||Protesters arrested in Boksburg
IOL News 9 July 2012
Forty-nine people were arrested in Windmill Park, Boksburg, on Monday for public violence and malicious damage to property, Ekurhuleni metro police said.
Inspector Khobeli Mokheseng said the protesters, aged between 20 and 51, allegedly stoned a metro police vehicle and attacked two metro police officers who arrived at the scene first.
“When one of the officers got out of the vehicle to try and talk sense to them, one of them stole the car keys from the ignition.”
A man fled with the keys, while the rest of the protesters hurled stones at the vehicle.
The officer sustained slight injuries to his hand.
Residents of the Holomisa informal settlement barricaded roads with burning tyres and rocks on Monday morning. Barry Marais and Trichardt roads were closed to traffic.
It was not immediately clear what the cause of the protest was.
Mokheseng said on Monday afternoon that the protesters had dispersed.
Those arrested would be detained at the Dawn Park police station and were expected to appear in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court soon. – Sapa
Protesters barricade roads
IOL News 9 July 2012
Protesters barricaded roads with rocks and burning tyres in Windmill Park, Boksburg, on Monday, Ekurhuleni metro police said.
Inspector Khobeli Mokheseng said Barry Marais and Trichardt roads were closed to traffic.
Residents of the Holomisa informal settlement started protesting on Monday morning. Protesters stoned and damaged a metro police vehicle, but no arrests had been made. It was not immediately clear what the cause of the protest was. – Sapa
Gauteng DA march over drugs
IOL News 7 July 2012
Johannesburg - DA supporters marched around the Windsor East area, north of Johannesburg on Saturday, mobilising residents for the establishment of a specialised anti-drugs unit in the area.
Provincial Democratic Alliance leader John Moodey said residents were signing a pettition that would be sent to the Linden police station commander and Randburg Magistrate's Court chief prosecutor .
The marchers want a narcotic bureau to help fight the scourge of drugs.
“Drugs usage in Windsor is very rife and the community has been complaining for a long time, that is why we are calling for this unit,” said Moodey.
The DA believed authorities were not doing enough to curb drug-related crimes.
It wanted drug dealers appearing in court to be denied bail.
“The unit must be multifaceted... There should be a prosecutor who focuses on drugs, (the) community must be involved, (and) authorities must have necessary resources.”
The march was led by Moodey, ward councillor Laurette van Zyl and local church leaders.
Police spokesman Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said no incidents of violence was reported at the march. - Sapa
Mariannridge housing protests turns ugly: Marching residents burn tyres and block roads as they demand better housing in Mariannhridge.
Zakithi Dlamini (www.looklocal.co.za) 6 July 2012
MARIANNRIDGE residents embarked on a protest march this morning which turned violent when they began burning tyres and blocking roads in an attempt to prevent vehicles from entering and exiting the area.
Mariannhill SAPS said residents were marching over housing issues in the area. The angry crowd demanded better housing from the local councillor.
Man dies during protest
IOL News 4 July 2012
Mahikeng - A man has died during protests in Mahikeng in the North West province, police said on Wednesday.
Brigadier Thulani Ngubane declined to confirm or deny a report that police shot at the man with rubber bullets.
“I don't know (about the cause of death), all I'm saying (is) let us just allow the (Independent Police Investigative Directorate) to do their job.”
The directorate could not be reached for comment.
According to a report by the SABC, the man died after he was allegedly shot with police rubber bullets on Tuesday evening.
However, Ngubane said such rumours would not assist with investigations.
Residents first said he was run over by a police vehicle and then later said he was shot during a protest on Tuesday, he said.
The area had seen sporadic service delivery protests over the last two months.
“It happens mostly at night - public violence, burning of tyres and closing of roads,” Ngubane said.
He said police were patrolling the area as there was a “high possibility” of protest action resuming after dark. - Sapa
Municipal union demands more rights
IOL News 5 July 2012
About 300 members of the SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) marched to the Cape Town civic centre on Thursday afternoon to demand equal rights for temporary workers.
They sang and danced outside the civic centre on Hertzog Boulevard, as a line of policemen dressed in protest gear watched.
Samwu Cape Metro regional secretary Mario Jacobs handed over a memorandum of demands to acting city manager Mike Marsden.
Jacobs said the city had misled workers hired under the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) – a government job creation initiative.
“Your council is on record stating that the city created some 11 000 EPWP jobs. This is a blatant lie as job opportunities do not translate into real jobs,” he said.
“All you have done is to recycle job opportunities from one poor, unemployed person to another with no prospect of that leading to quality, permanent employment.”
He said the EPWP contracts were being used to replace the work being performed by permanent city staff, which led to increased casualisation of the workplace.
The union demanded that the city negotiate the terms of employment for these contracts before next Thursday.
It was asking for greater job security, health and safety protection, longer periods of employment, and access to training, among other things.
Housing Assembly chairman Mhlobo Gunguluzi, whose members also marched, demanded quality public housing without prepaid water and electricity systems.
He wanted the city to scrap arrears and evictions. – Sapa
Municipal workers and Communities protest over service delivery
SAMWU PRESS STATEMENT 3 July 2012
The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) and a number of community organisations will be marching to the City of Cape Town on Thursday 05 July 2012, to protest against poor service delivery and the Mayor’s Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) contracts.
“It is our view that the issue of quality jobs cannot be separated from quality services. It is no mystery why there are a number of service delivery protests taking place across the province and the city. Part of the problem is the lack of Local Government employing enough workers to ensure quality services are delivered to our poor communities.” Said Mario Jacobs, Samwu Cape Metro Regional Secretary.
On the 29th of February this year, in her address to Council, Mayor de Lille mentioned that the city has been able to create 10 339 job opportunities as part of her Special Job Creation Programme. A permanent Council worker receives +/- R240 per day where as an EPWP worker receives R60 per day.
Andre Adams, SAMWU’s Western Cape Provincial Secretary responded that “De Lille has blatantly lied to the residents of Cape Town all in the name of political populism. The DA’s announcement of Job creation within the City of Cape Town is fake. It is nothing but a political trick and a shameful exploitation of the poor who are desperate for work and are prepared to work for peanuts. This amounts to nothing more than using the poor as cheap labour and can be seen as slavery.”
The planned march is taking place at 10:00am from Keizergracht and shall proceed to the civic centre where a memorandum of demands shall be received by the deputy city manager, Mike Mardsen.
For further comment contact SAMWU’s Cape Metro Regional Secretary, Mario Jacobs (084 841 0870) or Andre Adams, Provincial Secretary (074 177 2344).
South African Municipal Workers' Union of COSATU
National Media and Publicity Officer
Office: 011-492 2835.
Also visit SAMWU’s website; www.samwu.org.za
Komatiland Forest Workers On Strike
Food & Allied Workers Union [F.A.W.U.]
3 July 2012
Komatiland Forest (KLF) Workers Seeks 15 % Wage Increase
About 1556 members of FAWU employed by Komatiland Forests (Pty) Ltd in various provinces have embarked on a legal strike yesterday after CCMA proceedings failed to produce an amicable agreement. The workers’s core demand is a 15% wage increase across the board which should apply to all office administration staff which currently falls outside of the bargaining unit. The union therefore demands that the current bargaining unit be extended to accommodate all these administration or non-production employees within certain bands of the company.
The union demands a 15 % wage increase while the offer from management is currently at 8%.Further demands include a pension fund finalized by November 2012 and an increase in the night shift, standby, sleep out and the acting allowance. The union also wants the tree climbing allowance to be adjusted. Our members want wage increases and other conditions to be backdated to April 1, 2012. The lowest earner at Komatilant gets paid about R 2000 per month.
FAWU has 86% membership in the company so we expect that this will bring production to a complete standstill.
The company has an operational office in Nelspruit, a head office in Pretoria, 15 forestry plantations in the Mpumalanga province, 5 plantations and a sawmill in Limpopo as well as one plantation in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Released by FAWU media officer , Dominique Swartz - 082 498 5631. For more information , please contact Jerry Makhanya, FAWU National Forestry Sector Organiser on 082 561 6437
Joburg Metrobus drivers protest
IOL News 2 July 2012
About 20 Metrobus drivers protested at the company's head office in Johannesburg on Monday afternoon, an official said.
“We received a notice from the SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) about a protest which was supposed to start on Monday at 8am till 5pm and continue every day up until July 13,” Metrobus spokeswoman Esther Dreyer said.
The protest lasted for about two hours and there were no reports of interrupted service delivery, she said.
“Protesters were singing and dancing, we still don't know what the reasons for the protest are.”
She said some of the posters displayed indicated the protesters might have issues with Metrobus management.
Samwu was not immediately available for comment. - Sapa
DA marches about Limpopo textbooks
IOL News 2 July 2012
The DA marched on the offices of the Limpopo basic education department on Monday in protest against the late delivery of school textbooks.
DA Limpopo education spokeswoman Desiree van der Walt said the party had marched in “solidarity with children at... Limpopo schools, who have gone six months of the year without textbooks”.
“A society that is not willing to stand up for the rights of its children fails to take ownership of the future,” she said in a statement.
“Today’s protest is part of the continuing struggle to ensure that Limpopo children are afforded the opportunity to determine their own destiny through access to knowledge.”
The party demanded that textbooks for 2013 be delivered to schools no later than November 30, 2012.
A database of approved textbook suppliers, with an automated quote-sourcing system needed to be created to prevent corruption.
Van der Walt welcomed the appointment of former higher education director general Mary Metcalfe to evaluate textbook deliveries to schools in Limpopo.
“Top of her agenda should be to tend to the schools (that)... had not received any textbooks, received the wrong books or had not received enough books as per our online list,” said Van der Walt.
The provincial and national education departments were not immediately available for comment.
Pupils in several Limpopo schools have been without textbooks for the past six months because the department failed to procure books on time.
Civil rights organisation, Section 27, which won a court order forcing the department to deliver the textbooks, said on Saturday it was concerned at reports of shortages even after books were supposed to have been delivered.
According to media reports on Sunday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga could face the axe over the bungled textbook delivery.
The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) said on Monday Motshekga had not addressed the lack of textbooks in the Eastern Cape.
“We support the approach of a positive engagement with civil society to resolve the failure to deliver the text books in Limpopo and all needed educational materials,” LRC Grahamstown director Sarah Sephton said in a statement.
“We therefore fail to understand the... continued lack of responsiveness to us with regard to critical shortages of workbooks in the Eastern Cape,” she said.
“We would appreciate a similar constructive engagement on this issue beginning with the basic courtesy of replying to us about this issue.”
Sephton said the LRC was acting on behalf of 35 schools in Port Elizabeth.
“It is not desirable to keep pushing forward the implementation of government responsibility through media and public pressure or legal proceedings,” she said. – Sapa
Protesters target foreign shops
IOL News 29 June 2012
More than 100 people were arrested in Botshabelo after residents looted and destroyed foreign-owned shops, Free State police said on Friday.
Constable Consolation Mokoale said the police were helping foreigners to evacuate their shops in Botshabelo, east of Bloemfontein, on Friday morning.
She said three shops were burned down in protest action which started on Wednesday.
The trouble apparently started after the Mangaung metro municipality started removing hawkers from a shopping centre.
Various roads in Botshabelo were blocked with stones and other objects during the protests. – Sapa
March against Namibia’s seal harvest
IOL News 30 June 2012
Cape Town - Dressed in black funeral attire and carrying a small, handmade coffin, a group of about 20 people took to the streets of central Cape Town to protest against the annual Namibian seal harvest, which takes place in July.
The harvest, which is legal in Namibia, will see thousands of baby and adult seals killed between July 1 and November 31.
Namibian authorities have stated that the large seal population poses a threat to other marine life.
The procession, organised by Beauty Without Cruelty, marched down St George’s Mall yesterday, bearing posters and urging bystanders to boycott Namibian products such as “beer and diamonds”.
Beauty Without Cruelty spokeswoman Toni Brokhoven said they wanted people “to stop supporting Namibia in any way, shape or form”.
She said Namibia could make far more income through eco-tourism than through the annual seal harvest.
According to the organisation, seal pelts are sold for around $7 each, while the penises of male bulls are sold as an aphrodisiac.
Nicky Botha, of Fur Free SA, said she had been campaigning against the killings since 2006. “There is no place in this day and age for this kind of barbaric act,” she said.
A report released this week by Namibia’s ombudsman John Walters found that while some changes could be made to the way the seal harvest was conducted, it was essentially legally “well anchored”.
“Gruesome as it may sound, the stunning and sticking method used for killing pups is the most practical and the only one applicable to the harvest in Namibia,” Walters said in his report.
ANC groups clash in North West
IOL News 17 June 2012
Two ANC groups clashed in Mahikeng on Sunday before the start of the party's provincial general council in the North West, SABC radio reported.
Police had to use teargas to separate them.
The squabble apparently broke out when supporters of provincial secretary Kabelo Mataboge prevented supporters of chairman Supra Mahumapelo from entering the venue. - Sapa
Mantashe slams Youth Day disruptions
IOL News 18 June 2012
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has criticised disruptions at a Youth Day rally in Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape at the weekend, according to a report on Monday.
“They disrupted in Port Elizabeth... again, it is a question of mistaken tactics,” Mantashe said at a Young Communist League rally in Limpopo.
“When you use tactics of trying to disrupt and putting pressure... you are not putting pressure. You are actually destroying your own case,” Mantashe was quoted as saying on SABC radio news.
On Saturday, protests erupted outside the Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth, apparently by disgruntled residents who were not informed about the event.
The police had to intervene as protesters burnt tyres and barricaded roads.
President Jacob Zuma was initially scheduled to speak at the stadium to celebrate Youth Day on Saturday.
However, he pulled out to attend the G20 meeting in Mexico, which started on Monday.
Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane addressed the crowd instead, saying that young people were being exploited to take part in service delivery protests.
He called on “young people to resist this exploitation and focus on their education and uplifting their lives.” – Sapa
10 held in Cape Town protest
IOL News 18 June 2012
Ten people were arrested in a protest in Modderdam Road, Cape Town, on Monday, Western Cape police said.
Warrant Officer November Filander said about 300 people gathered at the corner of Stellenbosch and Modderdam East roads from 2am in a protest over housing.
He said the road was blocked with burning tyres and cement blocks. Residents of the informal settlements Freedom Park and Malawi Camp threw stones and destroyed a few traffic lights.
They later dispersed and the road was reopened to motorists. – Sapa