as FAM directs tows to a common
delivery point to the detriment of all other panel shops."

Poilly said they have been forced into a position to accept negotiated
rates set by call centres.

"We will not entertain violence as this is not a war. All we expect is
fair business, peace and harmony, shared amongst our industries," said
the petition.

Later Poilly told the drivers to keep it clean on the roads.

He said:"No traffic jams,, no fighting no pulling out guns. We must be
patient...we are pleading for you to play fair and straight. Keep it
clean," he said.

Poilly told The Times that the petition had been accepted by a Telesure
representative and they were awaiting a response.

Protests pelt cops with stones: report
Sapa 16 September 2009

Three people were injured in a service delivery protest in Luphisi, east
of Nelspruit, on Wednesday morning, Mpumalanga police said.

Two policemen and a member of the public were injured when hundreds of
protesters pelted them with stones, said Inspector Andries Sikwambane.

"The police are using rubber bullets to control the situation," said

The residents of Luphisi village said they were angry because their
municipality had failed to keep its promise to tar a main road in their

"A group of about 2000 people are protesting... it's a big group. The
protest started at about 2am this morning and is still continuing,"
Sikwambane said at around 8.30am.

"They are blocking the road and no buses are running."

A local councillor met angry residents on Tuesday to discuss the
municipality's alleged failure to tar the road.

"There was no resolution; they were not given an answer," said

Mpuma MEC condemns Luphisi violence
Sapa 16 September 2009

JOHANNESBURG - Mpumalanga MEC for co-operative governance and
traditional affairs Norman Mokoena on Wednesday condemned violent
protests in Luphisi.

“While we respect individuals’ right to voice concern, it should be
within the ambit of the law.

“We also dispel misinformation that has been pedalled by some
mischievous individuals that the MEC met with the community and made
promises,” spokesman Simphiwe Kunene said.

Kunene said the department was “treating as top priority” the
community’s concerns but would not tolerate violence and destruction to

He urged communities to come forward with their concerns.

This followed Wednesday morning’s service delivery protests which turned
violent at Luphisi, east of Nelspruit.

Two people were injured when residents threw stones and barricaded roads
preventing buses from operating.

Protesters accused the local municipality of failing to deliver on its
promise to tar the main road.

Subsequently, MEC of public works Clifford Mukansi visited the area and
promised about 1000 community members that construction on the road
would begin on Thursday.

Police called in as Wits students protest fee hikes
Sapa 16 September 2009

Johannesburg police were called to the University of the Witwatersrand
on Wednesday as students continued to protest against fee hikes.

"As the students once again disrupted lectures on campus today
[Wednesday], the university has been obliged to call the police on to
campus in order to protect students and staff who wish to continue with
academic and other university activities," said spokesperson Shirona
Patel in a statement.

"The university believes that while students have a right to peaceful
protest, the rights of those who wish to continue to attend classes ...
must also be respected."

Management and students, represented by the South African Students
Congress (Sasco), the Progressive Youth Alliance and the African
National Congress Youth League met at midday to discuss a memorandum
handed to the university by students on Tuesday.

Students are rejecting a hike in upfront registration fees to R6 000 and
want registration fees to be capped.

"Registration fees determine access to the institution ... due to the
economic recession the increase will deny many students access," said
Sasco president Mawethu Rune.

Students are calling for a moratorium on all fee increases, an
investigation into the outsourcing of various services at the
institution such as security, catering and cleaning, a probe into the
student fee structure and the removal of the vice-chancellor.

"We will continue to engage in demonstration until our noble and
rational demands are met," Rune said.

The proposed fee increase for 2010 averaged between 9% and 9,5%.

Students residing in university residences were likely to pay up to
11,8% more should the proposed fees be imposed next year. -- Sapa

Wits students on edge
Sapa 16 September 2009

University of the Witwatersrand student negotiators and university
management had not yet agreed on a resolution to their fee hike dispute
by Wednesday afternoon.

Provincial leader of the South African Students Congress, Themba
Masondo, briefed protesting students on the progress of the talks with
management which commenced at midday.

Management has agreed to form a committee, which includes students, to
investigate student fees as well as payments to service providers.

It has also agreed to look at the bus system currently in place at the
university. These formed part of the student demands listed in a
memorandum handed to management on Tuesday.

"We have succeeded in most areas, but the two main points," Masondo said.

He said management remained reluctant on proposing a different fee
increase for 2010 and it was adamant in its support for vice-chancellor
Loyiso Nongxa.

Students also listed Nongxa's removal as part of the their demands in
the memorandum.

"They told us to appear before the university council in two weeks on
the matter of the arrogant vice-chancellor," Masondo said.

He said he did not believe this would make any difference, but would
return to the negotiating table in order to strike a compromise with

Students charge that Nongxa did not take student issues seriously and
was tight-fisted in his control of the university.

The protesting students slowly dispersed, but a handful remained in
Senate House to hear the outcome of the talks, which will be presented
to students by their representatives by 5pm.

As management and student negotiators remained locked in a meeting over
fee hikes at the University of Witwatersrand earlier in the day,
protesting students on campus were chanting slogans and singing songs.

Students carried placards reading: "Wits should be listed in the JSE",
"Higher education for all or no education at all" and "Stop the tuition
fee steam-roller".

Many protesting students felt strongly about the issue and said they
were concerned that the fee hikes would deny many students access to the
university in 2010.

Second year mining engineering student Jabu Sibiya said the increase
would hit poor families hard.

"I don't know whether my parents will be able to pay with such an
increase," he said.

Economics and finance student, Tumz B, said the protest action
highlighted the underlying class and race divisions prevalent at Wits

"I hate to describe it as white and black because the divide is more a
class divide but it's a fact that poorer students are mostly black.

"Most white students won't protest because their parents can afford the
fee," he said.

Internationals relations student Enos Phosa said although the university
was divided because of the historical background of its students, the
goals achieved by the protest would benefit everyone.

"If we succeed the benefits will be universal, but this does impact more
on some than others".

Masondo could not be reached for comment on Wednesday evening.

Sasco president Mawethu Rune said a press briefing would be held on
Thursday on the way forward after Wednesday's meeting.

Sasco secretary general Magasela Mzobe said the meeting was continuing
and there was no indication yet on its outcome. - Sapa

Wits protest continues
SAPA 16 September 2009

Johannesburg - As management and student negotiators remained locked in
a meeting over fee hikes at the University of Witwatersrand on
Wednesday, protesting students weaved their way around the campus
chanting slogans and singing songs.

SA Students' Congress provincial leader Themba Masondo, briefing
students on the progress of the meeting, said the situation between
management and student negotiators was "very hostile".

"Negotiations are ongoing... we are finding that management is highly
arrogant. The situation is very hostile," he said.

Talks were continuing and as long as management failed to comply with
the students' demands the protest would continue.

Students carried placards reading: "Wits should be listed in the JSE"
and "Higher education for all or no education at all".

Many protesting students felt strongly about the issue and said they
were concerned that the fee hikes would deny many students access to the
university in 2010.

Second year mining engineering student Jabu Sibiya said the increase
would hit poor families hard.

'Too heavy a burden'
"I don't know whether my parents will be able to pay with such an
increase," he said.

Sibiya said he had passed maths and science "very well" and he was at
the top of his class but might have to leave should his fees become too
heavy a burden for his parents.

Police were on campus, however, the protest was largely peaceful on
Wednesday afternoon.

Many students milled about making their way from one class to the next
while other sat on the grass enjoying the early spring sun.

Outside the Wits Great Hall a mock image of the Berlin Wall was erected
where musicians entertained students who were seemingly oblivious to the
cause taken up by their colleagues.

One non-protesting student held up a tongue-in-cheek placard saying
"Inflation sucks, deal with it".

First year student Kefiloe Pitso said she could not understand how the
university wanted to implement a double digit fee hike in the midst of a

"I am supporting this because if I don't it means that next year there's
no possibility I will be here," she said.

Economics and finance student, Tumz B, said the protest action
highlighted the underlying class and race divisions prevalent at Wits

Berlin wall
He said while protesting students - who were largely, but not all -
black, listened to their leaders talking about their cause, the largely
non-black students listened to songs about the fall of the Berlin wall.

"I hate to describe it as white and black because the divide is more a
class divide but it's a fact that poorer students are mostly black.

"Most white students won't protest because their parents can afford the
fee," he said.

Internationals relations student Enos Phosa said although the university
was divided because of the historical background of its students, the
goals achieved by the protest would benefit everyone.

"If we succeed the benefits will be universal, but this does impact more
on some than others".

Achilles Tole, a BA student, said the university had placed many
families in difficult financial situations and bemoaned the fact that he
could not use his library card because he had not yet paid up his fees.

He said this made it difficult for him to complete essays on time and he
was forced to get his friends to borrow books from the library for him.

Other students felt the fee increases were a normal part of university

"Everything has to go up, you can't run away from it," said first year
student Denise Tamagnone.

She felt the protest was "intimidating and pretty scary".

"The protesters came into one of my lectures and jumped on our desks,"
she said, adding that it was unfair that she felt unsafe on her own campus.

Health sciences student Trisha-Gean Mahon said students should rather
write a letter to the dean in order to voice their concerns.

"I don't think this will get anything done, they should think about a
different way, like writing to the dean," she said.

Protesters would be briefed again on the progress of the meeting later
this afternoon.

Inner City Resource Centre
Press Release


Workers’ Library near Market Theater Friday 18 September 2009 at 9:30am

The ICRC will be marching to the offices of the Gauteng MEC for Local
Government and Housing on Friday 18 September 2009, to hand a memorandum concerning the malfunctioning of the Gauteng Rental Housing Tribunal (RHT).

The RHT puts the interest of CAPITALISM first and does not protect the
rights of tenants from the landlords who are charging exploitative
rentals as well as high water and electricity bills. This goes against
the spirit of the national Rental Housing Act, which established the RHTs.

Members of the RHT take too long to set up dates for matters to be heard
and this leaves tenants frustrated as they continue to be exploited
while waiting for hearing dates. The RHT has little power to enforce its
rulings and this leaves tenants further frustrated.

We as the ICRC we are saying the RHT should be closed as it serves no
purpose to the poor. The government is paying them salaries for doing

Meet at Workers’ Library near the Market Theatre in JEPPE STREET (where
Khanya College used to be) at 9.30am.

For more information contact Shereza Sibanda (ICRC)

Students turn Wits upside down
By Angelique Serrao 16 September 2009

Hundreds of Wits University students disrupted lectures, tore up exam
papers, intimidated other students and blocked roads in a protest to
stop fee increments next year.

The protest action started on Monday with a group of 20 students
storming into classes and ordering students out.

By yesterday, the number of protesters had grown to a few hundred and
the intimidation increased.

The day started with students pushing over dustbins before gathering at
Senate House to hand over a memorandum of grievances to vice- chancellor
Loyiso Nongxa.

When the university's registrar arrived to accept the memorandum, the
students refused to hand it over and demanded that Nongxa receive it.

And when he didn't come, they stormed through the East Campus, going
from lecture hall to lecture hall, standing on desks and demanding that
other students leave.

At one point, protesters pushed a student into a classroom and closed
the door, not letting him out.

"Now we have a hostage," shouted one. The crowd lost interest after half
an hour and moved on to other classrooms.

Students not involved in the protest left classes while most lecturers
stood by silently.

Three staff members who tried to block the group from getting into a
third-year geography exam that was being written were pushed aside.

Protesters grabbed exam papers and tore them up while the affected
students sat despondently staring at those who had destroyed their work.

The protesters then moved to the main road on campus and blocked cars,
telling motorists to turn around. A few motorists tried to drive through
but their cars were surrounded and banged on.

One man begged: "My wife is at the doctor, please, I need to get
through", but nobody listened. When some students began rocking a van,
one of the female leaders told them to stop.

"Don't get violent. If you vandalise cars we will lose all credibility
for our cause," she screamed.

Mgoako Matsha, leader of the group - called the Progressive Youth
Alliance (PYA) - said they were protesting against fee increases of 10
percent next year and residence hikes of 18 percent. They want all fees
to stay the same.

Matsha said 1 200 students were excluded this year and they had heard
that a further 2 000 would be excluded at the end of the year for not
paying fees.

Wits spokeswoman Shirona Patel said the memorandum was eventually handed
over to vice-principal Yunus Ballim late yesterday.

She said students were protesting over proposed fee increases of 9.5
percent, and of 15 percent for an MBA. Residence fees were likely to
increase by 11.8 percent.

Nongxa said in a statement: "As an educational institution, we regard
our academic activities as sacrosanct, and while we recognise the right
to peaceful protest, the rights of those who wish to continue to attend
classes and university activities must be respected."

Members of the PYA planned to carry on their protests today.

This article was originally published on page 2 of The Star on
September 16, 2009

Wits students protest fee hike
SAPA 15 September 2009

Johannesburg - Wits University students disrupted classes at the
Braamfontein campus on Tuesday during a protest against planned fee
hikes, said university spokesperson Shirona Patel.

"The students are protesting against a proposed fee increase for 2010
which averages at 9% to 9.5%. The MBA is one exception... it is proposed
that it be increased by 15%," said Patel in a statement.

Students residing in university residences were likely to pay up to
11.8% more should the proposed fees be imposed next year.

But students aligned to the Progressive Youth Alliance, which is made up
of the SA Students' Council and the ANC Youth League would have none of it.

"[About 100 students] disrupted classes on Monday and Tuesday in protest
against the proposed fees," said Patel.

Violating rights

BSC Engineering, BSc and science undergraduates and those studying
towards LLB degrees could pay up to 10% more while fees for postgraduate
studies could go up by between 9% and 11%, said Patel.

Wits Vice-Chancellor Professor Loyiso Nongxa condemned the protest,
saying it violated the rights of students who wanted to be taught.

"As an educational institution we regard our academic activities as
sacrosanct and while we recognise the right to a peaceful protest, the
rights of those who wish to continue to attend classes and university
activities must be respected.

"We should learn how to disagree in a way that respects differences and
does not violate the rights of others who hold different views," said

He said disciplinary action would be taken against those who contravened
the university's code of conduct.

The Progressive Youth Alliance could not be immediately reached for comment.

Attendants protest over dismissals
By Anna Majavu

Dozens of Cape Town parking attendants protest against being fired for
standing up for a colleague who was allegedly stripped to her underwear
by her male boss.

Dozens of Cape Town parking attendants on Monday shut down the city
administration in protest against being fired for standing up for a
colleague who was allegedly stripped to her underwear by her male boss.

Groups of security guards locked the doors to municipal headquarters
while attendants protested inside the building.

Nokulunga Zonke, 20, who was locked outside, said she was fired in July
by Street Parking Solutions, which recently won a contract from the city
and employs about 250 parking attendants.

She alleged that the company’s director, Zunaid Loghdey, told her she
was fired for “failing to meet her target” and that she should give back
her uniform immediately.

“He grabbed me and took off my uniform. I told him I only had a bra on
underneath but he kept shouting at me. I was very scared,” Zonke said.

She said she had to phone her sister to bring her clothes.

A colleague who saw her being stripped radioed other attendants who
rushed to picket outside the office. More than 160 attendants were fired
for holding an illegal strike.

Samwu Cape Town branch secretary Mikhel Khumalo said the union was
taking the case to the labour court.

He said before the company took over operations attendants were
allocated five parking bays each, from which they had to make R500 a month.

They were paid a monthly salary of R450 and could keep as commission any
money above the R500 they had to make.

“But under Street Parking Solutions the basic pay has been scrapped,
attendants are given only four parking bays from which to generate R500
and they are charged with misconduct and dismissed if they fail to bring
in the money,” Khumalo said.

But Loghdey denied stripping Zonke. He claimed that “two senior ladies”
accompanied Zonke to a closed area where she took off her uniform.

He conceded that hundreds of attendants went on strike on the same day
but said they never told him why.

He accused the axed workers of “stabbing and robbing” the new parking
attendants, and said he had been granted an interim interdict
prohibiting the fired workers from interfering with new attendants or
approaching his office.

“We gave these people jobs. We didn’t even have to take them and this is
how they carry on,” he said,

“She (Zonke) was a poor performer three weeks in a row. She went and
sparked an uprising.”

Loghdey admitted insulting the attendants but said his words had to be
“taken in context”.

City of Cape Town human resources director Sihle Msengana said “the
attendants are not city employees and shouldn’t be protesting here.

“All I am concerned about is what they are doing, which is illegal.”

Eight arrested in Kimberley protest
Sapa 14 September 2009

BLOEMFONTEIN - Eight students were arrested when roads were blocked with
burning tyres, beds and dustbins at the Phatsimang College of Education
in Galeshewe, Kimberley, police said on Monday.

Charges of public violence and malicious damage to property would be
investigated against those who took part in the illegal gathering,
Northern Cape police spokesman Captain Tony Modise said.

“It was alleged that some 150 students barricaded the John Daka Road and
the college’s main entrances with burning tyres and beds, which were
taken from the institution’s buildings, and dustbins.”

The protesters sang and danced in the middle of the road and refused
staff entry to the premises. Students refused to open the road. Police
fired stun grenades and rubber bullets at the protesters when they were
pelted with stones. Eight people were arrested.

Afterwards the crowd calmed down and the students dispersed.

A spokesman for the Northern Cape education department was not
immediately available for comment.

Police shoot at protesting Northern Cape students
14 September 2009

Protesting Galeshewe students shot at
Students of the National Institute for Higher Education (NIHE) in
Galeshewe, Northern Cape, were pelted with rubber bullets by police who
are accused of being trigger happy by the Department of Education.
Students sustained injuries during the scuffles and one has been

Police fired at students who were protesting against failure by NIHE
management to settle student bursaries, appalling accommodation and lack
of study material. Police accuse students of barricading the road which
they say provoked their reactions.

Barricaded campus and littered driveways bore evidence to the violent
protest that erupted earlier today. Eight students were arrested and
scores injured. This has left education officials fuming and they have
vowed to take legal action against the police.

Meanwhile, security at Western Cape schools identified as potential
hotspots has been beefed up. To this end, metal detectors are being
distributed to 109 high-risk schools. The Department of Basic
Education's Granville Whittle has welcomed the initiative, saying the
Department encourages schools to take appropriate measures that do not
violate the dignity of learners to ensure the safety of everyone at schools.

St Andrew's High in Elsies River is one of those deemed schools of shame
after a pupil was stabbed in a classroom last month. Many Western Cape
schools are notorious for violence. So far, with 60 cases of stabbings
reported since July this year - this translates to about 10 violent
incidents every month. Pupils and staff are equally affected. Recently,
an acting school principal on the Cape flats was gunned down despite the
school being fitted with security gates and CCTV cameras.

Western Cape Education MEC, Donald Grant, says all schools are declared
dangerous-objects-free zones. But he says despite this, learners and
members of the public still manage to bring dangerous weapons onto
school premises.

Following violent incidents witnessed on school grounds, education
authorities have drawn the line and hand-held metal detectors will be
made available to the identified schools. The detectors will be used for
random searches without invading children's right to privacy. The
Western Cape has set aside R20 million to beef up security at schools.
Education authorities in the province say this gives them ammunition to
fight against school violence in the province.

Angry taxi operators take to the streets
SAPA 14 September 2009

At least 500 taxi operators and residents were marching to the
Thembisile Hani municipality in Kwaggafontein on Monday morning,
Mpumalanga police said.

They were protesting against "poor" service delivery.

Superintendent Abie Khoabane said about 300 taxis could be seen and
about 500 people were picketing.

"The protest is peaceful so far and no violence has been reported," he
said, even though taxi operators had earlier threatened to blockade main

Khoabane said there was a large contingent of police officers monitoring
the protest and keeping an eye on "crowd-control".

A memorandum detailing their grievances was expected to be handed over
to municipality officials at around midday. - Sapa

Zuma puts his feet on a problem ground
SABC 14 September 2009

President Jacob Zuma is to visit Matatiele in the Eastern Cape today for
the first time since being elected into office. His trip comes amid a
protracted demarcation issue and service delivery problems.

Earlier this week, the residents of Matatiele marched to the local
municipality offices to hand over a memorandum, demanding that Matatiele
remain part of the Eastern Cape. For years protest marches have been
organised by a pro-KZN group which wants Matatiele to be incorporated
into KwaZulu-Natal. Local residents say they cannot wait to see Zuma to
raise their concerns.

Residents also say there is no water, roads and no transparency –
projects are taken to other villages without their knowledge. In recent
months South Africa has experienced a wave of protest action across most
provinces. Last month then-ANC spokesperson, Jesse Duarte said there
have been protests in only 14 of the 283 municipalities, but other
sources put the figure at more than 20.

Many reasons for these protests are being offered. The primary motive,
it would appear, is dissatisfaction with the delivery of basic municipal
services such as running water, electricity and toilets, especially in
informal settlements. Unemployment, high levels of poverty, poor
infrastructure, and the lack of houses add to the growing
dissatisfaction in poor communities.

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 Radical Philosophy 
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 Jacques Depelchin's Tribute to Harold Wolpe 
 African Studies Quarterly 
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 Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa  
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