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South African Protest News 1 21 August 2010 (2010) South African Protest News 1- 21 August 2010.  : -.

South Africa: over a million public sector workers on strike

LibCom 20 August 2010

More than one million South African state workers have gone on strike to press for an increase in pay, a move that threatens to paralyse Africa's biggest economy. Schools were closed early on Wednesday as teachers left for meetings to discuss the walkout, while workers dressed in red T-shirts gathered outside hospitals and government offices.

"The strike is indefinite. It will go on until there has been an improvement, until the government delivers on our demands," Fikile Majola, the general secretary of the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union, said

"The response has been very good especially in the schools."

Those on strike included police, healthcare workers, teachers and customs officials. Essential services are expected to be maintained through skeleton staffing.

"We have nothing to lose but the chains that bind us," Norman Mampane, the national spokesman for the Popcru police and prison guards' union, one of the groups in the labour coalition representing about 1.3 million state workers, said.

Offer rejected
The strike was declared after four days of consultation in which the state's offer was to increase the monthly housing allowance to 700 rand from a previous offer of 630 rand. However, it had refused to increase its wage rise offer of seven per cent.

Dumisani Nkwanba, the spokesman for the ministry of public service and administration, said: "The government has been very sincere … The question here is the issue of affordability on the part of the state.

"The offer the government has put on the table … we feel is a fair and reasonable offer. We cannot move beyond what we have done now."

However, workers do not believe the government when it says that it has no money.

"They say they see politicians living lavish lifestyles, they question why there was money for the football World Cup [staged in South Africa] and say they are tired of corruption allegations in government departments and that they will not put up with it anymore," reporter Hara Mutasa said.

"They are saying that they are not going back to work until their demands are met and that they don't care how long the strike drags on.

"It's going to have a big impact. Schools are shut down … we've heard people have barricaded hospitals. If this strike drags on a lot of people will become the casualties of the strike action."

The last big public sector strike in South Africa took place in 2007 when a four-week strike by 600,000 state workers cost the economy several million lost man-days, discouraged investors and angered the public.

Strikers: it's war!
Staff Reporters 21 August 2010

The battle lines have been drawn in what has become South Africa's worst industrial action.

On Friday, the government vowed to reintroduce the instant 24-hour justice of the World Cup courts in a last-ditch bid to bring brutal strikers to book, as the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) warned terminally ill patients in Cape Town hospitals that they would "have to negotiate with their lives" for essential life support systems to be continued.

As the strike entered its fourth day today, unions declared the government's decision, announced by State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele in Pretoria on Friday, as a declaration of war.

Cwele was unabashed.

"The criminal justice system is being put on high alert with special courts to deal with acts of hooliganism. Interdicts will be served on unions to prevent them from accessing key government departments and infrastructure," said Cwele.

He said the government would not allow the country to degenerate into a state of anarchy.

The protection of non-striking staff and innocent civilians would be paramount, he said.

On Thursday, 51 hospital workers appeared in a KwaZulu-Natal court charged with public violence.

Deputy Justice Minister Andries Nel and Public Service Minister Richard Baloyi were yesterday preparing a list of government departments and institutions that would be no-go zones for protesters, as part of their interdict.

"We want to protect key institutions (such as) schools and hospitals," said Cwele.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said he was shocked at the strikers' willingness to "murder" in order to improve their wages.

"No matter how angry I was, I would never put somebody's life at risk... If health workers lose that, believe me we no longer have a country," he said.

Deputy Minister of Basic Education Enver Surty said matric prelim exams, due to start in a fortnight, could be affected.

Nehawu's Fikile Majola was unrepentant.

"We expected a government interdict. They did it in 2007, so it's not new. We will go to court and defend ourselves. I don't know why they compare this to apartheid. The truth is there was no national protected strike before 1994. To make a comparison is naive and ignorant."

But for Andrew Tsotetsi, a patient at the hard-hit Natalspruit Hospital in Katlehong, all he could do was plead.

He was admitted last month with severe burns to his right leg. As his suppurating wounds dripped to the ground, he told the Saturday Star: "I am scared that I am going to die here. The bed where I sleep is wet. The smell coming out of the ward is terrible, and while the soldiers have been here helping, it is not enough.

"We are dying of pain in our beds and we plead with our government to put our lives first and ensure the nurses return to work."

Outside Natalspruit Hospital, nurses picketing at the gate were unconcerned.

Plan for renewed wage talks as strike intensifies
NATASHA MARRIAN (Mail & Guardian) 21 August 2010

Public-service sector unions and the government could hold renewed wage talks in the next week in an attempt to resolve the impasse which has resulted in increasingly violent strikes across the country.

Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi had undertaken to approach unions in the next week about new talks, the Independent Labour Caucus (ILC) said on Friday.

The ILC, which represents 460 000 workers, said it held "cursory discussions" with Baloyi on Friday.

"... But the ILC indicated that the minister must approach all unions jointly for such discussions as it is of vital importance that all parties must take ownership of a possible solution," ILC chairperson Chris Klopper said in a statement.

"He [Baloyi] undertook to approach unions in this regard again during next week."

The ILC said it wanted talks sooner rather than later as the country was in the midst of a crisis, and could not afford the luxury of further procrastination.

"... Everyone knows that the matter must be resolved at one stage or the other. The ILC stated once again that it is available to explore solutions and will approach all negotiations and discussions with a mature and pragmatic attitude."

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) was unaware of further talks with the government.

However, spokesperson Patrick Craven said Cosatu was "open" to them.

New offer
Cosatu-affiliated unions represent the bulk of the striking workers.

"We are always open to further discussions ... That is what we have been calling for, a new offer," he said.

Striking public servants shut down schools, blocked roads and barricaded hospitals for a third day on Friday. Clashes between strikers and the police drew widespread condemnation.

On Friday, the ILC described as "misleading" Baloyi's statement that he intended unilaterally implementing the government's offer of a 7% wage hike and R700 housing allowance, which workers have rejected. Craven described it as "illogical".

There was only limited room for unilateral implementation under the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council rules, said Klopper.

"Attempts to unilaterally implement will not only lead to a further hardening of bargaining positions and the determination to proceed with industrial action, but will also seriously jeopardise the relationship between the state as employer and all unions.

"The employer must realise that an attempt to ignore the present stalemate, and opting for an easier solution than hard bargaining, will complicate labour relations and bargaining even further."

Violence condemned
The unions are demanding an 8,6% pay increase and a housing allowance of R1 000 a month.

The ILC said it noted the violence and intimidation at schools and hospitals.

"Such hooliganism cannot be tolerated and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

"The ILC urges the employer to comply with its responsibilities in this regard ... identify the culprits, charge them in terms of the applicable disciplinary measures and, if required, dismiss them."

Craven said Cosatu was concerned at the violence.

"We are obviously concerned, but we cannot put all the blame on the side of the workers," he said.

"The unions and government need to get together at local level to iron out these problems and prevent unnecessary violence."

He also condemned "provocation" by the employee or law enforcement agencies.

Public service and administration department spokesperson Dumisani Nkwamba was unable to immediately comment. - Sapa

Govt acts to deal with strike violence, intimidation
Mail & Guardian 21 August 20109

The government will take special security measures against striking public-sector workers who seek to disrupt basic service delivery, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele said on Friday.

"Ministers agreed on a range of measures to be taken to ensure the safety of citizens and employees who are not part of the industrial action, as well as the growing number of volunteers who are stepping forward to deliver services," Cwele said at a press briefing in Pretoria.

He was flanked by Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Public Administration Richard Baloyi, as well as Deputy Minister for Basic Education Enver Surty.

"Based on the way in which strikers have targeted various service-delivery sites, security agencies are being deployed countrywide as of today [Friday]," Cwele said.

Special courts would be set up to deal with "acts of hooliganism" and government would also seek an interdict against unions from accessing some departments and infrastructure.

Baloy said he was "surprised" by the degree of the level of violence of the strike. "This element of trampling on other people's rights is not only surprising, but uncalled for."

Motsoaledi went even further in describing his outrage, and called strike action by public-sector workers that interrupted vital medical care "murder".

"If somebody gets into an operating theatre where somebody is being operated on and wants to disrupt somebody who is vulnerable, who is on life-support -- in exercising certain democratic rights [to strike] you get in there and disrupt -- that's murder," Motsoaledi told media in Pretoria.

"I'm not surprised but shocked, extremely shocked at the willingness to murder because you can't have that kind of country.

"It shocks me that there is any living, normal South African who thinks like that," said Motsoaledi.

Striking workers have barricaded public hospitals around the country and refused entry to ambulances and people seeking medical care.

"We have demonstrated our humanity during the World Cup. Why now are people losing their humanity and prepared to murder?" asked Motsoaledi.

Later on Friday Motsoaledi told journalists that he is volunteering his services as a doctor this weekend at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.

When asked what he would be doing at the hospital, he said he would be performing routine medical tasks.

"I won’t be brave enough to make a diagnosis, but I will assist where necessary. Maybe I'll even be in theatre or performed a caesarean," he said.

Meanwhile, the Gauteng provincial government was granted an interdict by the Labour Court on Friday to stop striking public servants from intimidating health workers.

"The court ordered government employees who are on strike to immediately refrain from intimidating, harassing or interfering with other employees and management from continuing with their work," the office of premier Nomvula Mokonyane said in a statement.

The interdict also ordered workers to refrain from blocking entrances and exits to health and social development facilities in the province.

"This follows acts of intimidation at various public hospitals and schools," said the statement.

Some protesters "invaded Sebokeng, Helen Joseph, Natalspruit, Charlotte Maxeke and Kalafong hospitals and forced nurses and support staff to join the industrial action, leading to disruption of services", the statement added.

While the government recognised the right to strike, it condemned "in the strongest possible terms" acts of violence and intimidation.

Right to strike does not entitle anyone to intimidate
Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) on Friday said it was concerned about the public servants' strike as reports of violence and intimidation escalated.

"Firstly, the right to strike does not entitle anyone to intimidate, threaten or assault other citizens. Nor does it entitle strikers to destroy property, blockade roads or in other ways obstruct public order," it said in a statement.

"Union leaders need to urgently condemn this pattern of strike behaviour and take meaningful action against those acting in this way."

BLSA said the country could not afford the labour action to continue.

"The cost to healthcare, education and other critical public services is simply too great."

It called on government and union leaders to find recourse in a third party resolution through mediation, adjudication or arbitration.

Meanwhile, the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) on Friday threatened to strike in solidarity with public servants.

"The largest local government union, Samwu, would like to send its unconditional solidarity and support to the ongoing strike by comrades of the public-sector unions," said Samwu spokesperson Tahir Sema in a statement.

He urged the government to call an urgent meeting with unions and grant them their "reasonable and legitimate demands".

Police spray water at Helen Jospeh protesters
Business Report 20 August 2010

Johannesburg police sprayed water cannons at a group of protesters who had started a fire at a side entrance of the Helen Joseph Hospital in Hurst Hill, Johannesburg on Friday.

A group of about 50 protesters broke away from a larger group protesting at the hospital's main entrance and blockaded a side entrance with rubbish, then set it alight.

Police tried to remove them and clear the rubbish, but they threw rubbish bins at the entrance and tried to set the rubbish alight again.

Police responded by soaking them with jets of water which also doused the flames.

Hospital staff entering and leaving through the side entrance were taunted by the strikers, dressed mainly in red t-shirts bearing the Congress of SA Trade Unions' logo.

The front gate of the busy public hospital was closed with police officials on foot and in an armoured car keeping watch.

At Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital, where police fired rubber bullets at protesters on Thursday, all was calm on Friday morning.

"We haven't had any negative reports today [Friday]," said Captain Nondumiso Mpantsha around 10am.

"There's a large contingent of police monitoring the situation."

The public service strike entered its third day on Friday. - Sapa

Fifty-one hospital workers in KZN court
IOL News 20 August 2010

Fifty-one people believed to work at Murchison Hospital appeared in the Port Shepstone Magistrate's Court on charges of public violence, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Friday.

"The people that appeared before court were allegedly workers of the hospital. They were arrested after causing disruption in the hospital in connection with the strike," said Brigadier Phindile Radebe.

They allegedly damaged hospital property.

Radebe said they appeared before court on Thursday afternoon and were released the same day.

They would return to court on September 14. - Sapa

Automotive companies strike deal with Numsa
Business Report 20 August 2010

Automotive companies struck a wage deal with the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) on Friday, the Automobile Manufacturers Employers Organisation (Ameo) said.

"Following ratification by employees at plant level yesterday [Thursday], an agreement detailing the terms of the settlement was signed in Port Elizabeth to this effect earlier today [Friday]," Ameo said in a statement.

The industrial action at automotive companies with vehicle manufacturing operations in South Africa began on August 11.

The three year agreement provided for an across-the-board wage increase of 10 percent in 2010 and a nine percent increase in both 2011 and 2012.

Most of the provisions contained within the prior agreement signed in 2007 had been carried over.

Ameo said the parties had agreed that the use of labour brokers would be discontinued with effect from January 1, 2011 in respect of the bargaining unit, with the sole exception of pre-existing labour broker contracts which would be allowed to run their course.

The parties also committed to the establishment of a Statutory Bargaining Council.

"Both the immediate and longer-term impact of the strike is cause for concern," Ameo said.

"In the short term, the loss of approximately 17,000 units will be difficult to recover and has undoubtedly had a negative impact on the local manufacturers' ability to meet the needs of both domestic and overseas customers."

In the domestic market this loss of locally produced units would in all likelihood create an opportunity for importers to make further inroads in the South African market, Ameo said.

"The strike and resultant loss of volume has caused significant reputational damage to the automobile manufacturing industry in South Africa as a stable production location and this could have repercussions in terms of our ability to attract future investments going forward."

Ameo said that as the parties moved into the implementation phase of the new agreement, the challenge remained to improve competitiveness against ever increasing global competition.

Numsa's spokesman Castro Ngobese would not confirm the deal immediately as he said a press conference on the issue would be taking place on Friday at noon in Port Elizabeth. - Sapa

White teachers' union joins strike
Business Report 20 August 2010

Teachers belonging to the predominantly white Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysersunie (SAOU) will join the nationwide public servants' strike next week, it said in a statement on Thursday.

"The SAOU decided on this drastic step after 87 percent of members rejected the State's latest offer of a seven percent general salary adjustment and a R700 a month housing allowance after conducting a ballot among members," it said.

The union, which includes teachers from former model C schools, would join the strike on Monday.

SAOU condemned violence and damage to property by other unions.

"Barbaric actions as that which have been witnessed during the last week, can no longer be tolerated," it said.

It urged school governing bodies to monitor pupils and teachers.

"Should there be a reasonable risk of intimidation and injury, the best interests of learners and personnel should be borne in mind...," it said, adding that schools should not try to stay open "at all costs". - I-Net Bridge

Gauteng gets interdict against protesters
IOL News 20 August 2010

The Gauteng provincial government was granted an interdict by the labour court on Friday to stop striking public servants from intimidating health workers.

"The court ordered government employees who are on strike to immediately refrain from intimidating, harassing or interfering with other employees and management from continuing with their work," the office of premier Nomvula Mokonyane said in a statement.

The interdict also ordered workers to refrain from blocking entrances and exits to health and social development facilities in the province.

"This follows acts of intimidation at various public hospitals and schools," said the statement.

Some protesters "invaded Sebokeng, Helen Joseph, Natalspruit, Charlotte Maxeke and Kalafong hospitals and forced nurses and support staff to join the industrial action, leading to disruption of services", the statement added.

While the government recognised the right to strike, it condemned "in the strongest possible terms" acts of violence and intimidation.

The premier's office said contingency plans had been put in place at public institutions, including the deployment of SA National Defence Force members at some hospitals.

"The Gauteng provincial government is heartened by the high number of volunteers who have offered their services to hospitals and other public health care facilities during the strike action.

"Security has been tightened at all hospitals to protect the public and the workers who are not taking part in the strike action.

"The Gauteng provincial government will do everything within its powers to ensure continued provision of health care services in all public health institutions," the statement read. - Sapa

DENOSA claims victory in Mmabatho College of Nursing
Denosa Media statement 20 August 2010

Following a marathon three-month closure of the Mmabatho College of Nursing in the North West province, DENOSA has successfully won the fight against the department to open the college.

On Monday, August 16, 2010, DENOSA legal department headed by Paul Motsepe filled an urgent court application to the Labour court. The application requested the court to order the North West Department of Health and Social Development to open the Mmabatho College of Nursing unconditionally.

The hearing was set for Thursday, August 19, 2010 however the counsel representing the department approached DENOSA legal team with the intention of settling the matter outside the court. The resolution was for the department to unconditionally re-open the college with effect from Monday, August 23, 2010.

DENOSA has ensured that the counsel representing the department confirms on record to the court that the college will be reopened unconditionally next Monday. This is due to past experiences that have taught us that the North West department of Health and Social Development is not to be trusted.

We are content that this specific matter has reached its logical conclusion, however we shall continue pursuing other legal issues related to it.

Issued by:
Asanda Fongqo
Communications Manager
012 343 2315 ext 235
079 875 2663

For more information contact DENOSA North West Provincial Secretary Oscar Phaka on 082 411 3545

POPCRU Media Statement 19th August 2010

POPCRU condemns the improper acts of shooting by the police on a protected strike

We have noted the uncalled for incidences of provocation and alleged usage of rubber bullets by the police men and women, in which our COSATU led workers are participating in a protected strike in terms of Labour Relations
Act No.64 as amended at Chris Hani Hospital [Baragwanath], Soweto, and Helen Joseph around Auckland Park,

POPCRU deplores the erosion of settling of labour disputes through engagement at the Collective Bargaining table by the employer, and resorting to narrow and counter-revolutionary methods of using rubber bullets to
settle wage disputes. State [Police] brutality has no vacuum in the current South African Democratic dispensation, and we are making a clarion call to all deployed workers in the South African Police Service [SAPS], National Intervention Unit [NIU] and Technical Response Unit Team [TRUT] to refrain from such improper acts. And also we do not subscribe to any form of intimidation from any person whatsoever.

POPCRU reiterate its total rejection of the so-called revised pay offer by the employer. We are calling Parliament to fully apply its mind and refrain from negotiating in the media, and table a real revised offer for our general membership in the public service.

A struggle for a living wage is our goal.

Issued by:
Norman Mampane
National Spokesperson
Tel: 0112424600/4615
Cell: 0720737959
Fax: 0866253054
01 Marie Road
Auckland Park

Mob attacks matric pupils
IOL News 19 August 2010

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Next » 1 2 By Sinegugu Ndlovu & Wendy Jasson da Costa

A teenager is nursing a broken collar bone after a mob wearing Cosatu T-shirts beat up matric pupils in Scottburgh with knobkieries.

Scottburgh High School had closed last Thursday because of the intimidation accompanying the nationwide public servants' strike. On Wednesday, 107 pupils and four teachers were studying at the local country club when a gang invaded the property, demanding to know what the pupils were doing.

Pupil Johan Naude saw two fellow matrics brutally attacked.

"They grabbed two girls by the hair, threw them on the floor and started kicking them. I saw one of the girls hit on the head with a knobkierie and I was also hit when I tried to help them," he said.

School governing body spokesman Henry Mulcahy said the attackers were part of a larger group of workers who had been picketing at GJ Crookes Hospital. They were apparently tipped off that pupils were studying at the country club and attacked.

Mulcahy said while pupils in lower grades remained at home - with tasks to ensure they did not fall behind the academic schedule - it was decided on Thursday that matrics would resume classes at the country club for safety reasons.

A spokesman for the country club said the attackers came rushing across the field, shouting: "What are the kids doing here?"

"We closed the doors. They went around the property and started pulling the front door off its hinges and beat the kids up. We were all terrified."

Police Lieutenant-Colonel Zandra Wiid said five pupils had opened public violence cases.

Cosatu leader Zet Luzipho distanced the organisation from the incident and advised the victims to report the matter to the police.

"Anyone can wear a Cosatu T-shirt. If anyone feels their rights have been violated, they have a right to recourse," he said.

Despite attacks on pupils, the provincial Education Department on Wednesday urged all matrics to "be in class, studying during this period".

Spokeswoman Mbali Thusi said they were concerned about the year-end results as matrics had not performed well in the first and second quarters. She called on school governing bodies and parents to help monitor pupils and keep order at schools.

In the meantime, the ANC-aligned Congress of SA Students (Cosas) called for matric exams to be delayed because of the strike.

In 2008, KZN achieved a 57.8 percent matric pass rate, and 61.1 percent last year.

Renuka Vithal, deputy vice-chancellor of teaching at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said it was unlikely that the statistics would improve, given the long June holiday to accommodate the World Cup and now the indefinite strike.

COSATU Free State JMC press statement on the public sector strike, August 18, 2010

Following the failure of the employer to put on the table a revised offer for the possible aversion of the strike last night in the PSCBC we acknowledge that we are now in a dispute which we have to act in order to resolve. As committed Public Servants and as members of a revolutionary federation, COSATU we know that the strike is not in the best interest of the community and the Public Service Workers in themselves, it is however the only leverage we have to resolve the impasse, that is why we have planned that our strike should be effective so that it can be a catalyst to the speedy resolution of the dispute.

We have met this afternoon as the provincial JMC and hereby declare that all our affiliates in the public service are ready to embark on an indefinite strike action as the only leverage we have to resolve the dispute. The strike has started on August 18, 2010 as declared by our respective National Leadership and the total shut down of Public Service points would be on August 19, 2010. Our actions would include a number of activities which would be closely monitored by our shop stewards.

It is our mandate that we would embark on an indefinite strike until the employer has come up with and offer which we can consider as workers. We therefore call on our members to support the action and on the same breath call on the employer to speed up the process of resolving the dispute by bringing a new offer to the table

Issued by: Sam Mashinini – COSATU Free State Provincial Secretary 082 563 6954


The South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) has strongly condemned the shooting of its members with rubber bullets - without any provocation - by metro police during a march in the South of Johannesburg today.
The shooting left six SADTU members injured - two suffered head wounds.

Our members were part of a peaceful march by thousands of Public Service Union members in Ormonde heading towards the MI when metro police who were part or a group that was trying to keep up with the marchers suddenly opened fire without giving a warning.

SADTU condemns violence against or conducted by our members. The Union’s policy denounces violence and intimidation from any quarter. Our members have a democratic right to engage in a march or any form of demonstration. The action by Metro Police was extremely provocative and has no room in the new democratic South Africa. The right to engage in a march is enshrined in the country’s constitution.

Such action by police won’t deter us from continuing to engage in pickets and marches until our demands are met.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat
General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke 082 783 2968
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi 082 709 5651
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi 082 719 5157

W Cape public sector workers to shut down entire public service
COSATU W Cape Press Statement 20 August 2010

The following Unions attended a Press Conference at COSATU Western Cape Offices this morning and declared that they would shut down the entire Public Service in the W/Cape tomorrow.

The Unions present were: South African Police Union, Sadtu, Nehawu, Popcru, Cape Teachers Professional Union, Pawusa , Public Service Association, Hospersa, Naptosa, Sadnu and they collectively represent 97 % of all Public Service Employees in the W/Cape, which is 150 000 Workers.

There would however be provision made for the provision of essential services through the finalization of minimum service level agreement between management and the various Unions at the different sites, so that the health and safety of people requiring emergency services would not be compromised.

The Unions expressed concerns that the Public Servants who provide services to business like Eskom and Transnet had received an increase in excess of 8%, and Public Servants who provide services to the poor Communities are only given 7%. This is clearly discriminatory and presence a huge stumbling block. This inequities is leading to the strike continuing and intensifying. The lost pay as a result of the strike will also have to be paid to workers, so that the gains made are not undone by the wages lost.

The threat by government to unilaterally implement the offer will lead to further tensions and take us further away from a solution.

For comments please call Tony at 082 77 33 194

DUT suspends academic activity
18 August 2010

The deeply troubled Durban University of Technology (DUT) closed its doors, suspending all academic activities, on Wednesday at around noon.

"Difficulties experienced during the course of this morning [Wednesday] relating to acts of violence, vandalism and fears for the safety of staff and students" led to the closure, DUT acting vice-chancellor Nqabomzi Gawe announced.

DUT spokesperson Karishma Ganpath told Mail & Guardian Education she could not elaborate on what these acts of violence and vandalism were.

On Monday, DUT students led by the student representative council (SRC), disrupted lectures at both the ML Sultan Campus and the Steve Biko Campus, Ganpath said.

The protest was in support of 2 079 students who qualify for state financial assistance but have been unable to obtain this from the state's National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

"Despite all attempts by both the SRC and the university to date for additional financial aid we have not had a positive outcome," Ganpath said. "We still await a final response from NSFAS to a recent request."

Gawe said in a statement this week that the SRC has demanded DUT provides from its own funds to cover the fees for these financially needy students.

This would amount to R35-million, Gawe said, but "the university does not have such funds available". If DUT tried to meet this request from the SRC, doing so would "in the long run lead to the financial instability of the university."

"We continue to make efforts to engage the department of higher education and training in this respect," she said.

The closure on Wednesday follows months of upheaval at DUT, which has a volatile history of management and student instability dating from the 2001 merger between ML Sultan Technikon Technikon Natal that gave birth to DUT.

In 2006, then education minister Naledi Pandor intervened by appointing Chabani Manganyi, former vice-principal of the University of Pretoria, as independent assessor.

Manganyi's report suggested deep-seated levels of management corruption, with some student involvement, and led Pandor to appoint Jonathan Jansen (now vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State) as DUT administrator in August 2006.

This -- a legally sanctioned power of any education minister -- involves suspending a university's main governance bodies, the council and the senate, while an administrator attempts to restore sound management structures.

This appeared to have been achieved after Jansen's period of administration led to the appointment of Roy du Pré as vice-chancellor in August 2007. Du Pre is respected in tertiary circles for his time as head of the former Committee of Technikon Principals and deputy vice-chancellor (academic) of the then Vaal Technikon (now Vaal University of Technology).

But Du Pré resigned suddenly in March this year, halfway through his five-year contract at DUT.

Strike on as unions reject govt wage offer
Mail & Guardian 18 August 2010

Public-sector workers embarked on a full-blown, indefinite strike on Wednesday after rejecting the government's latest pay offer.

"The strike is on," South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) president Thobile Ntola said on Tuesday.

He was speaking after Congress of South African Trade Unions-affiliated unions and the Independent Labour Caucus (ILC) notified the government of their plans in the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council, in Centurion.

"The government went on strike first by refusing to give in to the demands of the workers," said Ntola.

The government has, meanwhile, greeted news of the strike with "grave concern" and said in a statement that the no-work, no-pay principle would be enforced, with deductions for the duration of the strike.

It condemned recent disruptive protests and warned of "stringent measures" against employees who violated the code of good practice.

All public servants performing essential services in health services, the police, correctional services and at ports of entry were expected to report for duty

The unions expected 95% of the 1,3-million public-sector workers to hold mass marches at all work stations in all nine provinces, said Ntola.

"We made it clear to the employer that our members were resolute in their pursuit for the original demands of an 8,6% wage increase and housing allowance of R1 000," he said. "Starting tomorrow [Wednesday] ... the strike for public-service unions will continue until such time that the employer accedes to the demands of the workers."

Asked about the effect of the strike on pupils, Ntola said it was not good for them but it was the government's fault for refusing to meet workers' demands.

"We are calling on the government to stop striking so that we can go back to work," he said,

ILC chairperson Chris Klopper said its demands for a medical subsidy, housing and night-shift allowances and recognition of academic qualifications had not been addressed since the 2007 public-sector strike.

"Another issue that has not been addressed since 2007 is that of synchronisation of the bargaining council and budgetary process with the aim to establish April 1 as the adjustment date."

While the unions claim that the offer on the table stands at 7% with a R700 housing allowance and no movement on other issues, the government claims that this offer amounts to a 9,4% wage increase at salary levels one to 10, and 8,5% at salary levels 11 and 12.

The hike included a 7% wage increase, a 0,9% housing-allowance increase and a 1,5% annual pay progression for which 90% of public-service employees qualified, said spokesperson Dumisani Nkwamba.

He said the government remained committed to responding to the issues, including housing with a focus on ownership and the equalisation of medical aid subsidies, during the second phase of negotiations in October.

Call for peaceful protests
The government called on striking workers to protest peacefully.

"Employees are also strongly cautioned against the intimidation of non-striking public servants and damage to property," said Nkwamba.

"All trade union leaders must ensure that their members act in a disciplined and peaceful manner."

He said Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi would address the media on the way forward in Cape Town on Wednesday at 1pm. -- Sapa

Joint Media Statement 18 August 2010

The Strike is On
The COSATU Public Service Unions and the Independent Labour Caucus (ILC) last Friday called a press conference where we pointed out that we have been patiently trying to persuade the employer to present a revised offer different to the one that was rejected by the workers which was 6.5% and housing allowance of R630.00.

Having served the employer with the notice to strike two mass marches were then held in Pretoria and Cape Town on the 10th of August 2010.The employer then responded by presenting a last minute revised offer of 7% wage increase last week but left the housing allowance unchanged at R630.

We made it clear at the time that we were not going to entertain that offer because we wanted all our priority demands to be treated as a package which meant that the wage increase needed to be complemented by the housing allowance and other outstanding demands.

Our marches nationwide were hugely successful and the employer’s response was to invite us back to the Council where a revised offer of R700 housing allowance was presented to complement the offer of 7% wage increase.

We indicated to the State as employer that we were not satisfied with the following issues:

· The elimination of discrimination based on marital status with regard to housing allowance;

· The process to be followed to effect the equalisation of medical subsidy;

· The medical aid subsidy for pensioners;

· The synchronisation of the bargaining and budgetary process with the aim to establish 1 April for the annual adjustment date; and

· The processes to finalise the outstanding matters emanating from 2007 and 2009.

We made it clear to the employer that our members were resolute in their pursuit for the original demands of 8, 6% wage increase and housing allowance of R1000 but promised that we were going to take the offer to our members for consideration and report back today.

Today we want to announce that after a four-day consultation process members within the Cosatu block and the ILC have unanimously rejected the offer and have insisted on the 8,6% and R1000 housing allowance. Starting tomorrow 18th of August 2010 the strike for public service unions will continue until such time that the employer accedes to the demands of the workers.

We will be having pickets in all our workstations staring tomorrow and on the 26th of this month we will be having mass marches across the country in all nine provinces. The unions would also like to categorically deny the allegations and reports that are going around that the employer tabled a revised offer of 9% that was rejected by the unions.

The offer on the table still remains 7% wage increase and R700 housing allowance and there has been no movement on any other outstanding issues.

For more information call:

Mugwena Maluleke {Cosatu Unions} : 082 783 2968

Chris Klopper {ILC unions} : 083 708 7733

SADTU Embarks on an Indefinite Strike over Wages
SADTU Media Statement 17 August 2010

The National Executive Committee of The South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) has taken a unanimous decision that the Union will embark on a full scale indefinite strike over wages beginning with a total shut down from tomorrow (18 August 2010). The announcement was made at a special NEC meeting in Isando in Johannesburg today (17 August, 2010).

The members totally rejected the latest government offer of R700 for housing allowance, 7% of salary adjustment and the 1st July implementation date and have shown overwhelming support for a strike.

Our demands remain the same, 8.6% salary adjustment, R1000.00 for housing allowance, equalisation of medical aid and 1st April implementation date.

The NEC also noted the utterances by the State President Jacob Zuma and strongly condemned his statement.

The government has a responsibility to honour the demands by workers without trivialising them. Politics cannot be separated from the struggle for labour rights. It must be clear that wages cannot be separated from service delivery, so is politics. The current macroeconomic policy, which is a political matter, is responsible for low wages in the public services.

The NEC further resolved to work with the Joint Mandating Committee (COSATU-aligned public service unions) and the broader labour caucus in developing a programme of action.

The strike programme will include a total shut down of institutions. Branch meetings will be convened on the 18 August to formally communicate the decision of NEC.

Issued by SADTU Secretariat

General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke 082 783 2968
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi 082 709 5651
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi 082 719 5157

11 nabbed as protest turns violent in N West
SABC News 14 August 2010

Eleven people have been arrested by the North West police, following a
service delivery protest that turned violent. Residents of Ntsweletsoku
village near Zeerust, blockaded the road passing through the village
with burning tyres and heavy objects.

The protest was particularly against the shortage of water in the area
for the past month. Police spokesperson, Sam Tselanyane, says the
violence prevented workers from going to work and learners from
attending school.

Tselanyane said: "Following the public violence that was reported
yesterday in Ntsweletsoku just near Lehurutshe, we have arrested 11
girls ages between 13 and 17 and they are all expected to appear before
the Lehurutshe magistrate court on Monday, and they will be charged with
public violence".

Free us from misery or kiss votes goodbye
Esther Lewis 16 August 2010

Dead rats, stagnant pools of dark-green murky water and rubbish heaps
are constant fixtures in the lives of some Khayelitsha residents, who
took to the streets to highlight their living conditions.

About 100 CCT section residents marched peacefully
through the streets on Sunday. Their message was simple: "No house, no
vote." Another banner read: "Frogs don't vote."

This was in reference to how people had to jump from stone to stone to
avoid walking through pools of green sludge throughout the area.

People started moving into CCT Section 10 years ago.

Community leader Vuyelwa Govuza said several politicians had visited
their homes and talked about helping them, but their situation had
remained unchanged.

Their biggest concern was the number of people falling ill because of
the unhygienic conditions.

While standpipes were functional, they were surrounded by murky, green
water and knee-high grass.

Women and children collecting water had to balance on two rocks next to
the tap so they did not slip into the dirty water. "It's never dry here,
not even in the summer," said Govuza.

Heaps of black bags filled with rubbish collected on corners, and
residents claimed their dirt was seldom collected.

Near one of these dumps, a large rat lay dead. Govuza said rats often
bit children.

Resident Edward Sixholo said people were also fed up with the
Porta-Potti system because they were emptied only weekly.

When the Porta-Potties are full, residents slip through the concrete
fencing which separates them from the N2 and relieve themselves next to
the highway.

The community lives next to a wetland. The marshes are not fenced off.

Last November the Cape Argus reported that a 30-year-old man fell into
the marshes while walking through the dark area. He spent nearly two
hours in the water before being rescued, but later died.

According to residents, four children have drowned in the wetlands.

"We are tired of empty promises. If things don't change and we don't get
proper houses, we simply won't vote," said Govuza.

City of Cape Town housing director Hans Smit said while the city was
able to provide only 9 000 "housing opportunities" a year, demand was
double that.

"We are doing our best. But we are looking at new strategies to address
the issue," said Smit.

# There was still a heavy police presence in the Thabo Mbeki informal
settlement between Crossroads and Khayelitsha yesterday.

On Saturday residents protesting against a lack of service delivery
allegedly vandalised a drain valve connected to the city’s water main.

At least 20 low-lying homes and parked cars were flooded.

City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management spokesman Wilfred
Solomons-Johannes said repair teams were withdrawn when protesters
became "volatile and riotous", but returned later.

Teams were sent in again on Sunday to clear the area. "We won't tolerate
anyone deliberately damaging council property. Those guilty will be
prosecuted," said Solomons-Johannes.

This article was originally published on page 5 of Cape Argus on
August 16, 2010

Vandalised' drain floods township
Leila Samodien 15 August 2010

An informal settlement was plunged into chaos on Saturday when
protesting residents allegedly vandalised a drain valve connected to
Cape Town's water main, flooding 20 low-lying homes and parked cars.

The trouble started in the Thabo Mbeki settlement between Crossroads and
Khayelitsha late on Saturday afternoon, when the damaged valve burst,
spurting water metres into the air.

City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management spokesman Wilfred
Solomons-Johannes said senior personnel - including relief teams - were
sent to fix the pipe and help residents who were desperately trying to
save furniture and appliances from the rising water. But they were
withdrawn because residents had become "volatile and riotous".

He alleged that angry individuals protesting against poor service
delivery had deliberately vandalised the drain valve.

"I personally deployed senior personnel to address the problem," said

"On investigation, we found that members of the community had vandalised
the pipe, so this is a self-inflicted situation.

"The city is led to believe that the vandalism is a result of service
delivery issues, and this is a means of protest."

He said the city was forced to deploy Metro Police and law enforcement
officials "to bring the situation under control".

"We have withdrawn all essential services from the area because we
cannot put the lives of our personnel at risk."

The damaged drain valve was connected to a main water pipeline that
supplies Cape Town's suburbs. The leak was controlled before personnel
were withdrawn from the area.

Residents, however, offered a different story. They claimed the pipe had
been giving problems for several weeks, and that it had finally burst on

A few community members were seen cheering and lighting small fires in
the settlement in protest; however, those whose houses had been flooded
were furious.

Charles Phakathi, a Thabo Mbeki settlement resident, said he had heard
rumours about individuals damaging the pipe.

But he claimed the pipe had been leaking for about two months, and that
water had been seeping into his house.

"This has been a cold winter, and there is always water on my floor," he
said. "I have had to take my shoes off every time I have gone into my

When he arrived home from work at 5pm yesterday, he found his house was
flooded to a depth of about 35cm, ruining many of his belongings.

Cars that were parked in the area were also flooded.

"We complained to the council two months ago, and they said they were
busy fixing it. Then, it burst," he said. "No one can move anything. We
need to swim to get anything out."

Madzanakazi Mbavangwe, said she had nowhere to take her six-month-old son.

Don't call me k****r'
Daily Voice

An angry home invader held up a poster saying "Don't call me k****r",
claiming a senior Metro cop swore at her during a tussle over houses.

The silent protester claims Inspector John Abrahams used the racist word
while defusing a violent housing protest between black and coloured
residents in Tafelsig.

But Abrahams says the crowd is lying because he wasn't even on duty at
the time of the alleged racial slur and found himself the unlikely
centre of attention as the dispute over RDP houses moved into its second
day on Thursday.

Residents continuously mocked him and swore at him, as heavily armed
cops kept a close eye on the situation.

Community worker Nomtha Mtombeni says things got tense when Metro cops
used rubber bullets.

"We were peaceful and then they started shooting at us," she says.

A number of Metro police vans were dispatched to the area, including to
another part of Tafelsig known as T4, where incomplete homes were
invaded on Tuesday evening when Khayelitsha mense moved into the area
and wrote their names on the homes' walls.

On Thursday, music personality turned politician D'Louw encouraged the
coloured residents to stand firm and not move from the newly built houses.

"We challenge Helen Zille to come today [Thursday] or tomorrow
[Friday]," he shouted at the angry crowd.

"Don't send your cronies here."

One woman Gaynor Bugan, 37, told D'Louw that she had been allocated her
house after being on the housing list since 1995 and would not let other
people take away what was rightfully hers.

But as soon as D'Louw left, a crowd of black residents walked over
shouting the homes were free. - Daily Voice

Nyanda company in Mpumalanga protest report
Sunday Times 15 August 2010

A company partly owned by Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda was
given a R20 million contract to investigate service delivery protests in
Mpumalanga, City Press reported on Sunday.

The contract was allegedly awarded to Abalozi Security Risk Advisory
Services without following tender rules.

Nyanda is alleged to have a 45 percent shareholding in Abalozi.

The report implicates rivals of Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza as
instigators and funders of the protests, that began in the province in
February 2009.

Mpumalanga co-operative governance department head David Mahlobo was
quoted as saying the contract was awarded on an "emergency procurement"
basis and met Treasury rules allowing for departure from normal tender

According to unnamed government officials, the reasons for ignoring
tender rules were only advanced when the co-operative governance
department's acting chief financial officer Goldrich Gardee, refused to
make payments to Abalozi. Payment was only made after Gardee asked the
department's MEC Norman Mokoena to put the instruction in writing.

Last week Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found there was no conclusive
evidence to substantiate the allegation that Nyanda was personally
responsible for securing a R55 million contract for Abalozi from
Transnet Freight Rail, or that he used his position or relationship with
the CEO of TFR to do so.

Johannesburg - Strikes that turn nasty should lose their protective
status because industrial action in South Africa is becoming
increasingly violent, said John Brand, one of the country’s most
respected labour practitioners.

At a labour law conference in Sandton on Thursday he suggested that
legislation be amended so that strikes lose their protected legal status
when they become exceptionally violent.

This would mean that employers could take disciplinary steps against the

Brand, who represented trade unions in the 1980s and 1990s, said that at
that time the unions were particularly peaceful and disciplined during

In those days the violence came mostly from the police. The situation
today is the reverse – South African strikes have, unlike in the rest of
the world, become especially violent with the police standing by doing
absolutely nothing, he said.

Brand referred to the recent Transnet strike, in which railway trucks
had been set alight.

Violent strikes usually start with violence during protest marches.

There is often little voting before a strike is called, and sometimes
only a minority supports the strike, which necessitates “heavy
persuasion”. It is no problem for employers to get replacement labour
during a strike, because of the joblessness in South Africa.

Employers are generally able to continue production, at least partially,
because replacement labour is so available.

Their biggest expense during strikes is the cost of employing a private
armed force for security, Brand pointed out.

In his view there are fundamental problems with the Labour Relations Act
that need to be put right.

In other countries strikes can lose their protected status if they
becomes particularly violent.

This was something that needed to be considered in South Africa,
especially in the absence of an effective criminal justice system he



1. The NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA (NUMSA), the single largest trade union representing over 31 000 workers in the automotive manufacturing industry has been having consultation meetings today Monday 16 August 2010, with its members amidst the ongoing wage negotiations and improvement of working conditions disputes with the Automobile Manufacturers Employers Organisation (AMEO) oligarchy.

2. Through an open and democratic process, our members have resolved to intensify their action and go to the streets as from tomorrow Tuesday 17 August 2010 and Wednesday 18 August 2010 respectively. These actions are part of exerting pressure to the AMEO to concede to the demands of workers.

3. The actions will happen as follows;


· Eastern Cape: Workers will converge at General Motors (GM), Straundale plant, at 8h30am and their will march to GM Offices at 10h00am, Kempton Road, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape province;


· KwaZulu-Natal: Workers will converge at Boxer Cash & Carry, Isipingo, at 8h00am and their will march to TOYOTA SA, Prospecton, Durban;


· Gauteng: Workers will converge at Corner Schubart at 9h00am and President Streets, Pretoria and their will march to NAAMSA Offices, Cnr Church and Beatrip Streets, Pretoria, Gauteng;

4. We are conscious of the fact that the automotive industry is the leading manufacturing sector in the economy of our country with the largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution. It is further the strategic pillar of our economy. Already the AMEO oligarchy is losing close to R12,5 million a day and production has collapsed in all the plants as a result of our actions.

5. Given the above picture AMEO should apply soberness by conceding to the demands of workers. The AMEO has wasted enough time by engaging us (union) last Thursday and Friday by convening impromptu and “golf course style” negotiations from which no reasonable offer ever came up to meet workers’ demands.

6. It is within this context that we are intensifying our strike action as part of advancing an agenda that is grounded on the equitable distribution of income at the point of production in future bargaining.

7. We STILL maintain our simple demands which are as follows:

§ One year-agreement

§ Across the Board (ATB) wage increase of 15%

§ Short time/lay-off payment at 100%

§ Short Term Contracts (STCs) must be entitled to all benefits and employed on a permanent basis after three (3) months.

§ Labour brokers to be scrapped

§ Hours of work must be 8 hours per day from Monday to Friday

§ Saturdays work to be paid 1½, and Sundays and Public Holidays work to be paid double respectively

§ CO2 Welders and Spray Painters to be populated in Skills Level 5

§ Six months paid maternity leave

§ Scrapping of No further Claims Clause from the Automobile Industry National Bargaining Forum (NBF) collective agreement.

8. It has never been our intention to embark on strike action but because of AMEO’s stubbornness we are compelled to take the battle to the streets as from tomorrow 17 August 2010 and Wednesday 18 August 2010, in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Gauteng provinces. These two (2) days of rolling mass action as resolved by our members will neither be picnics nor fan parks, but militant actions until our demands are met. All the necessary logistics and preparations have been concluded.

Issued by NUMSA

Castro Ngobese, National Spokesperson – 073 2991595


Protest action (Sit-in)
We sit here in the waiting area waiting for the leadership of the university to deal with issues that affect us largely. These issues have been expressed to the relevant structures and we have been waiting for those structures to initiate the relevant action but up till now we have been WAITING.

These are the issues:

ATM in Wits Education Campus
Since February the SRC has been fighting the battle of the ATM in WEC. Hitherto, we have managed to convince the Security Advisory Committee and the Student Services Advisory Committee about the urgent need of an ATM. Both structures agreed that it should be installed as soon as possible. Recently the risk management team of the legal office made a site visit and decided where the ATM will be. We appreciate the efforts up to this point but wish to state firmly that until we receive a written commitment, with a date, of when an ATM will be installed, we remain unconvinced that the management will respond positively to this request. It must be said that we are not this year’s SRC is not the first to address this issue and we feel the management is not taking this issue with the seriousness it deserves. We have expressed these views to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Prof. Ballim. This peaceful action seeks to get that written and binding commitment from the management since we have been waiting.

All campuses have an ATM. It is only the WEC campus that does not. Are Education Students and staff any less or less deserving? WEC has three (female) residences that are sometimes forced to walk at night to the medical campus to withdraw cash for their needs. Students in EOH and Knockando also rely on that ATM or use the garages nearby. Due to the distance, this exposes them to danger at night and time-consuming walks to get what they need for their basic survival.

Extra Bus on Fridays and Sundays
This issue has also been on the table for very long. Since the first block we spoke to the head of residence about the matter, he agreed verbally, but thus far he has not shown any commitment to this. We have recently forwarded a petition of +/- 700 signatures from students to the VCO and requested a response to be given on Tuesday the 10th of August. This has not been received. We have said it very clearly that on Fridays and Sundays between 18H00 and 21H30 there is high volume of students that use the bus. As such, the buses congested and incapacitated to deal with the number of students. The issue seriously affects students using the bus around those times and the Residence Life is well aware of this.

We request that a date when the extra bus or a comprehensive alternative will begin. This must be in writing as a form of a commitment to the student’s dissatisfaction.

Bus Stop at Braamfontein Centre Residence (BC)
This also has been an issue we have discussed with the powers that be. We request that the Circuit bus make a stop at this residence, particularly at night and early in the morning. The Jan Smuts gate and the distance to BC has been declared a “hot spot” for crime. As such, students are endangered and their study patterns are affected. The ARC has spoken to the management of the complex and they have agreed. Luxliner has indicated that they can initiate this only if a directorate is given by Residence Life This has been difficult to get from this office. We also request a commitment in writing of when this will start.

Bafana Lesley Nhlapo
SRC President
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
074 581 1586
072 211 4378

Nombulelo Nyathela
SRC Policy, Legal and Constitutional affairs
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
076 900 1029

'Make the circle bigger', say public servants
Mail & Guardian 10 August 2010

A smattering of striking public service employees began to march from Schubart Park to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Tuesday morning to deliver a memorandum of demands.

About six or seven pockets of about 60 people each began the march shortly before 11am, with the numbers far lower than the tens of thousands predicted by organisers.

No one would speak to the media, saying that as civil servants they were not allowed to do so.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the Independent Labour Caucus called for the strike among its 1,3-million members after rejecting a 7% salary increase offer, saying 8,6% would be more appropriate.

National marches are scheduled to take place in Cape Town and Pretoria, as well as provincial marches in other cities.

'Make the circle bigger'
In Cape Town, thousands of civil servants marched down Darling Street.

One worker held a placard that said: "We want to make the circle bigger, give us 8,6%".

Another held a placard that read: "Baloyi we are not your toyi", referring to Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi.

The marchers sang peacefully as they were led by a large truck with union leaders urging them on, while policemen watched.

They would hand over a memorandum of their demands to a public service representative at Parliament.

"It's very difficult to get by on the wages that they are paying us," one woman marcher said.

"I have three children and it is not easy paying for their schooling and covering the cost of life with what they pay us," she said.

In Durban, workers were to attend a mass meeting at the Durban City Hall.

Durban hospitals and schools appeared to not have been affected by the strike on Tuesday morning.

SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) provincial secretary Mbuyiseni Mathonsi said his union had wanted all schools closed on Tuesday.

"We wanted a total shutdown today but that did not happen because the message was not properly communicated."

He said his union had since sent SMSes to its members that there should be a total shutdown.

A march was planned for Durban on Thursday.

Meanwhile, schools and hospitals tried to cope with the stripped-down staff complement.

One primary school in Johannesburg said they would focus on English and maths for the 100 out of 700 pupils who had arrived in the morning, with teachers advised to keep their cellphones with them in case they needed to call the police.

Johannesburg's Home Affairs office was only handing out completed identity documents, with no other services offered.

The Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital had long queues, but patients and visitors said they were waiting no longer than usual. - Sapa

9 August 2010


Cosatu and all the Public sector unions in Gauteng are ready for tomorrow’s action. The action will see more than 150 000 members of the Cosatu public unions and Independent unions jointly engaging on a massive strike to push for their demands. The action will affect all the state institutions in the Province including the entire worker’s in the Hospitals, Clinics, Correctional Services and the SAPS who are not part of the essential services.

We have also noted the failure by government to sign the essential services agreements and such demonstrate the level of arrogance and it also demonstrate an attitude on their side hence all essential workers who are not on duty will be part of the action.

The worker’s will converge at Shurbet Park at Cnr Proose and Shurbet Street form 08h00 in the morning and the march will leave at about 11h00 to the union building. We will hand over the memorandum of our demands at about 13h00 to the Minister Baloyi. We will be expecting the minister to address workers on the next move given the current dispute between parties.

The march will be lead by Cosatu President, Cosatu Provincial Chairperson, number public sector leaders and leader’s of the alliance in the Province.

Cosatu and all the Public sector unions in Gauteng are ready for tomorrow’s action. The action will see more than 150 000 members of the Cosatu public unions and Independent unions jointly engaging on a massive strike to push for their demands. The action will affect all the state institutions in the Province including the entire worker’s in the Hospitals, Clinics, Correctional Services and the SAPS who are not part of the essential services.

We have also noted the failure by government to sign the essential services agreements and such demonstrate the level of arrogance and it also demonstrate an attitude on their side hence all essential workers who are not on duty will be part of the action.

The worker’s will converge at Shurbet Park at Cnr Proose and Shurbet Street form 08h00 in the morning and the march will leave at about 11h00 to the union building. We will hand over the memorandum of our demands at about 13h00 to the Minister Baloyi. We will be expecting the minister to address workers on the next move given the current dispute between parties.

The march will be lead by Cosatu President, Cosatu Provincial Chairperson, number public sector leaders and leader’s of the alliance in the Province.

NUM to meet Impala Platinum over wages
Mail & Guardian 7 August 2010

South Africa's National Union of Mine Workers (NUM) will meet management at Impala Platinum on Friday for further wage talks as its members vote on a possible strike, a union official said.

The NUM is demanding a 10% pay rise across the board and R1 700 in housing allowance. Impala, the world's second-largest platinum producer, has offered 7,5% pay rise for workers in the high income bracket and 8% for those in the lower category.

"Impala asked for a quick meeting. We expect them to improve the offer ... now you can see that the heat is on," NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka told Reuters. "Our members are busy being balloted for a [strike] action."

A conciliator met Impala management and the NUM on Monday in a bid to avert the strike, which could harm output, but the talks collapsed after the company declined to raise its offer.

The workers started voting on a strike on Thursday but the union has yet to get a majority vote.

"The votes for the bigger Impala branches have not yet trickled in and those are the deciding branches. The smaller branches have already indicated that they want a strike action," Seshoka said.

Africa's biggest economy has been hit by a wave of strikes and strike threats in both the private and public sector this year that have led to above-inflation settlements, raising fears that the cost of living will rise.

South Africa's inflation rate slowed to 4,2% in June. - Reuters

NEHAWU 5 August 2010

NEHAWU members at the Free State Provincial Legislature have embarked on a strike today, Thursday, 5 August 2010 as a result of unresolved issues of mutual interest submitted by NEHAWU in a memorandum last year, on the 26 November 2009. The workers in the Free State Legislature are united and have vowed to fight tooth and nail to end the hostility of the management and force them to address the issues of the workers.

NEHAWU members (in the memorandum of 26 November 2009) inter alia demand:

(a) Appointment of service provider to do job descriptions, salary progressions, evaluation of posts, job grading and performance management systems.

(b) Implementation of Human Resource Management Policy.

(c) Implementation of agreed vacant posts for the current financial year.

(d) Implementation of car allowance as tabled at the Bargaining Forum.

(e) Implementation of the Agency Shop as provided by LRA ACT 127/1998.

(f) Uplifting of the moratorium on the state guarantees.

(g) That the current Board of Trustees of Provident Fund be dissolved and a new Board of Trustees be appointed.

The union has since exhausted all avenues to resolve all the above issues without any success and on the 1st of December 2009 we declared a dispute to CCMA for conciliation. Two meetings were called under the auspices of CCMA and on the last day of the meeting the employer did not attend and a certificate to embark on a strike action was then issued.

A notice to strike was then served to the Legislature Management on the 27th of July 2010, which means all the employees and members of the union will embark on a protected strike to force progressive changes in the Free State Legislature. The MPL’s need to be aware that they cannot achieve any of their goals without the crucial contribution of the support staff which deserves to be rewarded and treated fairly without any discrimination. We are calling on management of the Legislature to act in a responsible manner to resolve the stated issues of the workers with speed, so that service delivery to our people can continue unabated.

It is now time for all Government bureaucrats who are living a better life to open their eyes and see the poverty and struggle of those at lower ranks in the institution. NEHAWU always strive to cultivate a strong and healthy working relationship with all employers because we recognize and acknowledge that sound and equitable industrial relations practices are essential for all parties to be able to perform their duties of delivering services to the poor.

Issued by NEHAWU Communications Department

For further information, please contact: Bereng Soke {NEHAWU FREE STATE Provincial Secretary} @ 082 455 2713 or Sizwe Pamla Media Liaison Officer @082 558 5962-011 833 2902.

Visit the NEHAWU website:

Strike at Wonder Stone Company, Ottosdal
COSATU North West 4 August 2010

The Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliate, the NUM, support the workers who are currently on strike at the company called Wonder Stone which is situated at Ottosdal municipality in the province.

Over 400 workers have been on strike since 3 August 2010 over a wage dispute, in support of their demand for a 10% wage increase and against bad conditions and bad treatment of workers by management.

COSATU calls the management of Wonder Stone to response to the demand of workers within three days from today.

COSATU, jointly with the community of Ottosdal, will be protesting at the main gate of Wonder Stone in the next three days to give solidarity support to the 400 workers who are currently on strike.

For more information feel free to call COSATU North West provincial secretary, Solly Phetoe, on 082 304 4055

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