||Residents protest in Soweto
IOL News November 2011
Pennyville residents in Soweto burnt tyres over a rental dispute on Tuesday, according to a Sapa photographer on scene.
He said the police were watching from a distance as about 30 residents burnt tyres and “made a noise”.
Police, approached by telephone by a reporter, said the protesters were not violent.
“The protesters were violent yesterday (Monday) but not today,” said Captain Phephi Matloumteto.
“They were throwing stones and burning tyres yesterday. The situation today (Tuesday) is calm and residents are just standing around.”
The protest was believed to be about the eviction of tenants, Matloumteto said. – Sapa
Teachers on warpath in E Cape as strike talk escalates
Mail & Guardian 16 November 2011
A strike by 53 000 Eastern Cape teachers became increasingly likely as the South African Democratic Teacher's Union (Sadtu) stepped up its war talk this week and set Friday as its deadline for the national department of basic education to accept its demands.
"If [the day] dawns with nothing at hand, we shall be left with no alternative but to go to war," Sadtu said in a memorandum of grievances it handed to the Eastern Cape premier's office in Bhisho on Friday.
"Waiting any longer will be suicidal to our own existence. We have waited and have been fooled for too long," said the memorandum, which Sadtu sent to the Mail & Guardian this week.
Sadtu is demanding the removal of Modidima Mannya, the head of the Eastern Cape's crisis-ridden education department, and the reinstatement of more than 4 000 temporary teachers whose contracts were terminated last year.
The union could not guarantee matric exams would not be disrupted if "angry teachers" did not get the answers they wanted from the provincial department.
Sadtu's provincial secretary Mncekeleli Ndongeni estimated between 15 000 and 20 000 Sadtu members marched to the premier's office on Friday.
The union has given Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga Eastern Cape premier until Friday this week to respond "with urgency", Ndongeni told the M&G.
Tangible action wanted
"We don't want them to say 'okay, let's meet to discuss a plan'. We want to see tangible action. An example would be for them to say 'suspended teachers must be back in their schools on this date'," he said.
National department spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi said on Tuesday the department would respond to the memorandum. "We will consult with the ministerial task team about what we should do about Sadtu's demands," he said.
In March this year the national department invoked Section 100 of the Constitution and put the provincial education department under administration.
Sadtu's 11-page memorandum refers to Section 100, saying "we plead for an urgent intervention of the [national] Minister of [Basic] Education and the Premier of the Eastern Cape province for the provision of leadership and assistance".
Other grievances the memorandum details include the late delivery of books and stationery, underspending despite the high prevalence of mud schools, low staff morale and the lack of collective decision-making.
The union wants Motshekga, to resuscitate the implementation of Section 100, suspend Mannya and apply to the high court for an order to set aside all contracts entered into by the provincial department while it has been under administration.
It also demands the premier "stop the victimisation of our members", reverse any decision that was made about the number of teachers' posts it would fund next year and reinstate all dismissed temporary teachers.
Mahlubandile Qwase, provincial spokesperson in the premier's office, was not available for comment.
Service delivery protests in N West
IOL News 15 November 2011
Protesters, demanding service delivery, handed over a memorandum to the North West provincial legislature near Rooigrond Prison outside Mahikeng on Tuesday, said police.
“No violence or unruly behaviour was reported to police,” said Captain Adele Myburgh.
According to a report by the SABC: “The residents have been without basic services such as water, electricity and housing that they were promised two years ago.”
MEC Raymond Elisha addressed them and promised that their grievances would be sent to the office of local government MEC Paul Sebegoe, SABC news reported. - Sapa
The ANC is bringing the Secrecy bill back to Parliament on Wednesday without doing any of the public consultation they promised!
R2k 15 November 2011
Right2Know is calling on all supporters to come to Parliament on Wednesday 13h00 for a protest and to enter the National Assembly to bare witness to this betrayal of democracy. (Remember to bring your green ID book).
There is also talk of a picket outside Luthuli House on Wednesday morning in Jo'burg.
For a detailed discussion on threats still contained in the Secrecy Bill watch Free Media, Free Minds! on C-TV tonight, 19h00. It's broadcast across Cape Town and streamed online at http://www.capetowntv.org/CTV-Live.aspx
See the Right2Know statement below.
Mob justice case on hold
IOL News 14 November 2011
The trial of 22 people accused of a mob justice murder was postponed in Ngqeleni Magistrate's Court on Monday, the National Prosecuting Authority said.
The matter was put off to March 7 next year for further investigation, said Eastern Cape spokesman Luxolo Tyali.
The 22 men, aged between 18 and 47, were not kept in custody.
They are accused of stoning and beating three people, one of whom died, for suspected stock theft last Thursday. – Sapa
Residents in stand-off with Red Ants
Thandi Skade (IOL news)15 November 2011
Defiant Pennyville, Roodepoort, residents have prevented the Red Ants from evicting them from their homes – for now.
About 50 residents were scheduled to be evicted from the Absa-owned flats in the Pennyville flat complex near New Canada, but the Red Ants managed to evict only 10 tenants, including a heavily pregnant woman, on Monday.
Following a tip-off that residents’ committee members received on Sunday night, the community mobilised to protect their flats. They burnt tyres, placed bricks and rocks in the street, and set up black refuse bins and plastic barricades to prevent the infamous eviction squad from entering.
The Red Ants who managed to gain access chased residents who tried to interfere with crowbars.
One resident was allegedly hit with a crowbar on his forehead, and another resident allegedly punched a Red Ant.
There was a tense stand-off between residents and the eviction squad as each group lined the opposite sides of the street, hurling insults at one another. SAPS officers on foot and two Nyalas full of police officers patrolled the area.
A group of residents stood on the corner of the street chanting, dancing and singing and proclaimed that they would never allow the Red Ants to enter their section of the complex.
A truck belonging to the eviction squad was set alight, but it was extinguished before the vehicle could be destroyed.
The drama began earlier this year when residents were evicted for non-payment of rent. The residents participated in a rent boycott in protest against poor and hazardous living conditions and double billing for electricity.
In July, six people were evicted, but lawyers for the residents applied to the Johannesburg High Court for leave to appeal the eviction order, which is still pending. Residents said they were baffled by the latest evictions because they say they had been paying their rent in full for the past three months and had proof of payment to back them up.
Residents’ committee chairman Mongezi Mbatha called the eviction illegal. “We’re confused by this illegal eviction action. According to the Magistrate’s Court) Act, all eviction orders must be suspended until the matter is finalised, but the matter has not been finalised.” - The Star
NUMSA MEMBERS TO MARCH IN AFFLUENT AND EXCLUSIVE PLAYING‑GROUND FOR THE RICH ‑ MELROSE ARCH FOR A LIVING WAGE AND SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS
Numsa 14 November 2011
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) representing 4000 workers working at Xstrata will be marching tomorrow Tuesday 15 November 2011, Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, Gauteng province. This march forms part of the organizational strategy to exert pressure to Xstrata ruling oligarchy to accede to workers demands.
The march will be led by NUMSA President CEDRIC GINA and COSATU 2nd Deputy President ZINGISWA LOSI.
A throng of 4000 workers will converge at open ground space, Melrose Arch tomorrow morning to hand‑over a Memorandum of Demands to Xstrata's Director‑Human Resource Mr Edwin Hlatshwayo.
This march will be taking place amidst the impromptu arrest of NUMSA members by SAPS under the instruction of one of Xstrata's key executive. The arrested members have since been released by a sober Rusternburg Magistrate Court judge after presenting concrete evidence that state organs, particularly police are being abused or bullied to muzzle and deny workers their constitutional rights to assemble or embark on a protected industrial action. This march will also serve as a platform to caution the ruling class that workers are not blind and their refuse to be subjected to the old apartheid era police tactics of trampling upon their rights.
The details of the march are as follows:
DATE: Tuesday 15 November 2011
VENUE: Open Ground, Melrose Arch,Cnr Athol Oaklands and Wilowbrook Close Johannesburg, Gauteng
Members of the media are hereby invited to attend and report. Please confirm attendance with NUMSA National Spokesperson @ 073 299 1595
Enquiries: Castro Ngobess, National Spokesperson @ 073 299 1595
33 held for mob justice killing
IOL News 11 November 2011
Thirty three people were arrested on Friday after a mob justice killing in Ngqeleni, Eastern Cape police said.
They were accused of stoning and beating three people – one of whom died – for suspected stock theft on Thursday, said Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela.
“The remaining two are in a critical condition in hospital.”
The 33, aged between 16 and 44, faced charges of murder and attempted murder and would appear in the Ngqeleni Magistrate's Court on Monday. – Sapa
Anti-toll groups join forces
IOL News 11 November 2011
Anti-toll groups in Gauteng agreed on Friday to jointly file a petition within 14 days to forward to Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele.
Cosatu, opposition parties, civil society organisations and residents reached the agreement during public hearings on the tolling system, held at the Johannesburg City Hall.
They would take to the streets of Gauteng in an attempt to force Ndebele to scrap the tolling system, they said.
Under the tolling system, which is set to come into effect in February, the drivers of light motor vehicles will have to pay R0.40/km to use certain highways. – Sapa
Miners held for illegal meeting
IOL News 11 November 2011
A total of 85 mine workers were arrested for holding an illegal gathering in Rustenburg, North West police said on Friday.
Brigadier Thulane Ngubane said the miners from different mines in the area were arrested on Thursday.
He said about 200 mine workers refused to disperse after police told them their gathering was illegal.
The workers were apparently angry about their low salaries.
“They say there is a mine in the area that is paying its employees a lot more than what they are getting from their mines... so that is what they are frustrated
COSATU supports NUMSA Extrata workers’ strike
Cosatu 11 November 2011
COSATU is disappointed at the manner in which workers who are on legal strike are being treated by police in Rustenburg police station.
COSATU North West province was informed last night that 86 workers were arrested yesterday morning at a legal gathering; from that morning those workers were not charged until 17h00.
This delay in charging workers is due to the relationship between Extrata management and police, who played the role of the arrest of workers. For four weeks 2000 workers have been on strike over a wage dispute and the management is very arrogant to resolve the dispute.
COSATU demands that the management must go back to the table and resolve the dispute of workers. Failure to that means that COSATU will take up solidarity support for NUMSA members.
COSATU calls for;
Ø The management and the police to withdraw all charges against members of NUMSA
Ø The management of Extrata to apologise publicly to all members of NUMSA including the general secretary.
Ø The Departments of Mineral Resources and Labour to inspect on the non-compliance of the legislation and racial attitude of management.
The racial attitude from the management of Extrata against our members is the result of the company losing the case at labour.
Media are invited today, 11 November 2011, 09h00 at Rustenburg regional high court for the workers who are appearing for bail application.
For more information feel free to call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary, comrade Solly Phetoe on 082 304 4055
Thousands sign petition to ban blue-lights
Candice Bailey (IOL News) 11 November 11 2011
Thousands of South Africans are joining the call for the banning of blue-light brigades in non-police emergency vehicles.
A petition was launched by the traffic law enforcement advocacy group, Justice Project South Africa, on Wednesday to Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele calling for the ban.
Within 24 hours it had garnered more than 2 000 signatories. It came just four days after 18-year-old Krugersdorp schoolboy Thomas Ferreira was knocked over by the official vehicle of Gauteng Local Government and Housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi.
The driver had allegedly jumped a red traffic light, and his BMW X5 collided with Ferreira’s motorbike on the intersection of Paardekraal and Windsor roads. Ferreira is in a coma in the intensive care unit of Krugersdorp Hospital.
Driver Semietsi Modomai has been charged with reckless and negligent driving in a case investigated by the Krugersdorp police. Mmemezi, who was reportedly at the back of the 4x4, was whisked away from the scene by VIP Protection Services.
Both the premier’s office and the MEC’s spokesman, Motsamai Motlhaolwa, have refused to divulge where the MEC was rushing off to on Saturday morning when the crash happened.
Earlier Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said the MEC was “in transit” on an urgent call.
On Thursday, communications deputy director-general Matlakala Motloung said the MEC’s office would be better placed to explain that.
But Motlhaolwa said he would not divulge where the MEC had gone as it was an issue of security.
“There may be a point where the MEC will have to disclose in a court of law where he was going, but for now we will not disclose that,” he said.
Justice Project SA chairman Howard Dembovsky, however, said it did not matter where the MEC was going; his driver still broke all the rules around the use of blue lights on the road.
According to the National Road Traffic Act, which stipulates the use of lights and sirens, when a vehicle uses a blue light, it has to sound a warning siren along with it.
“Also, you may not disregard other users of the road. Operational procedure and training is that the driver needs to slow down to walking pace prior to proceeding through the traffic light. At the fastest, he should have been driving at walking pace,” said Dembovsky.
Ferreira’s accident, said Dembovsky, was exactly why the banning of blue-light brigades in non-emergency situations was essential.
In his petition, Dembovsky said while there was a provision for an MEC to authorise the use of blue lights, it had been grossly abused.
It had caused a “proliferation of so-called blue-light brigades that regularly disregard traffic laws.
“The abuse of blue lights essentially means that senior government officials and their drivers are providing a poor example to the road-using public, which goes against the principle of leading by example, and which adds to the carnage on our roads,” said the petition.
“Furthermore, vehicles operated by the so-called VIP protection unit have seemingly been granted carte blanche to commit a variety of road traffic offences and enjoy impunity in doing so, regardless of whether they are reacting to an emergency or not.”
The petition will be handed over on December 1 and will give Ndebele 30 days to consider it.
“If he doesn’t take action by December 31 we will escalate the matter to the United Nations,” said Dembovsky. South Africa is signatory to the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety action plan.
Dembovsky’s plan is to get 95 000 signatories by November 30. “There are 9.5 million licensed drivers in South Africa,” he said. - The Star
Soweto residents mete out street justice
IOL News 11 November 2011
There was nothing Mpumi (not her real name) could do to escape the slapping, kicking and whipping that rained down on her.
The woman, believed to be in her early twenties, had been accused by her angry attackers of stealing from her neighbour in Zondi, Soweto, so that she could feed her addiction to the notorious drug, nyaope.
The Star’s photographer, Ziphozonke Lushaba, driving past, witnessed the attack at about midday on Sunday.
Mpumi was pushed from one person to the other while being whipped with sjamboks, slapped and kicked, he said.
Residents, including elderly women, stood by and watched as the young woman was being beaten.
One man in black shorts was determined not to let her go. He wrestled a woman, believed to be Mpumi’s aunt, trying to save her from the attack. He then kicked her heavily as she lay on he ground.
Unable to cover her body, Mpumi used her hands to cover her face, but she did not escape being hit in the face, and her nose was bleeding.
One man joined in with a sjambok and whipped her several times while she was still on the ground, until another man stopped him.
A while later, Mpumi lay face up on the ground, her face bleeding, while a man with a bright-yellow sjambok stood over her. Her clothes were bloodied and soiled.
Police then arrived and saved her from further assault.
Residents claimed Mpumi and a group of friends, who they said were users of nyaope, had stolen a music system, clothes and kitchen appliances from a home across the road from Mpumi.
An occupant of the house that was allegedly robbed, who asked not to be identified, said residents had seen the girl and her friends carrying the sound system around, apparently looking for a buyer.
“I’m very angry at this girl, it is not the first time she has broken into my house. She is taking advantage (of the fact) that I’m not around most of the time,” she said.
Others in the community said Mpumi and her friends were nyaope users whose addiction drove them to theft to feed their habit.
“They’re known in the community and we’re angry because they steal from us, their neighbours. Only God knows what could have happened to her had the police not come and saved her in time,” said one resident.
Police spokesman Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said yesterday there was no record of any case relating to a vigilante attack on Sunday. - The Star
Coca Cola Fortune Workers To Strike
Food & Allied Workers Union [F.A.W.U.] 10 November 2011
About 2000 FAWU members employed by Coca Cola Fortune, an independent bottling company, is set to go on a protected strike tomorrow Friday, 11 November at 07h00 in Polokwane, Louis Trichardt, Bushbuck Ridge, Nelspruit Tzaneen, Modimolle, Bloemfontein, Kuruman, Upington, Vryburg, Kimberley, Queenstown, Lakeside, Perseverance, George, East London, Port Shepstone and Umtata.
Their demands are :
1. The employer should not outsource the Sorting Department;
2. The employer should utilize the profit share to address wage disparities;
3. The employer should retain the commission currently paid to drivers and crews.
At this stage, the employer’s response is “no” on any of these issues.
Released by FAWU media officer, Dominique Swartz on 082 498 5631
COSATU to strike on 1st December 2011 for better train service in Western Cape
COSATU press statement Metrorail negotiations 10 November 2011
COSATU has continued its negotiations with Metrorail on the level of the train services in the Western Cape, under the auspices of NEDLAC
The meeting today concluded that COSATU had discharged its obligation to consult on the crisis in Metrorail and now have the legal right to go on strike against Metrorail. The NEDLAC S77 committee had agreed that the consultation process complies with the statutory obligations. This strike is to force government to take the crisis in Metrorail more urgently and to allocate funding to address the crisis. This strike will happen on 1 December 2011 and will be supported by all workers, from both COSATU and non COSATU companies. The intention is to ensure that workers are able to express their concerns about Metrorail’s conduct. The protest will happen around Lunch time and will be at the Metrorail offices in Cape Town
The essential issue related to the discussion, focuses on whether or not the Metrorail has spent the promised money committed to in March 2008, during a previous NEDLAC engagement. This funding however, was meant to focus on the essential problem of overcrowding and the need to procure additional train sets.
The reality is that money has been spent on Metrorail Western Cape, and even though a large part of it was related to the World Cup, it had contributed to a system improvement. The results thereof have however not relieved the overcrowding as the required train-sets has not been put in place, so the levels of overcrowding has not been addressed and the resulting accidents and injuries continue.
This is the essential issue related to the Section 77 and Metrorail agrees that this remains an area requiring urgent attention, and it is addressed in the subsequent points made by Metrorail. The general feeling of workers however is that the system has not been addressed, in relation to the undertakings. This becomes a major concern when workers look at the spend on a fleet of new aeroplanes and the hundreds of busses for the IRT, as well as the Gautrain by the ministry of Transport. The perceived neglect by Transport department of Metrorail appears to be related to the lack of political will and the refusal to allocate the funding and finalise the procurement.
It is this lack of urgency by government and the subsequent lack of funding for the urgent infrastructure that leads workers to the desire to protest the neglect and the inability of PRASA to affect the roll outs. This is essentially the Section 77 application, and given the record of events in the unfolding discussions, we believe the matter in relation to the March 2008 can now be deemed considered. We accordingly lodged the section 77 1 [d] announcing our intention to protest.
The discussion had however also focussed on a number of short, medium and long term possibilities to meliorate the hardships caused by systemic under investments. The parties agreed to continue these discussions in an endeavour to improve the service.
The rolling stock in on average 33 years old and there is now a process to procure additional sets, in a manner that will develop the local industry and promote local procurement. This process has however not yet placed orders for the trains sets required, even though the process is underway. If the present proposed process unfolds as planned, then the first train would be available in 2015.
We have 85 sets available to transport people in the W Cape, this is a far cry from the 120 sets required to provide a service that is not chronically overcrowded. Should all the available sets in Cape Town be operational, then a service level can be maintained even in the face of overcrowding. This then means that interim arrangements would have to be developed to improve the system, in the meantime. These interim arrangements should also take account of the other systemic weaknesses that needs improvements. This would include new signalling systems, but also an end to vandalism and theft of infrastructure. Some of the measures are listed below:
1. Having split starting times for workers, to spread the peak over a longer period in the morning. Each workplace will work out a roster to get there staff to travel at different times, reduced ticket cost will serve as an incentive for later trips.
2. Having school kids take different trains at later times, to spread the peak and encourage this by lower priced tickets. The train sets that were cut from weekends and late nights will be reinstated to provide a 24 hour service to commuters.
3. Having busses take commuters out of the system where there is presently chronic overcrowding and transporting them directly to Industrial centres. Metrorail busses can be used for these purposes. The city and province must be brought into this discussion so the required permits can be fast tracked.
4. The communities must report any instances of cable theft that leads to stopping the service immediately and we will jointly promote a toll free number.
5. To get greater buy in from commuters. The pilot that is running in CT where senior citizens get free train rides every 2nd Tuesday of the month will be extended to once a week on a Tuesday. This applies only to off peak trains.
6. The station platforms will be expanded in the southern suburbs line so train sets with 14 carriages can work this route, as this will dramatically reduce the overcrowding.
7. The union will define more flexible working hours with the company to improve the service levels, which may include the employment of additional staff. This would also support the PRASA 90 day programme.
8. The number of sets that are away for repairs at contractors will be fast tracked by extended working hours over the December break, to get the repairs concluded before the New Year.
9. The building of a new line that stretches from Strand to Muizenberg, linking all the lines, will give commuters much greater flexibility and will reduce the number of commuters travelling in the same direction at the same times. It will also link historically divided communities, whilst bringing greater efficiencies to the system.
These temporary measures would be in place until 2015, when the new train sets are due to arrive, that in conjunction with the new signalling system will make the service more efficient. These measures would be finalised in a subcommittee discussion between now and January including all the role players, so the new provisions can be operational by the time people return from the December holidays.
This represents a starting point to turn around the train services provided to people in the W Cape, and will bring together all the agents of Government with the private sector and civil society and Labour, to realise the plan. PRASA will be the lead agent and this is just an expansion of the PRASA plans. The city and Province will be called upon to make similar contributions to the workers trains as they have to putting in place a fancy bus service for the wealthy areas. The frequency of the busses in the larney areas may reduce in the short term to ensure that some busses can be used to support the train’s service from the Cape Flats.
The negotiations will continue with Metrorail to find solutions to the challenges that exist in Metrorail
For questions please call Tony Ehrenreich at 082 7733194 or Mike Louw at 0823395443
Public violence case on hold
IOL News 8 November 2011
The trial of nine people accused of public violence at the Ledig tribal office was postponed by the Mogwase Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, North West police said.
They would remain in custody until their appearance on Monday, spokeswoman Captain Amanda Funani said.
The nine were arrested with four others on Sunday night after a violent protest broke out at the tribal office near Sun City. The four were released after an appearance in court on Monday.
Ledig residents had gathered on Sunday to voice concern about corruption and maladministration. An apparent leadership dispute prompted residents to stone police and security guards, and petrol bomb the houses of three council members.
Police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd and two people were slightly injured.
On Tuesday morning, another 23 people were arrested in fresh protests at the office. They were set to appear in Mogwase Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. – Sapa
23 held for public violence
IOL News8 November 2011
Twenty-three people were arrested at the Ledig tribal office near Sun City on Tuesday for public violence, North West police said.
They were part of a group of Ledig residents who threw stones at the police and municipal buildings, Captain Amanda Funani said.
Residents had been at the office since early on Tuesday morning to protest over an apparent leadership dispute.
A violent protest first broke out on Sunday evening after 300 people gathered at the office to voice concern about corruption and maladministration.
They stoned police and security guards, and petrol-bombed the houses of three council members. Police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Two people were slightly injured and taken to the Moses Kotane hospital.
On Sunday night residents blockaded roads in Ledig with rocks and burning tyres. Thirteen people were arrested after this protest. Four were released after an appearance in the Mogwase Magistrate's Court on Monday. Nine people were expected to appear in the same court on Tuesday. – Sapa
Brits taxi strike disrupts traffic
IOL News 9 November 2011
Traffic was interrupted in Brits when taxi operators marched to the North West provincial traffic department on Wednesday.
Eastern Region Taxi Council spokesman James Tshweu said their protest was about their operating licences.
“We want indefinite temporary operating licenses, while other processes are unfolding,” he said.
Hooting taxis from the 16 associations in the Eastern Region Taxi Council moved slowly through the Brits CBD, making their way to the traffic department, disrupting traffic on Hendrick Verwoerd Avenue, which links Brits and Pretoria.
Tshweu said most of their members were operating without the required licences because the traffic department failed to renew them at times.
“When their computers are down they cannot help us. We want an alternative in case the system is down,” he said.
In a memorandum handed to the department, taxi operators demanded improved communication between them and the transport department. They also wanted their operating licences to allow them to carry 15 passengers, instead of the current 13.
Taxi operators sang liberation songs and waved placards in front of the department's gate. There was a stand-off between them and security guards after a bakkie transporting taxi leaders was allowed to enter the premises.
Protesters threatened to break the gate open if they were not allowed in. They pushed the gate when the guard locked it. Order was restored when marshals intervened.
Receiving the memorandum on behalf of North West transport MEC Mahlakeng Mahlakeng, Titus Kotswe said he would forward the memorandum to the MEC and respond within seven days.
After handing over the memorandum, taxi drivers were ordered to get back to work. Some said there was no point as they did not transport people in the morning.
The strike left commuters stranded at all four taxi ranks in Brits. Buki Sithole said he did not know taxi drivers would be on strike on Wednesday.
“If I was told I will have arranged an alternative transport.”
He arrived at the rank at 5am, to found no taxis were available. He was on his was to board a bus in Johannesburg to go Cape Town.
“The taxi industry owes us an apology, I am now running late,” he said.
Stranded commuters walked along the R511, hitch-hiking to their destinations. – Sapa
Protest disrupts Brits traffic
IOL News 9 November 2011
Rush hour traffic was disrupted in Brits, in the North West, on Wednesday morning by protesting minibus taxi operators making their way to a gathering point in the CBD.
Taxis blocked all lanes of Murray and Spoorweg roads in the CBD.
Hundreds of taxis blowing their hooters were proceeding to the Behrens taxi rank. They planned to march from the taxi rank to the provincial traffic department to hand over a memorandum.
Operators were not happy that they had been issued with temporary permits which had to be renewed every month.
Taxi operator Edward Lekalakala said the permit situation opened operators to harassment from traffic officials.
“We are penalised when our permits are said to be invalid but the licensing boards will not issue valid permits and at times they are unable to renew the temporary permits.”
The strike had left commuters stranded and fuming. Many commuters stood in line along the R511, to hitchhike lifts to their destinations.
Others remained at the taxi rank in the hope that operations would return to normal.
All four taxi ranks in Brits were deserted, with only a few stranded commuters standing around. Hawkers were also absent. - Sapa
‘We are still living in the Stone Age’
IOL News 8 November 2011
Angry residents of Enkanini in Khayelitsha have accused the City of Cape Town of reneging on promises to install electricity in their community.
About 300 people protested on Monday, accusing the City of making empty promises.
Community spokesman Mbuso Makonza said: “To live without electricity directly strips our dignity and violates our rights as stated in the country’s constitution.”
Residents complained that the City claimed it didn’t have the funds to help them, but had installed electricity in Blikkiesdorp, a “temporary relocation area” in Delft.
Resident Fani Jason said: “We are unable to watch TV, store food in refrigerators, and make use of other electrical appliances.
“It is clear we are still living in the Stone Age.”
After the protest, a group of 14 Enkanini community leaders went to the City to hand over a memorandum and letter of complaint addressed to Patricia de Lille, Mayor of Cape Town, which was delivered to the Cape Town Civic Centre.
Community leaders then discussed their complaints with city officials.
De Lille’s spokesman Solly Malatsi said City would “continue to engage the community to listen to their concerns and help where we can”. - Cape Argus
NEHAWU TO PICKET AGAINST THE VICTIMISATION OF WORKERS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF LAND REFORM AND AGRARIAN OFFICES IN CAPE TOWN ON THURSDAY
Nehawu 8 November 2011
NEHAWU members in the Western Cape; provincial office of the Department of Land Reform and Rural development will be picketing in front of the Van der Stel building in Rhodes Avenue, Mowbray on Thursday, 10 November 2011.The union has resolved to embark in this action after the failure of the department to resolve a myriad of issues that negatively affect our members in the department’s provincial office.
Despite the fact that we represent more than 69% of the workforce in the Provincial Directorate; the management has continuously failed to listen to the demands of our members. Our members are subjected to unacceptable levels of unfair treatment by an unjust management.
Workers in general but blacks in particular have been suffering under the untransformed management that still deploys outdated tactics of discrimination. We have reported these incidents of legislation violation especially on Employment Equity and the abuse of power by the management collective. There is no meaningful skills transfer to black workers and there is a constant abuse and victimisation of black female employees.
This unacceptable, foul violation of the labour laws has been consistently reported to the department’s head office without any intervention. It is obvious to us that we are dealing with a department that is either in collusion with its provincial office or is afraid to act against this unashamed abuse of workers. Our union has therefore decided to make a stand, by staging a lunchtime picket, with the intention of escalating our action if we do not get a satisfactory response from the department.
We will be handing over a memorandum of demands to a ministry representative in Cape Town and the details of our picket are as follows:
Date : 10 November 2011
Venue : Van Der Stel Building,Rhodes Avenue Mowbray, Cape Town
Time : 12:00- 14:00
NEHAWU remains fiercely opposed to worker’s victimisation and committed in eradicating all forms of discrimination in the public service without fail. Our commitment to real transformation remains unshakeable.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
For further information, please contact Luthando Nogcinisa (NEHAWU Provincial Secretary) at 082 455 1795-082 048 6533or 021 424 4580
Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za
Greenpeace activists arrested at Kusile coal station
Mail & Guardian 7 November 2011
Three Greenpeace activists were arrested at the Kusile power station's construction site in Mpumalanga on Monday after scaling a crane.
Six activists gained entry to the site around 10am and climbed a crane, said Eskom spokesperson Hilary Joffe.
"We are most concerned about the safety of all on site and cannot condone illegal entry, nor the climbing of a crane."
Greenpeace spokesperson Fiona Musana said the three were charged with forced entry and taken to the Ogies police station. By noon, police were still trying to remove the remaining activists. They gained access through the back of the site.
A group of about 20 activists demonstrated at the gates of the new power station, in Emalahleni, early on Monday morning, with seven chaining themselves to the gate.
They were protesting against South Africa's reliance on the burning of coal to generate electricity, which emits greenhouse gases.
Greenpeace claims in a recent document that Kusile's external and hidden costs could be between R31.2-billion and R60.6-billion a year.
The Greenpeace-commissioned True Cost of Coal report was compiled by the University of Pretoria and released at the end of October.
It investigated the actual costs of Kusile's entire coal chain, from climate change to water use, the impact on health and the damaging effects of coal mining.
"If Kusile was a country, it would be the fifth most polluting country in the world. It's not sustainable. The impact [of R60-billion] on South Africans would be devastating," Musana said.
"Eskom is reluctant to speak with us... we want to hand over a memorandum with the report findings. We want a just transition from coal to renewable energy as it's a win-win situation in terms of job creation, the climate and energy."
Eskom earlier welcomed a protest over cleaner energy as long as it was peaceful and didn't disrupt operations.
"An important part though is that we don't apologise for building two large coal-fired stations. We are a developing country with a great need for economic growth and job creation," Joffe said.
"We need a secure and affordable supply of electricity in the short and long term, and coal is part of that future. We need to balance that supply with reducing emissions."
Kusile is expected to add 4 800 megawatts to the power grid on completion in 2017. The Medupi power station, being built in Lephalale, Limpopo, will add another 4 800 megawatts of coal-powered energy.
The stations would use advanced technology to burn less coal for the same amount of energy and achieve reduced emissions. Air quality would be improved by removing oxides of sulphur from exhaust gases released into the atmosphere. -- Sapa
COSATU Free State takes to streets against labour broking and corruption
MEDIA Alert 4 November 2011
COSATU Bloemfontein Local will be taking to the street tomorrow 5 November 2011 in a protest against labour broking and corruption as part of the broader campaign of the federation for a living wage. The march will leave from Batho Police station in Mangaung Bloemfontein at 9h00 in the morning to the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality where a memorandum of demands will be handed at 12h00. The protest is part of COSATU campaigns against labour broking and corruption.
All workers from all COSATU affiliates around Mangaung are invited to part of the march.
Memorandum of South African National Civic Organisation and Congress of South African Trade Unions to Chubby Chick 4th November 2011
Today on the 04th November 2011 we are gathered here at Chubby Chick to present the memorandum to the Top Management of Chubby Chick regarding the proposals of the Community and the workers.
The community of Potchefstroom together with SANCO and COSATU have observed with sadness and sorrow the spate of social ills which have been brought by the unemployment of the 870 community member who have been working for the company for many years.
The community in this area is faced with the following social ills:
The school children have left schools in order to take scab labour employment at Chubby Chick risking their bright future by abandoning their education.
There is a threat of xenophobia perpetuated by the suspicion that some illegal immigrants have taken employment at Chubby Chick
There is a threat of violence among those workers who were dismissed and those who are currently employed by Chubby Chick.
4. The socio economic condition in the community has deteriorated.
5. The incident of crime has increased.
6. Repossession by services providers have escalated.
7. Lapse insurances result in pauper’s funeral.
8. The dismissed workers are unable to pay electricity and waters.
9. Warrants of arrest are issued against unpaid maintenance orders.
10. Dismissed of workers has led to high level of stress and depression.
Having said the above, we noted with great concern that the Community of Tlokwe has been paralyzed by these social ills
We call on all stakeholders in Chubby Chick to join hands to pursue our proposals in the best interest of the Community of greater Potchefstroom and to create a culture of openness and learning.
Today our march attended by workers, stakeholder and affected Community members is to hand over a memorandum to the management of Chubby Chick to outline our urgent request for workers to go back to their respective workplace.
It is evident that workers have suffered for two months without any means of income (salaries) and that have affected their families negatively and badly. We strongly believe that the management of Chubby Chick is quiet aware and we hope that they will do something positive in that regard.
The Community together with SANCO expressed its fraternal solidarity to the workers of Chubby Chick who have been dismissed; we request the management of Chubby Chick to reinstate the entire dismissed employees.
We believe that Chubby Chick and the employees have build a relationship for years which cannot be destroyed by some small disagreement and both the company and the employees can work out their deference towards reconciliation.
We therefore propose the following:
The workers be allowed to return to work immediately
The return to work negotiations should be commenced immediately
Proper rules of engagement must be outlined
As progressive structures and the community we are open for engagement on this matter and are open and commit ourselves to labour peace and the respect of the labour laws of our country.
‘Abuses at Grootvlei Prison a concern’
IOL News 6 November 2011
DA spokeswoman Debbie Schafer said about 1 000 awaiting-trial prisoners reportedly went “on strike” at the prison.
Some refused to go to court to show their dissatisfaction with conditions at the prison.
“Particularly concerning are allegations of torture and assault to elicit confessions, racism, bribery and corruption, unhygienic living conditions…” Schafer said.
Inmates claimed they were not allowed to see their families or legal representatives.
The DA intended raising questions in Parliament about the prison.
The Free State correctional services department could not be reached for comment. – Sapa
Nine suspended after TUT clashes
Ntando Makhubu (IOL news) 5 November 2011
NINE students have been suspended with immediate effect from the Tshwane University Technology’s (TUT) Soshanguve North Campus for their alleged involvement in a four-hour battle with security officers earlier this week.
The students – seven men and two women – were suspended pending the finalisation of investigations into allegations of misconduct levelled against them.
About 400 students attacked security guards and university property at the campus on Monday night, leaving several structures damaged, property stolen and four people injured.
“According to TUT student judicial services, swift action was imperative in order to contain the situation. Following a meeting with the campus director and continued investigations into the matter, seven males and two females involved in the incident were identified,” university spokeswoman Willa de Ruyter said yesterday.
De Ruyter said during their suspension, the students would not be allowed to enter the premises of the university or premises controlled by the university, or participate in any activities of the university. She said the only exception would be made with prior permission and authorisation, to allow them to enter the premises for the November examinations, or supplementary examination, should it be required.
Monday’s mayhem started when drunken students, some without their student ID cards, tried to force their way onto campus after curfew. When security officers tried to stop them, one threw a punch at a security officer.
The situation was resolved but later a number of students returned to the gate with bricks, stones and other objects. These were used to attack the officers, break windows of the security control room and break equipment. Boom gates were pulled off their hinges and a patrol car, belonging the security company, was pelted with stones.
“There have been fights, the students have given us a lot of trouble many times but they have never physically attacked us,” a security guard who was on duty that night, said.
Describing the four hours during which the battle raged, he said: “We ran helter-skelter, some of us hiding in drains, others stripping off their uniform as the students bayed for our blood.
“Some of the guards ran out of campus and into a nearby garage, where they hid and waited for back-up and the police to arrive, he said.”
Members of the police’s sector policing and public order unit arrived and managed to stop the fighting and restore order, and continued to monitor the situation the following day.
A case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was opened by a security officer. Besides breaking windows and globes and dismantling two way-radios and pulling out telephone lines, the students stole laptops, keyboards, CPUs and computer mouses. They also rummaged through bags belonging to the security officers and stole personal belongings.
Local student representative council president Ngwato Maile said hooliganism was rife at the campus and every weekend saw students provoking fights.
He said: “They walk across the road to any of the taverns there and get drunk, then they come back aggressive and spoiling for a fight.” - Pretoria News Weekend
Greenpeace protests coal power station
IOL news 7 November 2011
Greenpeace activists climbed parts of a coal-fired power station under construction in Joburg and planned to spend the night there to protest what they call South Africa's unnecessary dependence on coal. Photo: Antoine de Ras
Greenpeace activists climbed parts of a coal-fired power station under construction east of Joburg and planned to spend the night there to protest what they call South Africa's unnecessary dependence on coal, the environmental group said Monday.
Greenpeace spokeswoman Fiona Musana said the protest started early Monday with activists locking the gates of the construction site. She added that six activists then climbed pillars at the site where they plan to spend the night.
“Construction of this place should stop now,” Musana said.
Coal electricity plants are the main source of greenhouse gas emissions by South Africa, which hosts climate change talks later this year. Greenpeace said South Africa should be moving faster away from coal and invest heavily in solar and wind power.
Eskom, the state-owned electricity company, says it needs Kusile, expected to be completed in 2016, and Medupi, a coal plant scheduled for completion in 2015, because of rising electricity demand. Eskom also has renewable projects planned.
Last month, the World Bank approved $250 million in funding for to help Eskom build solar power and wind power plants. Last year, the World Bank approved a $3.75-billion loan to Eskom for the Medupi coal power station. – Sapa-AP
Residents protest over water cut
IOL News 7 November 2011
Residents of Letlhabile, north of Brits, blocked roads with rocks and burning tyres in a protest about a week-long water cut, North West police said on Monday.
About 55 people protested from 9.30pm on Sunday, Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said.
A main road into Letlhabile, as well as smaller roads, were blocked.
No violence was reported and no arrests had been made.
“The (Madibeng local) municipality has had some trouble with water infrastructure, but is in the process of repairs... the situation is stable.”
Last week, residents of Oukasie, a township just outside Brits, staged violent protests over poor service delivery.
They barricaded roads and apparently petrol-bombed an armoured police vehicle.
The protest erupted after the Madibeng municipality failed to respond to a memorandum of demands.
A municipality spokesman denied on Tuesday that residents' demands were not being met. – Sapa
Townships to protest against foreigners
IOL News 3 November 2011
Business owners in several townships across Gauteng intend marching in Joburg on Thursday in a protest against foreigners, the SABC reported.
They were complaining that foreigners were taking away their business.
The broadcaster quoted a woman as saying: “They've invaded our small shops and in our townships.
“Our townships are full of these foreigners.”
The group was expected to gather at Beyers Naude Square in the city centre before marching to the premier's office to hand over a memorandum of demands. – Sapa
Protesters threaten to continue N2 stoning
IOL News3 November 2011
Angry Gugulethu residents say they will continue to protest on the N2 as long as the City of Cape Town’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit continues demolishing their shacks.
On Wednesday, residents from the Barcelona, Europe and Kanana informal settlements burned tyres and threw rocks at passing cars on the N2 at Borchards Quarry.
Resident Khaya Java, 30, said they were not allowed to extend their homes and complained that these extensions or alterations were being pulled down by city authorities.
“The government sends the police here to demolish our shacks… If they don’t give us an answer we will throw bricks in the street again tomorrow,” said Java.
Another resident, 28-year-old Tando Madela, said: “They don’t want us to extend our shacks, but we’ve got children who grow up and also need a place to stay. While they’re living in the suburbs, we must suffer.”
The mother-of-three said residents were “sick and tired” of officials’ “promises”.
Other residents complained of still having to use the “bucket system” and not having tar roads built in the area.
One resident, Sindi Zinyane, 33, pointed out a bruise she allegedly sustained after being hit by a rubber bullet – police had fired on the protesting residents. She accused the police of using unnecessary force.
The City of Cape Town’s spokeswoman, Kylie Hatton, said residents living on council-owned land could extend or amend their structures only with the landowner’s permission.
It was the Anti Land Invasion Unit’s job to remove structures which had been extended or built illegally if prior warnings had been ignored, Hatton said.
“When they expand the site with more structures illegally, it creates density, with too many people, which has a major impact on developing and upgrading the area in order to make it a more viable community,” said Hatton.
Provincial police spokesman Andrè Traut said no injuries had been reported and no arrests had been made.
SACP RED OCTOBER RALLY IN KHAYELITSHA, CDE JEREMY CRONIN TO ADDRESS
SACP MEDIA ADVISORY 3 November 2011
The SACP will convene a Red October Rally this coming weekend in Khayelitsha as part of deepening our activism around our Red October month whose themes includes building people's education for, and through, people's power; building people's committees for rural development; building a solidarity economy through, amongst others, the intensification of a people's financial sector campaign; and intensification of the struggle against corruption.
The SACP seeks to mobilize and act together with the workers and the poor in our communities to change the lives of our people for the better, through our 2011 Red October slogan of ‘Building Working Class Power in our Communities'.
Details of the rally are as follows:
Date : 05 November 2011
Time : 10H00
Venue : O R Tambo Hall, Khayelitsha, Corner of Mew Way (M44) and Lansdowne Road (M9)
COSATU at Rustenburg court again
Cosatu 3 November 2011
The Congress of South African Trade unions in the North West will stage a picket at the Rustenburg magistrates court on 7-8 November 2011.
This picket is prompted by the fact that COSATU has become aware that Mr. Wolmarans, one of the accused in the Moss Phakoe murder case, is appealing against the ruling handed on them on 17 October 2011 when they were denied bail.
COSATU is also aware that this appeal happens after the other two were granted bail under mysterious circumstances, in which we believe procedure was not followed. We are still calling for the state to respond on what went wrong with NW prosecution charging the suspect on 17 October 2011. After saying they had a strong case against them, they now have a weak case against the two who were released on bail by the deputy provincial prosecutor.
COSATU is also not happy about the pronouncement in the media that the investigations have been concluded, after we were earlier told that there are a total of seven suspects to be arrested and at this time only four are arrested. What happened to the other three?
We are still congratulating the investigators and the task team for work well done work under those challenges.
COSATU calls on the court to deny the accused bail.
COSATU will be picketing at the Rustenburg court from 7th to 8th November 2011 from 09H00 in the morning.
COSATU calls on all the workers in the Rustenburg area and the community to join us in this action.
For more information contact Solly Phetoe COSATU North West Provincial secretary at 082 304 4055
Violent protests in Sasolburg
IOL News 2 November 2011
Hundreds of municipal workers protested at Sasolburg's municipal offices on Wednesday to demand the dismissal of four senior managers, Free State police said.
They broke windows and threw stones at the building, said Warrant Officer Zweli Mohobeleli.
“Police are on the scene (on Wednesday afternoon) and are monitoring the situation but no arrests have been made yet.”
The protest was organised by the SA Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU), said Mohobeleli.
Workers were demanding the sacking of four senior managers, who they said were mismanaging municipal money.
“The protesters are expected to disperse at around 4pm,” Mohobeleli said.
Samwu provincial secretary Moses Miya said he could not comment on the strike because he and the other Free State provincial spokesmen were at a conference in Bloemfontein. – Sapa
COSATU NW marches to Chubby Chick
Cosatu 3 November 2011
The Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliates in Potchefstroom will march to Chubby Chick poultry to demand the reinstatement of the 870 workers who have been dismissed by the company.
COSATU has observed the amount of social ills and social conflict which have been created by the dismissal of these workers. We have seen school-going children wanting to abandon their studies in order to take up employment at this company.
COSATU has observed the tension in the community between workers who are dismissed and those who have replaced them.
COSATU calls the employer to reinstate these workers he has dismissed in order to relieve the community of those social ills and the federation in the province will start leading negotiations on matters that affected the employer and the employees, in particular issues of racism, issues of non-compliance on matters of occupational health and safety and many other issues that need the employer/employee relationship.
COSATU together with SANCO and the community of Potchefstroom will therefore march to Chubby Chick to demand that these workers be reinstated and the parties start with the negotiation on the return to work agreement.
As the federation we want to appreciate the role that has been played by the company lawyers in facilitating meetings between the federation and the employer and we think that we must continue with that approach.
The march will take place tomorrow 4 November 2011 at 10H00 starting from Ikageng Stadium to Chubby Chick in Potchefstroom.
For more information call COSATU NW provincial secretary Solly Phetoe 0823044055.
Bus, bakkie torched in job protest
IOL News 1 November 2011
A bakkie and a bus were set alight at the Xstrata Wonderkop Mine outside Rustenburg on Tuesday, North West police said.
Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said the community of Nkaneng burnt a bus belonging to the mine and a privately owned bakkie during job protests at the mine.
They were unhappy that locals were not employed at the mine, he said.
No arrest had been made and police were monitoring the situation. – Sapa
Dozens invade church land near Mthatha
IOL News 1 November 2011
Johannesburg - Hundreds of people have invaded land belonging to the United Reformed Church outside Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, SABC news reported on Tuesday.
Church representatives said the invaders formed a committee which had divided the 57 hectares of land and were selling it for R7 000 per site, the broadcaster said.
The church has already applied for an eviction order which was served on some of the invaders last Friday.
Some people still remained on the land by Wednesday, building in the divided yards.
A member of the invaders' committee, Jonas Ntsabile, claimed rights to the land dating back 150 years.
He disputed selling the land, saying the community was taking back what was taken from them years ago by the Dutch Reformed Church and white farmers.
“It was taken by force and grabbed by missionaries. People have taken the decision to go back and occupy their forefathers' land as beneficiaries. There is no selling of land whatsoever.”
On Monday, another group of people invaded private land in Hilton outside Pietermaritzburg, claiming it belonged to African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema.
One of the leaders was allegedly selling off plots, claiming he was entitled to do so because “the land belonged to the Zulu people”.
The Pietermaritzburg High Court has since interdicted the respondent, Philani Bha Ndlovu, or anyone acting for him, from entering the property until finalisation of the matter on November 21. - Sapa
Robben Island strike affects boat trips
Kwanele Butana (IOL News) 1 November 2011
Robben Island Museum has been operating only two of its four daily trips from the Waterfront as a result of a strike.
Robben Island Museum has been operating only two of its four daily trips from the Waterfront as a result of a strike.
Management confirmed yesterday that they had cancelled two tours due to shortage of staff. About 100 of 220 workers have been on strike since Wednesday after negotiations deadlocked between the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) and management.
The workers, who run the island’s ferries, work in its shops and sell tickets to tourists, are demanding a monthly wage increase of R2 500 across the board. They also want a shutdown of operations from December 25 to January 2.
They are demanding the implementation of all the provisions of a 2010/11 settlement agreement signed by Nehawu and Robben Island Museum.
Robben Island Museum chief executive Sibongiseni Mkhize said the museum was not running the 11am tour. Last week the strike action forced the museum to cancel the 3pm tour. He said the 9am and 1pm tours were operational since Friday.
Nehawu said the strike would be until Robben Island management met its demands. Nehawu branch secretary at the museum, Sinako Mrwetyana, said the negotiations had not resumed since they downed tools last week.
“The negotiations haven’t resumed because we are waiting for the management to call us back to (the negotiations),” Mrwetyana said. She reiterated that the workers were not going to return to their posts until their demands were fully met.
“Because this is our peak season, the museum has been losing millions of rand due to the cancelled tours. Compare that to the R2 500 increase the workers are demanding; they’d rather lose more than meet the workers’ demands,” she said.
She warned tourists of safety and security risks they may be exposed to should they board the museum’s boats during the strike. She said many staff members who are qualified to ensure the safety of the tours were on strike.
Mrwetyana said that since the strike began there have been four accidents on boats and tourists had been injured.
“Yesterday two tourists were injured on the 9am boat,” she said, but did not have the full details of what happened.
“On Thursday a tourist slipped and fell on a boat due to overcrowding, as there were no workers supervising the capacity of the decks,” she said.
She said the tourist had broken a leg and was airlifted from the sea to hospital.
However, Mkhize said the tourist did not break a leg and denied the accident took place inside the boat.
“It (accident) happened outside the boat, the tourists were taking pictures as they were entering the boat,” he said.
He declined to estimate how much money the museum has lost since the strike started. - Cape Times
Xstrata talks continues tomorrow
NUM 1 November 2011
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will tomorrow continue with its engagement with Xstrata in an attempt to find an amicable solution to the equalisation challenge on the Employee Share Ownership Programme (ESOP). The NUM has last week suspended its strike action whilst the company committed itself to equalisation of dividends after an intervention by the Ministry of Mineral Resources. Parties will be under pressure tomorrow as the seven day deadline looms. The deadline set was for wednesday. The National Union of Mineworkers demands that the company must dispense equally the dividends from its Employee Share Ownership Programme, and that is not looking a gift horse in the mouth as many commentators have suggested. An ESOP is provided for in the mining charter as are other Broadbased Black Economic Empowerment projects.
Lesiba Seshoka‑ (NUM National Spokesman)‑ 082 803 6719
‘Blame politicians for N West riots’
IOL News 1 November 2011
Violent protests near Brits that led to the petrol bombing of a police vehicle were initiated by disgruntled ANC members, a Madibeng municipality spokesman claimed on Tuesday.
David Masike, spokesman for Madibeng mayor Poppy Magongoa, said ANC members not selected to stand in the May 18 local government election were behind the unrest.
“We know who exactly is behind those protests. Those are members of the ANC who could not make it onto the party's candidates list,” he said.
“This whole thing (protests) is not about service delivery only, people are being instigated to protest.”
On Monday night an armoured police vehicle, commonly known as a Nyala, was petrol bombed during a violent service delivery protests in Oukasi, North West.
Police said the vehicle had entered Oukasi to help control rioting when residents barricaded streets with rocks and burning tyres. They were demanding water and electricity.
Protesters threw a petrol bomb at the Nyala and it exploded, causing damage to the inside of the vehicle. No police officers were injured.
Reports also indicated that a shop was looted and burnt on the same night.
Police spokesman Captain Aafje Botma said the township was calm late on Tuesday.
She said police information was that the protests had erupted after the municipality had failed to respond to a memorandum of demands.
Masike denied that residents' demands were not being met.
He said the municipality was trying to address the protesters' demands, but that most of the problems in the area were “inherited” from the previous administration.
“We cannot be expected to have erased all the problems in the five months we've been in office. We are ready to engage and discuss with the community,” Masike said.
“There are many projects underway to improve the lives of our people. We will be appointing a contractor soon for the electrification project. The people leading the protests were once councillors who now seek to destabilise the municipality.”
He said there had been meetings with the protesters on Tuesday, and a follow-up meeting was set for November 9.
In June, the Beeld newspaper reported that the municipality was renting a BMW at R2025 a day for the executive mayor. This arrangement was done while the mayor's Range Rover was having some problems.
Madibeng municipality was placed under administration by the North West provincial government in March 2010.
This administration ended when the new municipal council took over after the May local government elections. - Sapa
Police Nyala bombed in Oukasi
IOL News 1 November 2011
An armoured police vehicle was petrol bombed during a service delivery protest in Oukasi near Brits, North West police said on Tuesday.
Captain Aafje Botma said the vehicle, known as a Nyala, came under attack on Monday night.
It entered Oukasi to help control rioting when residents barricaded streets with rocks and burning tyres. They were demanding water and electricity.
Protesters threw a petrol bomb at the Nyala and it exploded, causing damage to the inside of the vehicle. Police were not injured, Botma said.
She could not confirm reports that a shop was looted and burnt on Monday night.
“I have not received (a) report on a shop set alight, I do not know about it,” she said.
Madibeng municipal spokesman Patrick Morathi said a meeting between the municipality and residents to discuss their concerns would be held later on Tuesday.
“We do not know what are they protesting about,” he said.
He said the municipality would only comment in detail after the meeting. – Sapa
PROTEST MARCH AGAINST THE SECRECY BILL
R2K & others1 November 2011
Sat. 05 Nov. 2011
Demand your Right 2 Know!
Calling all Residents, Community Activist & Organizations
Join the struggle for access to information, against high electricity hikes and disconnections, for access to water and sanitation, for access to decent housing for access to a clean & healthy environment. Say no to Xenophobia.
Join the thousands of citizens of Durban and surrounding areas, under the banner of the Right2Know Campaign who have been lobbying against the Protection of Information Bill (POIB). There is mass opposition to this Apartheid Bill. Hundreds of organizations and critical thinkers throughout South Africa are OPPOSING THIS BILL, as it goes against our Human Rights as enshrined in the Constitution.
In our common interest we ask you to join a peaceful march from Botha Park at the corner of Dr. Pixley Ka Seme (West) and Anton Lembede (Smith)Streets to the Durban City Hall on 05 November 2011. This march is being coordinated by a coalition, headed by the Right2Know, KZN Working Committee. The participants will be gathering at Botha Park from 8:30am on the morning of 05 November 2011 then start marching from 9am down Dr. Pixley Kaseme (West Street) Street and finish off at the City Hall by 12 noon with a memorandum being presented on the steps of the City Hall to the City Manager, Dr. Mike Sutcliffe, a representative of the Premiers office and a representative of Eskom.
SAY YES TO DEMOCRACY AND
NO TO THE PROTECTION OF INFORMATION BILL!
ENQUIRIES CALL : ERIC TATE On cell 0829249822 Cyril Mwandla Cell 0849166543 Desmond D’Sa 0839826939 Roy Chetty cell 0823348461
Angry workers threaten Engen
Yogas Nair (IOL News) 1 November 2011
Shortage of gas poses an unacceptable danger
The shortage of fuel and LP gas could worsen in KwaZulu-Natal as workers at the Engen Refinery in Durban have threatened to down tools on Tuesday after, they said, they had not been paid for three weeks.
Engen has been on a planned maintenance shutdown since October 15 and contractors have been working around the clock to meet the mid-November deadline to complete the work.
One disgruntled worker said they had failed to receive their salary for the past three weeks. “I have bills to pay. My rent, lights and water are outstanding. I am battling to put food on the table. But, despite several promises of payment, up until this morning nothing has materialised. We are planning to down tools today if our salaries are not deposited into our accounts this morning.”
Engen spokeswoman, Tania Landsberg, said contractors had been hired to assist with the maintenance shutdown.
“These contractors then bring their workers on site. A Central Wage Bureau acts as a control point and deals with the contractors to facilitate payment to their workers. The contractors are responsible for providing the payroll details of their workers – names, addresses, ID numbers, banking details, and time worked to the bureau.”
She said on October 16th and 22nd, when the contractors first brought their workers on site, there were several issues which resulted in non-payment of salaries. She said data provided was either incorrect or no banking details were provided at all, so payments could not be made.
“Also, in some instances the contractors did not provide hours worked and so payments could not be made by the Central Wage Bureau. This came to the fore at lunchtime on Friday. The contractors reverted to their workers to check and provide correct data.”
Landsberg said the details were processed and payments were made for those with correct details until banking hours closed on Saturday.
In some instances cheques were handed to those on site on Friday through to Sunday where it was an agreed method of payment, she said.
“Where time reported issues resulted in discrepancies in payment made to staff, contractors performed an audit check with clock cards to verify physical times worked. This was corrected via an additional pay run on October 24, and another is currently being processed.”
The workers dismissed claims that incorrect banking and personal information was supplied to Engen. “This is nonsense. They gave us our pay slips with all the correct information. They are just messing around with paying us.”
Landsberg said that although they had been trying to help speed up the process, the workers were hired by the contractors, and not by Engen. She said the workers should first approach the contractors.- Daily News