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South African Protest News 19 - 28 April 2010 (2010) South African Protest News 19 - 28 April 2010.  : -.

Service delivery protest turns violent
Tamlyn Canman 23 April 2010

There's been high drama in northern KZN after a service delivery protest
in the Sundumbili area near Tugela this morning turned violent.

A mobile office belonging to the KZN Social Development Department was
set alight after a group of angry residents took to the streets at
around 4am.

Community members also barricaded roads with branches and burnt tyres.

Police spokesperson Phindile Radebe says when they arrived on the scene
the crowd had already dispersed.

But she says they're keeping a close eye on the situation, "The
situation at the moment is under control because there's quite a lot of
police presence in the area. A case of public violence will be opened.
No arrests have been made yet."

Students protest at hotel school
Sapa 24 April 2010

Disgruntled students at the Mafikeng Hotel School in Mahikeng blocked
the entrance of the institution, North West police said.

Warrant Officer Sam Tselanyane said the police used stunt grenades to
disperse the students to open the school gates.

He said the students' leaders were in a meeting with school management.

Tselenyane said it was not known what led the students to protest.

He said no incidents of violence were reported and police were
monitoring the situation.

Soccer / World Cup 2010 / ...
Taxi drivers protest lost World Cup business
Zaheer Cassim Reuters April 21 2010 at 04:50PM

Thousands of protesting minibus taxi drivers blocked morning traffic in
Pretoria on Wednesday, saying they would lose business during the World Cup.

The drivers say they have been excluded from transport planning for the
billion-dollar soccer tournament and that a new mass transit bus system
will take away their livelihood.

Little public transport was provided for the black population under
apartheid and they were forced to rely on the minibuses to get from
distant townships to their places of work. South Africa has used World
Cup investment to address this problem, by trying to create an
efficient, cheap bus system to reach sprawling townships such as Soweto.

The taxi drivers, notorious for violence and bad driving, have thrown
rocks at cars during previous protests but the demonstration in Pretoria
on Wednesday was largely peaceful. The drivers blew the vuvuzela trumpet
used by football fans and shouted slogans.

Heavy forces of riot police and armoured vans were deployed to control
the demonstration which caused big rush hour congestion. The area around
the Union Buildings was cordoned off by police.

Government officials say the taxi drivers will benefit from hundreds of
thousands of domestic and foreign fans attending the World Cup and their
fears over the bus system are exaggerated.

Leaders of the minibus drivers have promised not to disrupt the World Cup.

But demonstrators said the government must respond within a week. "Seven
days or no World Cup in South Africa," some shouted. - Reuters

Taxi associations at loggerheads over Pretoria 'strike'
21 April 2010

The South African national taxi federation, (Santaco), has condemned the
alleged behaviour of National Taxi Alliance (NTA) members, who have
embarked on protest action in Pretoria today. Santaco spokesperson,
Thabiso Molelekwa, says about 30 000 Santaco operators from 40 taxi
associations have been affected by the one day protest action in the
Pretoria region.

Molekwa says they are disappointed at the manner in which the NTA is
conducting its strike by bullying those who do not support the strike.
He says his federation promotes democracy and respects NTA's rights but
must also observe others' rights. He says NTA should allow those who
want to work to work. Santaco in Tshwane has appealed to the operators
not to risk their lives and their business. If they find that their
taxis are being smashed they should cease operating until such time that
the situation returns to normal.

Hundreds of taxi operators are waving placards and chanting freedom
songs on the corners of Schubart and Proes Streets, in the Pretoria CBD,
as part of their protest march through the city. Among their grievances,
the taxi operators say they want to be included in the 2010 FIFA Soccer
World Cup transport plans. The protest action has resulted in traffic
disruptions in the CBD, following reports of intimidation earlier this

Protestors are wearing brightly coloured T-shirts, as they chant songs
and toyi-toyi in the Pretoria CBD. A large contingent of police and
metro police officials are keeping a close eye on the proceedings. There
are taxi operators from as far as the Free State. They will soon start
their march to the Union Buildings, and they are still waiting for
members from other branches to arrive.

Poor People's Movement Draws Government Wrath

Durban - The rise of an organized poor people's movement in South
Africa's most populous province, KwaZulu-Natal, is being met with
increasing hostility by the ruling African National Congress (ANC)
government, which claims to be the legitimate representative of the
poorest of the poor.

South Africa has been rocked by increasingly frequent service delivery
protests - a euphemism for communities taking to the streets to voice
their frustration with the alleged slow pace of social service provision
- but it is the formation of a militant non-aligned social movement,
Abahlali Basemjondolo - shack-dwellers movement, in Zulu - that is
causing greatest concern.

Municipal IQ, a research company that monitors South Africa's 283
municipalities, noted in a recent report that there were 54 such
protests in the first quarter of 2010, compared with 105 protests in the
whole of 2009.

"In fact, March's protests [about 25] equal last year's [2009]
previously unprecedented July peak," Municipal IQ managing director
Kevin Allan told the press.

Most service delivery protests are seen as spontaneous expressions of
dissatisfaction, which sometimes degenerate into acts of arson and
public violence, but Abahlali Basemjondolo has become organized and
claims a membership of more than 20,000 people across 25 informal
settlements in and around Durban, KwaZulu-Natal's largest city.

Abahlali Basemjondolo was started in February 2005, after a group of
people from the local Kennedy Road informal settlement blockaded a road
to protest the sale of land to a business, because a local municipal
councillor had promised that houses for shack dwellers would be built on it.

The president of Abahlali Basemjondolo, Sbu Zikode, 37, who now lives in
hiding with his family, told IRIN that the movement was formed for the
purpose of working with the government and local authorities to improve
the lives of shack-dwellers, but the response has been far from cordial.

"We have been called all sorts of names: Third Force, agent provocateurs
and counter-revolutionaries," he said. In South Africa "Third Force" is
a highly emotional term and refers to the apartheid government's
sponsoring of covert operations designed to sow dissent and violence
among the black population.

Suffering of the poor ignored
"Those in power are blind to our suffering because they don't understand
what it is like to live in a shack. They must come with us while we look
for work; they must chase away the rats and keep the children from
knocking over the candles," Zikode said.

Those in power are blind to our suffering because they don't understand
what it is like to live in a shack

"They must care for the sick when there are long queues for the tap;
they must be there when we bury our children who have died in shack
fires, or from diarrhoea, or AIDS."

On 22 March 2010 Abahlali Basemjondolo organised a march through Durban,
attended by thousands of people, to demand housing for the poor; it is
promising similar action during the soccer World Cup finals, which will
be played in South Africa in June this year. Although the march took
place without incident, this has not always been the case.

The organization alleges that after receiving permission for a protest
march in 2007, police charged and beat the marchers without provocation
and arrested dozens.

Abahlali Basemjondolo also alleges that in September 2009 a group of ANC
supporters torched and razed the Kennedy Road community hall, which was
being used as an office, a crčche, and youth life skills training
centre, as well as the shack of its president and others suspected of
being members of the social movement.

During two days of violence, two of Abahlali Basemjondolo's members were
killed, but none of the attackers has been arrested and no one has been
charged with murder. In contrast, 13 members of Abahlali Basemjondolo
were arrested on charges of public violence but only eight were granted
bail. The 13 people are expected to appear in court again on 13 May.

No house, no vote'
"We have applied for houses and have been on the waiting list for years.
When new houses are built, people who are close to the councillors sell
them. Without any money you can stay years on the housing waiting list,"
said Makhosi Mdlalose, a member of Abahlali Basemjondolo who lives with
her two children in an informal settlement near Umlazi, south of Durban.

When we march against these things the government sends the police to
shoot at us and use their dogs. The same does not happen when trade
unions aligned to the ANC marches

"When we march against these things the government sends the police to
shoot at us and use their dogs. The same does not happen when trade
unions aligned to the ANC marches," she told IRIN.

"They [ANC-aligned unions] even trash the town and break windows of
buildings, but they are left alone because they are close to the ruling
party. When we conduct peaceful marches all hell breaks loose."

The next municipal elections are scheduled for 2011 - only one of the
country's six major cities are not controlled by the ANC. Abahlali
Basemjondolo has begun an election boycott campaign, with the slogan:
"No Land, No House, No Vote".

"This is because any councillor from a political party forgets about our
situation soon after the election. That is why we have decided to stand
on our own and fight our own battles - we have been betrayed so many
times before," Zikode said.

Richard Pitthouse, a political science lecturer at Rhodes University in
Eastern Cape Province, told IRIN that the rapid growth of the
independent grassroots organization has been met with hostility by the
central government and Durban's ANC-controlled municipality.

"When they [Abahlali Basemjondolo] realized that there was going to be
no cooperation between itself and the government they decided to air
their grievances directly to the local leaders and embarrass them [the
ANC] in public," Pitthouse said.

"That is why it has attracted the wrath of the police. This violence is
worrying, because Abahlali have been successful in highlighting the
plight of the poor."

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

Boitumelo Service Delivery protest
Written by Communications 20 April 2010

Boitumelo protests20 April 2010 - Following media enquiries regarding a
planned service delivery protest march by residents of Boitumelo, the
Emfuleni Local Municipality would like to put it on record that the
application for protest march made by the concerned residents of Ward
27, was only received on the 19th of April 2010 by the Division Traffic
and Security.

It has to be noted that applications for protest marches must be
submitted at least 7 days prior to the event to the Department Public
Safety’s Division Traffic and Security for consideration.

In the case of an application by the concerned residents of Ward 27 to
embark on a protest march on the 29th of April 2010, the Department
Public Safety’s Division Traffic and Security is currently considering
the application in terms of the legislative requirements as stipulated
in the Act on Public Gatherings. The Concerned Residents will be
notified of the outcome of their application as soon as the ELM has
finalized it.

So far, the ELM has completed the following projects in Boitumelo:

* Streets grading
* Grass cutting
* Repaired high mast lights
* Opened storm water channels
* Cleaning of illegal dumps

These Projects were started on the 6th of February 2010 after the
Municipality received correspondence from the Presidential Hotline and
they were completed on the 12th of February 2010.

Issued by the Communication Unit
Enquiries: Klaas Mofomme

Construction workers grounds Lafarge
NUM 22 April 2010

Over one thousand members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have, as of yesterday begun with a nationwide strike at Lafarge over wages. The NUM demands that Lafarge should offer its employees an across the board wage increment of 11% at both its units, the Aggregate Business Unit and the Cement Business Unit. Lafarge Aggregate offered its employees 8% whilst the Cement Business Unit offered 8,5%. The NUM also demand a shift allowance of R800 from the Cement Business Unit which offered R700. On the Housing allowance, the NUM demands that both business units should offer workers a total of R1500 per month and the company has no offer on these.” Lafarge must pay, they must come on board. We made lots of money for them throughout the 2010 construction period and before” says Isaac Ntshangase, the NUM‘s National Construction Sector Coordinator. “This is going to be the most hard-hitting construction strike action we have seen in recent times” says Ntshangase.

Isaac Ntshangase- 071 681 9336
Lesiba Seshoka
Head: Media & Communications
National Union of Mineworkers
Tel: (011) 377 2047
Mobile: 082 803 6719

Municipal strike continues as talks falter
Mail & Guardian 21 April 2010

Hopes of an end to the municipal workers' strike were dashed on Tuesday night, with no resolution yet on a pay parity deal, the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) said.

Spokesperson Tahir Sema said there was no resolution yet.

Samwu and the South African Local Government Association (Salga) are at loggerheads over a demand for market-related salaries for lower- and middle-income workers.

They also want senior municipal officials' pay to be reduced, so that they too get market-related salaries.

The most visible effect of the strike have been the severe disruptions to refuse removal services.

Clinics, municipal bus services and other municipal services have also been hampered.

Samwu said it had so far reached an agreement that councils would no longer outsource legal expertise for disciplinary hearings.

The union also wanted two years' backpay on salaries that had been adjusted, but Salga is not budging on this.

The city of Johannesburg said it was concerned that there was no resolution because of the "unrealistic demands by the union".

Spokesperson Gabo Towanda said residents and visitors to the city were being severely inconvenienced by the absence of service delivery.

"This situation is aggravated by the rampant vandalism and destruction perpetrated during the recent Samwu march through the city which was, once again, accompanied by the trashing of streets and the intimidation of members of the public."

He said the city was concerned that negotiations were being stalled and the failure of the Samwu leadership to take responsibility for the actions of its members.

"While the City of Johannesburg respects the rights of individuals and organisations to freedom of speech and assembly, it cannot allow its employees, residents and the business community to become victims of vandalism, violence and intimidation," said Tugwana.

He said it was incumbent on the union's leadership to condemn the behaviour and instil discipline among its members. -- Sapa

Residents stone house of ANC official after her burial and hold 10
colleagues hostage

19 April 2010

THE community of Soshanguve north of Pretoria yesterday held ANC
officials hostage and vandalised the house of the local leader of the
party’s women’s league barely a day after her burial during a service
delivery protest.

About 300 residents of extension 10 held four ward councillors hostage
for about two hours, one of them was assaulted before they were rescued
by police. The group then proceeded to the late ANC executive secretary
of ward 37, Lydia Thandi Mokgoko’s house . They attacked family members
with bricks, stoned her RDP house, breaking the windows and destroying
parts of the roof.

The angry residents say councillor Mpho Lamola was quick to build an RDP
house for Mokgoko – she died last week Sunday – while they have been
waiting for their houses for more than two years. Mokgoko was buried on

Mokgoko’s daughter, Yolanda, said they had asked for a tent from the ANC
but they offered to finish the RDP house that was incomplete.

“We were shocked to see a group of angry people singing outside the
gate. They threw bricks at us when we asked what they wanted before they
vandalised the house” she said.

Marinki Ndlovu, 34, said her RDP house had been on a foundation phase
for the past two years but she was still waiting for its completion.

“We were told that the building material was finished and that the
construction company has left. I have been waiting for them to build my
house since April 2007 but it only took two days for them to build a
complete house for an ANC member. They build the house for her three
days before her burial because they were afraid that other ANC members
would be surprised to find that she lived in a shack.

“ They told me to destroy my shack so that they can build me a house but
how long are we going to wait for our houses?” Ndlovu said.

Community leader Peter Mmako said there were more that 1000 incomplete
houses in the area .

“The community was told that there was no material to finish their
houses but they were provoked when a member of the ANC had her house
completed in two days. Where does the material come from?

“Housing MMC Sydney Nkwashu told the community that we were not included
in the integrated development programme and we would have to wait for
the next five years,” Mmako said.

Police had use rubber bullets to disperse the crowd from Mokgoko’s house.

Tshwane community safety spokesperson Console Tleane said 10 people were

Protests at Wesizwe Platinum: Mike Solomon - CEO, Wesizwe Platinum
Moneyweb 19 April 2010

ALEC HOGG: Well, Mike Solomon is in the studio. Mike, a protest today at
your offices. Our colleagues at Melrose Arch -- and I guess everybody
else at Melrose Arch - saw a little bit of excitement. I suppose it
isn't terribly exciting if you are the guy whose name is up on the posters?

MIKE SOLOMON: Alec, I think I am used to it at this particular juncture,
but it's an extension of the contretemps that's been going since the ...
billeted on August 12th, tension between the company and the outgoing
community leadership. And I think today's action comes in the aftermath
of the court action that was launched by the newly appointed Kgosi of
the Bakubung-Ba-Ratheo Community, Margaret Monnakgotla, the Royal Family
and the Bakubung concerned group. They are asking questions about the
management of the community assets, what has happened to the assets, who
authorised the transfer of funds out of the community - and these issues
are coming back and a finger is being pointed at Wesizwe, when in fact
we had very little to do with this particular issue. But it's got to be
seen in that context and it's one of the crosses that we are bearing
that we'll work through.

ALEC HOGG: The funds that you mentioned are 44m shares - something like
R500m that's been involved there. Just explain to us: you did put out a
very detailed statement, and I guess shareholders will be reading that
carefully, but just for a broader public, explain to us what went on there.

MIKE SOLOMON: The community had 117m shares, and they employed advisers
to assist them manage these assets. And it appears that a
special-purpose vehicle was put together for the use of these assets, to
try and monetise some of the shares to bring money into the community.
And 44m shares were transferred into this vehicle, and money was loaned
against that. The question really being asked is what has happened to
that money, where has it been invested? And the plaintiffs in the court
action are now appealing to the courts for clarification on these
issues, which have not been forthcoming.

ALEC HOGG: When is all of this going to settle down and you can get on
with building the mine?

MIKE SOLOMON: Well, hopefully as soon as possible. This is one of the
issues that have arisen. In our last interview I spoke about the fact
that we are waiting for our Section 11s which, again, we hope are
imminent - but we've been hoping that for a while now. But we believe
they are in the pipeline. And as soon as those come through we can then
go ahead and transact on the homework that we've done in the hiatus
between the downturn and where we are right now. So this community issue
is a sideshow. It has affected the company in one way and another,
because it takes up a lot of our time. But at the end of the day it's
not going to determine whether the mine is successful or not.

Cop injured by rock thrown as protest turns violent
19 April 2010

A POLICEMAN suffered serious head injuries yesterday when he was hit by
a large rock hurled at him by striking municipal workers in Nelson
Mandela Bay on day five of a devastating national stayaway.

Police were forced to fire rubber bullets into a crowd of about 250
rioting protesters who had set rubbish alight along Govan Mbeki Avenue.

Protesters gathered in front of the Lillian Diedricks building (formerly
Brister House) in the city centre at about noon in support of the
national South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) strike. They are
demanding market-related salaries for lower and middle-income employees.

The protesters set two rubbish bins, as well as loose rubbish, alight
along a 100-metre stretch of Govan Mbeki Avenue which runs past the
municipal building.

Police spokesman Captain Johann Rheeder said police swooped in using a
water cannon to put the fires out.

“Captain Gert Jonker from the Public Order Police (Pops) was walking
next to the vehicle housing the water cannon,” Rheeder said. “Someone in
the crowd threw a rock, about the size of a brick, which hit Jonker on
the left side of his head above his eye.”

Badly injured and bleeding, Jonker was immediately taken to Life St
George’s Hospital.

Rheeder said by yesterday afternoon he had already received stitches and
X-rays had been taken to establish whether his cheekbone had been
broken. “He is in a stable condition and we will only know at a later
stage ... if the bone is broken.”

No one was arrested as it was not known who had thrown the rock. After
the attack on Jonker police fired rubber bullets at the rowdy crowd,
causing them to disperse. About 20 protestors suffered minor injuries.

They cordoned off a section of the street and managed to defuse the
situation and cleared the area of protesters within an hour.

Colonel Tony Nomdoe of the Humewood police station, who was at the
scene, said police were not taking the strikers’ behaviour lightly. “We
going to handle this our way. We have taken a zero tolerance stance
against this,” Nomdoe said.

Yesterday was the third day since mass action began on Monday that Bay
police were forced to intervene as the strike turned ugly.

On Wednesday police hurled a stun grenade into a crowd – also in front
of the Lillian Diedricks building – after protesters obstructed traffic.
Six Samwu members were arrested, fined and released. There were also
reports of protesters throwing stones at passing cars, but these
incidents could not be confirmed.

In Grahamstown, two businessmen were allegedly assaulted during protest

On Thursday Bay police had to use a water cannon and stun grenade to
disperse striking municipal workers who tried to prevent non-striking
municipal employees from entering the Lillian Diedricks and Mfanasekhaya
Gqobose (formerly Eric Tindale) buildings. Additional reporting by
Gareth Wilson

Samwu strike continues
Sapa 19 April 2010

The municipal workers' strike will continue today after negotiators
stalled over backpay, the SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) said.

"We have reached a deadlock and the industrial action will continue,"
said Samwu spokesman Tahir Sema.

Samwu is calling for two years' backpay from the SA Local Government
Association (Salga), instead of its original demand of seven, as part of
its bid to get market related salaries for lower and middle income workers.

But, Salga could not agree to that, and talks, which began last
Wednesday, deadlocked.

The parties went away to see if they could get an agreement for the
backpay, and another meeting with Samwu was scheduled for later on Monday.

Salga had previously said that any increases would take them
significantly over budget.

The union began a strike last Monday over the issue.

However, Samwu had secured an agreement that councils would no longer
outsource legal expertise to handle labour disputes, Sema said.

"Salga conceded on the issue of outsourcing lawyers. That will save them
millions of rand," said Sema.

Samwu said a cut in salary of higher ranking council officials, whom
they believe were overpaid, would provide the income necessary for the
increases the union wanted.

"We do believe that two years of backpay would be reasonable," said Sema.

He said the union was still willing to compromise and was optimistic
that the matter, which it had been trying to resolve for seven years,
could be settled soon.

The strike had affected not only refuse removal, which had left many
city centres heavily littered as the country prepared to host
international visitors for the Soccer World Cup, but had impacted on
almost all council services including primary health care, municipal bus
services and burials.

YCLSA Press Statement 20 April 2010

The Young Communist League of South Africa (uFasimba) in the province of Gauteng supports the ongoing mass action led by revolutionary trade union, the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) for improved conditions of employment and decent wages.

This mass action should be located and understood within the context of sharpening class inequalities and deepening poverty amongst the broad section of the working class and the poor as permeated by the accumulation path adopted by our democratic state. This has resulted in the maintenance and reproduction of racialised, unequal and apartheid service delivery provision and racialised apartheid remuneration for municipal workers. This is evidenced by recent upsurge of service delivery protests waged by our communities for faster and quality service delivery provision.

This ongoing mass or strike action should serve as a call to our democratic state to champion an agenda that transfers and restores the bulk of the wealth of our country to the people’s as a whole. This agenda is consistent with the resolve of the Freedom Charter and the aborted Reconstruction and Development Programme of ANC government post 1994. Such an agenda will assist our government to achieve its electoral commitments and priorities of creating decent work, improving quality of education, better and improved health-care, and fighting crime and corruption.

We call on our communities in memory of Chris Hani to support this ongoing mass action in the interests of quality service delivery provision and exposing the insidious alien capitalist culture of self-enrichment as personified by tenderpreneurs who are crippling service delivery provision through shoddy workmanship and poor service. The late General Secretary of the SACP Chris Hani once said, "A new South Africa would be meaningless if the problems of the millions of poor people were not tackled. The perks of a new government are not really appealing to me. For me what is important is the continuation of the struggle - and we must accept that the struggle is always continuing."

Do it for Chris Hani – reject the de-unionization of public service!

In memory of Chris Hani and whose blood was shed in the battlefield of class struggle, we call on the striking Samwu members to use their mass action to reject and dismiss heinous calls that ‘municipal employees should not hold officials’ positions in political parties’. This call is a clandestine and covert plan intended to deunionize and weaken workers bargaining power in public services. The capitalist class and their mouthpieces in government have already militarised the South African Police Service (SAPS) and are leading an onslaught against workers in the defence force. The working class must flex its class muscle in defence of its hard won gains.

For further comment contact YCLSA Deputy Provincial Secretary Phindile Kunene on 079 964 9262

Tahir Sema.
South African Municipal Workers' Union of COSATU.
National Spokesperson.
Office: 011-331 0333.
Cell: 0829403403.

Transnet Wage Dispute – Conciliator issues a certificate
SATAWU Press Release 20th April 2010

Conciliation in a wage dispute between the two recognized unions and Transnet came to an end late last night, making way for the possibility of strike action across South Africa’s port, rail and pipeline systems.

The 50,000 strong workforce in Transnet’s six Divisions are represented by Satawu (a Cosatu affiliate) and Utatu (a Fedusa affiliate).

The central issues in dispute are the following :-

1. Transnet has put an 8% wage offer on the table. Labour is demanding 15% in an attempt to make up for a less than average wage increase in 2009. The demand has also been fuelled by the massive bonuses paid to managers in 2009. Over half the bonuses paid in 2009 went to less than 10% of the total workforce. The 11 executive managers received an average of R2.5m in bonuses whereas the average bonus paid to workers in the bargaining unit was R10,000. Satawu’s view is that these massive discrepancies are fuelling inequality and greed on the part of a few.

2. Labour is demanding the immediate permanent employment of all fixed term contract workers, in particular in Transnet Capital Projects which constructs and maintains Transnet infrastructure. In a workforce of over 5,000 only 360 are permanently employed. Many workers have been exploited for years through being employed on repeat annual contracts, which denies them any benefits and normal rights to leave etc. Management has been very slow to deal with this problem, which has been on the table for over a year. Their proposal is still vague and without guarantees.

3. Labour is demanding that the bonus system should be negotiated with Labour. Management insists they will only consult. In Satawu’s view this leaves the door open for Transnet to continue paying ludicrous bonuses to senior managers, based on performance targets that are in some instances anti-worker.

4. Labour is demanding four month’s paid maternity leave. Combined with payments from UIF, this would take paid maternity leave for workers to the equivalent of the six months paid leave granted to managers. Satawu cannot accept that the babies of manager mothers deserve two more months of maternal care than the babies of workers. Management is insisting on the status quo of three months paid maternity leave for workers.

5. Labour is demanding two days birth leave for partners. Management insists that birth leave must be taken as part of normal family responsibility leave. Satawu wants to encourage the participation of fathers in the birth of their children as part of breaking down our machismo culture.

6. Labour is demanding that Transnet makes a commitment that there will be no retrenchments in the 2010 financial year. Management has stated they can only agree to this if Labour accepts their 8% wage offer.

Significant progress has been made in coming towards an agreement on a change in medical aid subsidies and policy, but this has not been enough to offset the big differences that remain on the above issues.

Satawu will be presenting Transnet’s final offer to its national shop steward’s council on Thursday 22nd and thereafter with general membership in the provinces before making a final decision on the way forward, including whether to proceed with strike action.

For further information or comment contact Jane Barrett, Satawu national policy research officer on 082 8278561. Or Nadeema Syms, national treasurer and Full Time Shop Steward at Transnet Port Terminals on 083 27532345.

RAF strike

Jacob Modise the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Road Accident Fund (RAF) has suspended talks with South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) pending his briefing to the Minister of Transport the Hon. Sibusiso Ndebele. This is from a background where SATAWU had submitted a Memorandum of Complaints (MoC) to the National Department of Transport (NDOT) calling for a quick political intervention. This is from a background where SATAWU had submitted the following demands to RAF Exco:

1. Total absorption of all employees to the New RAF.

2. No change to terms and Conditions of Employment.

3. Direct and Competitive Placement to be consulted among the parties.

4. Training and retraining of all employees in order for them to be compatible in the New Operating Model.

5. Redeployment of staff coupled with assistance.

After protracted negotiations that date back to 23 August 2009 it became clear that the parties are unable to clinch a deal and as a result SATAWU declared a dispute to Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration on 29 December 2009. The dispute was put on ice by agreement of parties for a period of 3 months in order to give negotiations its chance.

On March 2010 it became evident that the negotiations are fruitless and the dispute at CCMA was revived. The conciliation process took place on 17th March 2010, 23th March 2010, 27th March 2010 and 29th March 2010 whereby a certificate of non resolution was issue by the Commission stating that the matter remains unresolved.

SATAWU issued 48 hours notice to the employer on 31st March 2010 stating that the strike will commence on 07th April 2010. Mr. Jacob Modise submitted an urgent application to Labour Court in Braamfontein seeking an order declaring the strike illegal and unprotected on 06th April 2010. SATAWU opposed the application. The matter was heard on 07th, 08th, 09th and 13th April 2010 of which the application by RAF was dismissed.

It is from this background that the strike commenced on Monday 19th April 2010 by submitting an MoC to NDOT. The memorandum was raising five critical issues which are as follows:

1. A call for a quick intervention by NDOT by deploying a cadre at RAF to assist Mr. Jacob Modise in dealing with transformation dynamics

2. The deployee should also be part of the CCMA facilitation processes.

3. NDOT is expected to make a call and instruct Mr. Jacob Modise to stop union bashing strategies and threats against SATAWU through unilateral Withdrawal of Organisational Rights and double standards.

4. NDOT to instruct Mr. Jacob Modise to withdraw the adverts that are in line with the New Operating Model as there was no proper consultation process.

5. NDOT to Commission enquiry on instability in the RAF Executive Management, resignations by Chief Operating Officers (COO’s) and other members in particular, closure of files in order to meet targets and accommodation of East London Regional Manager of East London and car hire.

SATAWU is shocked to learn that Mr. Jacob Modise is intending to cancel the meeting that was agreed to among the parties as early as Friday 16th March 2010 with the objectives of finding a workable solution to the impasse under the pretence that he is expected to give a briefing to the Minister of Transport Hon. Sibusiso Ndebele concerning the all the demands tabled by SATAWU.

This behaviour is condemned by SATAWU in strongest terms it deserves and is also proving SATAWU right on its claims that these tensions were spearheaded and brewed by him deliberately. SATAWU will advise the NDOT of the intensions by Mr. Modise to disengage and sensitise them of the implications of this conduct to both road accident victims and SATAWU members. SATAWU will also demonstrate to the NDOT about the importance of a “quick intervention” as announced in the memorandum. SATAWU is aware of the fact that during consultation process on February 2010 NDOT through the Director General (DG) was involved in the process of negotiations therefore it is incorrect for Mr. Jacob Modise to insinuate that he will take a day or two to brief the Department with the transformation dynamics. SATAWU is aware of the fact that there are cadres who are deployed by RAF to DOT to take them through the transformation process in order to formulate a policy stance on No Fault Policy.


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