||Production halted at Samancor as mineworkers down tools
NUM 7 May 2010
Over two thousand mineworkers have this morning downed tools at Samancor Chrome ‘s three operations in Steelpoort on the Limpopo and Mpumalanga borderline to observe a day of mourning for the two miners who died on Wednesday after a rockfall. The operations involved are Lannex, Tweefontein and Doornbosch. “We are mourning. We will mourn whenever there is a fatality in our mines” says George Ledoaba, the NUM ‘s Organiser in the North East region. The NUM appeals to all its members to continue to observe a day of mourning whenever a mine worker loses his life in the mining industry. The mining industry has destroyed the livelihoods of many people and continues unashamedly to do so. So far, over 40 mineworkers lost their lives in the industry which puts the mining industry miles away from its target of Zero fatality.
George Ledoaba- 071 681 9348
Head: Media & Communications
National Union of Mineworkers
Tel: (011) 377 2047
Mobile: 082 803 6719
Last-minute bid to halt rail workers' strike
AZIZ HARTLEY & YUSUF MOOLLA 6 May 2010 Edition 1
THE PASSENGER Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) and unions meet this morning in
an attempt to prevent a strike which could paralyse train services
countrywide, affecting millions.
Unions are demanding a 15 percent wage increase while the management is
offering 8 percent on a minimum of R4 082 a month - and if no agreement
is reached about 50 000 workers will down tools on Monday. The strike
would be the biggest to date in a single sector.
Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal's Metrorail is anticipating that the strike
will go ahead, but contingency plans have been put in place to soften
the blow. Its spokeswoman, Thandi Mkhize, said while it was still
uncertain whether the strike would go ahead, Metrorail was prepared to
"In KZN we have two unions that our workers belong to. If the one
decides to strike we will still have the other to operate, but if both
strike then there will be a major problem."
Mkhize said commuters had already been told not to buy monthly tickets,
but some had already done so.
"It is unfortunate that some commuters have already purchased monthly
tickets and at the moment there is nothing we can do for them, but if
strike action is declared then we will try to accommodate the affected
Mkhize added that an estimated 288 000 people used rail transport in KZN.
Protesting students ‘flood’ graduation
Dispatch 6 May 2010
POLICE were called in to Walter Sisulu University in Butterworth
yesterday after a group of disgruntled students staged a riotous protest
The ceremony on the Ibika campus was meant to start at around 8.30am,
but students led by the South African Students’ Congress (Sasco) who
were omitted from the list of graduates, drenched the hall with water hoses.
Among those involved were students with unpaid fees and some whose
certificates were not ready.
A staff member said that a group of fewer than 50 students entered the
hall where the graduation was taking place and sprayed water, using
hoses, and destroyed decorations. “People had to come out there, one
woman even suffered a nosebleed. It was bad; the vice- chancellor Marcus
Balintulo even had to intervene. Police were also called to the scene,
everyone was wading through water,” the staff member said.
Philiswa Dyonase, Sasco’s Ibika campus secretary, declined to say what
their main grievance was about.
“We eventually sorted it out … All you people want to do is to bring
down the name of the institution,” she said.
But WSU spokesperson Tania Smith said a group of students were
“toyi-toying” outside the hall in protest against students who couldn’t
graduate because they owed the university money.
“A small group broke away, entered the Great Hall and disrupted the
“The ceremony recommenced at 11.30am and proceeded smoothly while police
kept a watch on the protesting students,” she said in a statement.
Police spokesperson Captain Jackson Manatha said police were forced to
take charge of the situation. No arrests were made or complaints laid.
The Buffalo City campus student representative council of WSU initially
planned strike action at its graduation ceremonies on Monday and Tuesday.
Following consultations with the institution’s management, they decided
to boycott all activities pertaining to graduation ceremonies at
Abbotsford Christian Centre. - By ASA SOKOPO
Education Reporter— firstname.lastname@example.org.
Protest march ends in chaos
Sapa 4 May 2010
A protest march by Mangaung municipal workers ended in chaos on Tuesday
with police using a water cannon and stun grenades to disperse them when
they burnt shirts and rubbish while waiting for officials to receive
When workers threw bricks and paving stones at the police in
retaliation, police opened fire on them with rubber bullets.
Several vehicles were damaged in the incident.
The protesters wanted to give municipal officials a memorandum of
demands for, among other things, an investigation into municipal
corruption, and the reinstatement of suspended or fired workers who took
part in protests.
The SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) also reiterated its earlier
demand for the resignation of Mangaung municipal manager Sandile Msibi.
The protesters were allowed to continue their protest at the Bram
Fischer Building, in central Bloemfontein, following talks between
unions leaders and the police after the altercation.
Free State Samwu chairman Lucky Mongale criticised the police, the
municipality and provincial ANC leadership for "shooting at members".
Samwu leadership convinced Mangaung Mayor Playfair Morule to back down
on his refusal to receive the memorandum.
After handing him the memorandum, the protesters marched to the offices
of the Motheo District Municipality in Bloemfontein to hand over another
memorandum. - Sapa
Beach march against toll road
YUSUF MOOLLA 6 May 2010
IN an attempt to create greater awareness about the controversial
proposed tolling of the N2 Wild Coast highway, a beach march by South
Coast toll-road objectors and their supporters will be held on Sunday at
The walk, organised by the Upper South Coast Anti-Toll Focus Group, is
in protest against the N2 toll road proposal as well as to create
awareness of the need to preserve sections of the Wild Coast.
Ted Holden, who has long campaigned against the toll road proposal,
which has been approved by the Environmental Affairs and Tourism
Department and SA National Roads Agency (Sanral), said he was not
expecting a response from Sanral. It would, however, be important to
convince Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica she
would be making a huge mistake by supporting the proposal to toll the N2.
"She will be making a serious mistake if she gives this immoral, highly
unconstitutional and undemocratic proposal her approval," he said.
Holden said the anti-toll groups were depending on Sonjica to make a
good judgement on the issue.
"We trust in her good governance and expect her to reject this proposal
in its entirety."
Holden said the spotlight would be on the need to conserve sections of
the Wild Coast.
"We all have a responsibility to preserve its pristine condition. In our
destructive era, man has taken abusive steps towards damaging nature,"
The walk is to begin at 7.30am, and distances that participants may
choose to cover range from 1km to 15km.
In July 2008, a similar march was arranged successfully against Xolobeni
Mining on the Wild Coast as well as for the promotion of eco-tourism.
Those opposed to the toll plan now have less than a month to appeal to
the ministry to intervene.
The proposed Wild Coast toll road would provide for 26 new toll payment
points spread across KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
National Taxpayers Union/Nasionale Belastingbetalersunie
NTU/NBU – The website for ratepayers and taxpayers
Posts Tagged ‘newsletter’
Ratepayers Newsletter No 35
Monday, May 3rd, 2010
The most common question I have been asked is: what happens once a town
starts to put its rates into a trust account? The answer is: usually
nothing. Several towns have done exactly this, and – apart perhaps from
a few residents having their lights cut off and then reconnected after
the resident takes the council to court – nothing further has happened.
This is a little bit disconcerting for the ratepayers, as some of them
find it hard to believe that this ultimate form of protest should be
ignored just as soundly as all their previous complaints. The next step,
then, once you have rates in a trust account, is to lodge an intention
with your municipality to register as an external service provider and
to begin to fix the problems yourselves. The NTU will help with this –
there is a roads committee to assist with roads, there is a water
committee to assist with water supply and sewage plant maintenance (see
contact details on the website). For the rest, little expertise is
needed – it does not take a rocket scientist to clean up a verge, paint
a fence or repair a pavement. It is important, however, to keep paper
trails of all your expenditure in this regard so that you can show that
trust funds were spent on town infrastructure. If this can be proved
(take before and after photographs to back up your expenditure) then you
are legally covered.
Some interesting statistics with regard to rates and taxes: personal
income tax contributes 8,6% to South Africa’s GDP. Company tax
contributes 7,5%. VAT and excise contributes 2%. Compare this with the
next largest contributor, manufacturing, that contributes 1,5%. And
mining and tourism that contribute 0,2% respectively. This seems to
indicate that South Africans are overtaxed in relation to other income
streams. Further, only 2,3% of taxpayers account for 29% of all income
tax. 5,5 million taxpayers support a population of almost 50 million people.
Additionally, the more tax you pay, the less service you get from the
government. Upper income tax-payers get less than 17c worth of
government service for every tax rand, but lower income tax-payers get
R20 worth of government service for every tax rand. Economist Mike
Schussler has been warning for some years that this tax imbalance is
unsustainable, especially as each taxpayer supports eight non-taxpaying
people. However, it can also go to show that taxpayers, if they do
unite, can be quite a force to be reckoned with.
Proposed amendments to the property rates act will increase the
tax-exempt threshold for lower-income householders, which means that a
greater burden of rates is going to be placed on the lower-middle and
middle income earner.
Against the backdrop of the greatest number of service delivery protests
in South Africa since 1994, Minister of Local Governance Sicelo Shiceka
paid his department’s top officials an average of R100 000 each in
performance bonuses for the last financial year. This is over and above
their already generous salaries. The Standing Committee on Public
Accounts has called this a disgrace and has expressed concern about the
government’s practice of awarding performance bonuses for non-performance.
It is going to cost R23 billion to restore South Africa’s roads to an
acceptable state, said a parliamentary spokesman during a debate on the
state of South Africa’s roads. However, Azir Alli of the National Roads
Agency says that the problem is not lack of funds, but lack of good road
management. The NTU has established a Roads Committee for this very
purpose, with Pieter van der Westhuizen in charge. His contact details
are on the website.
Municipal water supply is also under the spotlight. A report released
this week identified that 55% of municipalities had water services that
were on the verge of collapse. The Water Affairs Minister said that this
was good news – she explained this comment by saying that it was
positive news because not all water supply services are on the verge of
collapse (she added that the country was not yet in crisis because
people were not yet dying). However, this report is not absolutely
truthful – the real facts are that 55% of the services SURVEYED were in
this state. The report was not able to assess all water supply services
in the country. Rural water supply was not part of this survey, and it
can confidently be assumed that rural water supply would not be in as
good a state as city water supply (rural services are on the whole in a
worse state than city services because of lack of skills). Therefore
these statistics, bad as they are, are actually misleading. The real
situation, as revealed earlier in this bulletin, is that only 3% of the
country’s water supply services are functional.
The NTU Water Committee is also very active in this regard. Contact
details are on the website.
Brits (Madibeng) ratepayers had a meeting with the Local Governance
Minister, and discovered that he was incensed by the bad management of
the local Madibeng Municipality (which has subsequently been placed
under administration and was recently in the headlines for the dangerous
quality of their drinking water). The Minister apparently promised not
to pursue the matter of withholding of rates until the municipality had
sorted out its affairs.
The Minister’s attitude towards withholding of rates has once again
raised the question of the legality of this ploy. At first, many legal
commentators were of the opinion that it was illegal, but several of
them have subsequently changed their minds. The problem is that the
issue has never been tested in court. The DA have announced that they
are prepared to test this in court in order to get a legal precedent,
but I have been unable to confirm this with the DA. If a legal precedent
was obtained, and it turns out that withholding rates is a legally
permissable form of protest, this will have the most important
repercussions for South African society since 1994, as it will change
the balance of power in South Africa completely.
Residents in Bordeaux-South in Johannesburg won a court interdict
against the municipality to allow them to install boom gates in their
suburb. They were able to prove to the court that the area has high
levels of violent crime and that petitions to the municipality had gone
unheeded. The outcome of the court victory was that the Metro council
agreed to meet with the residents’ association of South Bordeaux to try
to find a solution to the crime problem.
The Hennenman Residents Forum declared a dispute, withheld rates, and
are now using their rates to maintain their town. Over a year, the
improvement has been remarkable – potholes have been fixed, pavements
repaired, fences painted, traffic circles landscaped, gravel roads
graded, weeds on verges mown. The town is looking extremely attractive –
and, just as in Sannieshof, it is all done using a fraction of the rates
income required by the municipality.
Irene Main is a member of the NTU Water Committee, and she has
undertaken to alert the World Health Organisation about the poor state
of South Africa’s water supply. She has also made contact with Germany’s
Green Party, who are very active in lobbying for better environmental
practices. The South African government, when approached by the WHO
organization, denied that there was any pollution in South Africa’s
water, but Irene compiled a DVD of water pollution and this has caused
quite a stir.
If you would like to be placed on this mailing list, please send a
request to email@example.com
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
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
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 
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 crèche, 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
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
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
Strike ends at Lafarge
NUM 3 May 2010
The two week-long strike action at cement company Lafarge has finally ended with parties signing a wage deal this morning. The parties agreed on a 9% backdated from January 2010 to June 2010 and an additional 0,5% as from July for the Cement business. The Aggregate and Concrete Business offered its employees an increment of 8,5% backdated to January 2010. The parties further agreed to raise the shift allowance from R650 to R705,00 and referred the housing allowances to a task team that will develop a housing policy. “We see this as a significant achievement for our members. We are just a percentage away from what we demanded” says Isaac Ntshangase, the NUM ‘s Construction Sector Coordinator.
“We believe that with further negotiations on housing, our members stand a good chance of scoring very big” says Ntshangase. The NUM has entered into a one year agreement with Lafarge.
Isaac Ntshangase- 071 681 9336
Head: Media & Communications
National Union of Mineworkers
Tel: (011) 377 2047
Mobile: 082 803 6719
Strike action smiles at De Beers
NUM 3 May 2010
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has on Friday declared a wage dispute with Diamond giant De Beers. The dispute has now been referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The dispute which may see the NUM going on strike at De Beers is over a demand for a 15% wage increment, a 5% increase in shift allowance and a 5% increment on Continuous Operations (CONOPS). De Beers has so far offered an 8% increment which the NUM has rejected outright. “The time has now arrived for us to tackle De Beers. I don’t see how we cant give them a strike action this time around” says Peter Bailey, the NUM‘s Chief Negotiator at De Beers.
“The CCMA is a red sign for them, they either heed the call or we bring them down on their knees in a few weeks time” says Bailey. The NUM calls on companies negotiating with it to approach this year‘s negotiations in good faith as cost of living has tripled with the high cost of electricity.
Peter Bailey- 082 883 7302
Head: Media & Communications
National Union of Mineworkers
Tel: (011) 377 2047
Mobile: 082 803 6719
BLADE NZIMANDE TO LEAD A MARCH AGAINST CORRUPTION
SACP MEDIA ADVISORY 29 April 2010
The SACP General Secretary, Cde Blade Nzimande joined by COSATU’s
General Secretary Cde Zwelinzima Vavi will tomorrow lead a National
Anti crime and corruption march in Durban.
The marchers, drawn from various organisation that are part of the SACP
led End Corruption Campaign Coalition, will deliver a memorandum in
support of governments efforts to fight corruption to a representative
of The Presidency. Furthermore, a representative of BUSA will receive a
memorandum addressed to the private sector in South Africa demanding
action on Corruption.
The march will further provide an opportunity to present a Memorandum to
the Banking Association of South Africa to demand that the banks and
other financial institutions return to the Financial Sector Charter
Council to conclude outstanding issues in the transformation of the
sector. We cannot tolerate the arrogance of the banks anymore! We,
community and labour constituency, including government and the
Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals have made
enough compromises and it is time for the banks to come to the party.
Details of the march are as follows:
Date: 30 April 2010
Venue: the march will start at Curries Fountains to the eThekwini City Hall
Main Speakers: Buti Manamela, Zwelinzima Vavi and Blade Nzimande
Members of the press are hereby invited
Issued by the SACP
Residents of Leandra take to the streets
Jacaranda News 28 April 2010
Police say a violent service delivery protest has erupted in the
Lebohang township in Leandra, Mpumalanga.
Spokesperson Thabo Lekithi says a group of about 300 residents have
barricaded various roads leading in and out of Leandra.
"They have stopped all activities and say that no one will be allowed to
go to work," he says.
"They also say they are still waiting for answers from the Govan Mbeki
municipality regarding services", says Lekhithi.
He says police will wait for back-up to arrive so that they may monitor
the situation effectively.
No arrests have been made yet.
Four held after Lebohang march
Sapa 30 April 2010
Four people have been arrested for public violence during a service
delivery protest in Lebohang, Leandra, Mpumalanga police said on Thursday.
Constable Thabo Lekete said the four were arrested on Wednesday, during
the protest which turned violent.
He said the protesters barricaded the R29 and R50 roads with burning
tyres in a bid to get a response from the Govan Mbeki Municipality
regarding grievances they submitted to the municipality on March 10.
"They stopped all activities and said no one will be allowed to go to
work," he said. Two shops were burnt down and two trucks damaged when
they were pelted with stones on the R50 Road.
"The situation is calm today [Thursday]. People have managed to go to
work," he said, adding that a number of police officers were deployed in
the area to monitor the situation.
More than 30 people had been arrested for public violence since the
protest started on March 19, said Lekete. - Sapa
Ignore this discontent at your peril
GEORGE DEVENISH Business Day 29 April 2010
It has been reported that, according to Yunus Carrim, deputy minister of
co-operative governance and traditional affairs, there were more
protests around SA in the first three months of this year than in any
equivalent period since 1994. Unfortunately, many of these were
accompanied by violence, and are therefore unlawful as section 17 o f
the constitution requires protests and demonstrations to be “peaceful
Mr Carrim explains in a brutally frank and honest statement that these
protests are about a range of issues, “including maladministration,
nepotism, fraud, corruption and the failure of councillors to listen”.
What the deputy minister is saying is that representative democracy at
local government level is not working properly in many communities and,
as a result, the communities are abusing a form of direct democracy in
the form of protest actions that are violent and therefore unlawful.
There is a fundamental difference between liberty and licence, and the
latter cannot be condoned in any democratic state. Indeed, violent
protest by its very nature poses a dangerous, real threat to democracy
and the rule of law. Unruly and violent protests are a manifestation of
mob rule, which is the antithesis of genuine democracy. To a marked
extent this is happening in SA.
We ignore this manifestation of violent discontent at our peril. If the
vast majority of black people of SA continue to live in abject poverty,
the political and civil human rights — such as freedom of expression or
religion or association — enumerated in the bill of rights have very
Further, such a situation could contribute to or precipitate a populist
revolt that could destabilise or even overthrow the democratic order
with disastrous consequences for human rights.
What is increasingly apparent is that an elitist “democracy” is emerging
in SA. By this is meant that some members of an elite leadership in the
African National Congress (ANC) in all three spheres of government are
in many cases merely using political office to enrich themselves in a
way that involves “mal administration, nepotism, fraud, corruption and
the failure” of representatives to listen to the grievances of the poor
who live in appalling conditions. Furthermore, as occurred in the
Kennedy Road settlement in Durban, where a genuine grassroots political
movement developed, independent of ANC structures, it has been
ferociously attacked and politically undermined allegedly using police
President Jacob Zuma is proving a weak and ineffective political leader.
His style of leadership is characterised by a painfully slow process of
consensus-seeking and metaphorical putting out of fires caused by the
seemingly endless squabbling by members of the tri partite alliance in
relation to, in many instances, trite and petty differences.
In relation to serious issues he reacts, very often belatedly, to the
crises that arise in the country.
This is particularly so relating to the violent protests that are
occurring in response to poor service delivery in the townships.
What is required is effective and pro-active leadership to ensure that
democracy starts working, particularly in local government, with
improved service through competent councillors and ward committee
members, who listen to and respond to the needs of their constituents.
Prof George Devenish
Bitter grapes of municipal wrath
Babalo Ndenze Metro Writer 27 April 2010
The Stellenbosch Municipality has again been plunged into turmoil, with
two service delivery protests in three days and eight ANC councillors
facing the chop for repeatedly failing to attend council meetings.
The latest incident saw hundreds of disgruntled residents of Mandela
City in Klapmuts embarking on an illegal march, leaving a trail of
rubbish in front of the municipal offices yesterday.
The group handed over a memorandum to Stellenbosch Executive Mayor Cyril
The memorandum says the community has been without electricity for eight
On Saturday, Premier Helen Zille, in her capacity as DA leader, was also
in Kayamandi township, where she addressed residents.
The municipality - which has had three mayors in as many years - is the
third-largest municipality in the province. The municipality is also
under investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) for alleged
fraud and corruption.
Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC
Anton Bredell was requested by the municipality to institute a forensic
investigation into alleged fraud, corruption and maladministration
uncovered by the council's audit committee.
Control of the municipality has fluctuated since the 2006 local
government elections, due to the delicate balance of power in which the
ANC has 17 of the 37 seats, while the DA and other smaller parties make
up the rest.
Speaking from his office soon after the second protest, Jooste said the
two service delivery protests were politically motivated. "We were
actually warned about this illegal march. But ANC councillors are
instigating this in their own areas.
"We also had some problems on Saturday when the premier was here at
Kayamandi. At the moment, they are not able to take over the
Stellenbosch Municipality, the ANC and its alliance partners," said Jooste.
He said another reason the ANC was trying to destabilise the
municipality was that eight of its councillors were facing a
disciplinary hearing for not attending council meetings.
The Code of Conduct for councillors states that a councillor absent from
three or more consecutive meetings of a municipal council, or a
committee, be removed from office. The councillors are to face the music
Former mayor Patrick Swartz said recent events showed that the
municipality was in disarray. Swartz is a member of the Kayamandi
Community Alliance, a small community-based, ANC-aligned political party.
"Things are not the way they should be. Things are not normal. There is
quite a lot of dissatisfaction among the people, especially in the black
community. It also has to do with that e-mail.
"There is some discrimination between whites and blacks in Stellenbosch,
with people being referred to as 'k**s' and 'h**s'."
Kiss me on my tape
Stacy Moreland Grocott's 27 April 2010
Pride filled me – pride for women, pride for all of us in that hall,
brave enough to take part in this day – at 6am, on a 6°C morning.
I promised my friends that if someone approached me with judgmental and
inappropriate comments I would give them a piece of my mind or, should
I say, my foot. But, when this moment came I froze and quietly imploded.
With no-one to talk to I could only speak to myself. We all have our own
reasons for taking part – mine, I realised, ran much deeper than I had
I found the place within myself, that box of memories. Throughout the
day I thought about it, held it in my hands, not wanting to go through it.
My own silence had confronted me. At midday the protesters gathered on
the steps of the clock tower. Lying among all those silent men and women
gave me the space and comfort to confront this box.
That dark, cobwebbed corner no longer weighs me down. It has been
springcleaned and aired, light flows through it with ease.
This day made me deal with things I never wanted to. Our strength in
solidarity found its way around campus and filled each of us.
I thought that if I dealt with what weighed me down I could never be the
same happy person I always am. But, instead of feeling dirty and impure,
I now feel like a blank page pure, clean and ready to be filled with the
life I choose to fill it with.
Breaking the silence
“Stop the war on women’s bodies!” Exhausted protesters peeled the tape
from their mouths, as one voice at a time, the chant grew louder and
louder. But a solemn silence fell over us again as we watched rape
survivors stand and make their way to the stage. We were inspired by
their courage and moved by their strength. The respectful clapping of
hands became deafening.
Take back the night
We ended the day by reclaiming the streets of Grahamstown. Given back
their voices, protesters screamed, shouted and sang.
“No means no.” “This street is my street.” We paused at the Rat and
Parrot – yelling our defiance at anyone who would dare to claim otherwise.
As we returned to campus a local resident, Kerry Jane Gutridge stopped
us. Her words were the ones we had been waiting to hear from the
“You are the most beautiful people in South Africa right now – you make
me so proud, go, continue in the name of all those voiceless statistics
who are dead.”
LGBT PROTEST AGAINST U.S. & UGANDA
University of Pretoria's gay organisation 22 April 2010
A protest march will take place in Pretoria on Freedom Day to demand
equality for lesbians and gays in both the U.S. and Uganda.
Organised by Up & Out, the University of Pretoria's gay organisation,
the protestors will march from the Ugandan Embassy to the U.S. Embassy.
The U.S. has been slammed by the organisation for its continued refusal
to grant same-sex couples federal marriage rights and benefits. "How can
a supposed first world nation decide to do such things?" asked Up & Out
in a statement.
Uganda is also under immense international pressure over its proposed
Anti Homosexuality Bill which, if passed by the country’s parliament,
would impose the death penalty on people found guilty of repeated
"We as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Intersexed, Asexual
(LGBTIA) youth and champions are devastated at the ongoing government
tyranny in Uganda. It is inhumane and totally uncalled for," said Up & Out.
"No right minded individual should even be able to comprehend the
preposterous notion of giving someone the death penalty on grounds of
their sexual orientation. To add to the injustice, if you are related to
or even know of an LGBTIA individual in Uganda, you will either be
arrested or fined for not bringing these individuals to the attention of
The protest march will kick off at 10am, on Tuesday 27 April, with
protestors urged to meet at the OUT offices at 1081, Pretorius Street,
Hatfield (two houses down from the corner of Pretorius and Hilda streets).
The group will then gather outside the nearby Ugandan Embassy in Church
Street before marching toward the US embassy in Pretorius Street.
Participants are urged to bring placards, banners and pickets.
For more information contact Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 076 803
Negotiators stage sit-in to see principals at Lafarge
The negotiating team representing Lafarge workers has this afternoon decided to conduct an overnight sit-in at Lafarge offices in Woodmead, Midrand after the company had refused to budge on worker demands. The company has not made any move on the R1500 housing allowance and the demand for an 11% wage increment. “The company is still at 8% on wages and we are demanding to see the principals. We are not going to move from here until the company delivers on our demands” says Isaac Ntshangase, the NUM ‘Construction Sector Coordinator. Meanwhile, the national strike action by over 1000 workers which has hit the company‘s pockets is continuing. The strike has affected cement production and distribution with many construction companies already crying foul over non-delivery.
Isaac Ntshangase- 071 681 9336
Head: Media & Communications
National Union of Mineworkers
Tel: (011) 377 2047
Mobile: 082 803 6719