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Publication Details

Reference
South African Protest News 2 - 14 April 2013 (2013) South African Protest News 2 - 14 April 2013.  : -.

Summary
Jobs-for-pals protest at new Soweto hospital
IOL News 12 April 2013

JOhannesburg - A dispute over the filling of posts at the new Zola-Jabulani District Hospital in Soweto threatens to disrupt the official handover of the facility later this month.

On Thursday, a group of contract workers and their former colleagues toyi-toyied at the hospital’s entrance in protest over “the unfair and corrupt” appointment of people to several positions. Residents from the surrounding townships joined them.

“When (President) Jacob Zuma comes here to open this hospital, he will find us here with his bodyguards. He always tells us to vote, promising us jobs,” said Nthabiseng Dlamini, 28, one of the protesters and a mother-of-two.

Sources at the hospital said an emergency meeting scheduled on Thursday to defuse tensions over the recruitment process was postponed because officials from the Gauteng Health Department were not available.

Construction of the hospital has been dogged by tender irregularities and delays, resulting in numerous missed deadlines.

On Thursday, the DA joined the fray and announced it would lead a picket at the hospital on Friday in protest over the missed deadlines.

The initial 2006 tender for the 300-bed hospital – aimed at easing congestion at the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Academic Hospital – was R336 million. Costs had escalated to more than R480m by 2009, according to the Gauteng Infrastructure Development Department.

A source at the hospital alleged that local councillors had interfered with recruitment, in cahoots with officials from the Gauteng Department of Health, and had appointed their cronies and relatives.

He said the parties implicated had used the project advisory committee, on which they sit along with the hospital’s project manager and community liaison officer, to influence the appointments.

“The contract workers were surprised when they saw people queueing… for interviews. How is it that none of the contract workers was shortlisted for interviews?”

The contract workers accused departmental officials of backtracking on their promises to give them first preference in filling posts.

The positions include housekeepers, gardeners, porters, caretakers, drivers, messengers, security staff, laundry workers and food service workers.

Spokeswoman Phumelele Khumalo denied that the contract workers were promised first preference.
lebogang.seale@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za


Repay and quit, officials told
IOL News 11 April 2013

Johannesburg - Residents of Metsimaholo District in Sasolburg have given the municipality seven days to repay money they claim was fraudulently spent, and for officials to step down.

On Wednesday, hundreds of residents stayed away from school and work to protest against officials they claim are corrupt.

Tshepo Mokoena, secretary of the ANCYL in Metsimaholo district and an organiser of the protest, said corruption charges had been laid against several executive members of the municipality.

The charges related to the awarding of a security tender worth R4 million.

Vaal police spokesman Peter Kareli confirmed that a case of corruption had been opened and would be investigated by the Hawks.

“The ANC said they would fight corruption at Mangaung. They said they would eradicate it and would have a zero tolerance on it,” Mokoena said.

“We expect the ANC to support our motion to ensure the promises are upheld. (The) ANC has a duty to deal with and investigate this issue as it affects the people who put them into power.

“That money… could have been used to improve the lives of the people in this district.”

Hundreds of residents marched to the municipal offices to hand executive members of the council a memorandum.

It demanded the executive initiate a probe into the allegations, repay wrongly spent money, and step down from their positions in the next seven days.

mark.olalde@inl.co.za and tankiso.makheth@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za


SADTU on the March!
SADTU 11 April 2013

In Defence of Collective Bargaining
and for Promotion of Quality Public Education

• 17th April 2013: Local Pickets all over South Africa
• 24th April 2013: National Marches:
o to Union Buildings, Pretoria
o to Parliament, Cape Town

People’s Education for People’s Power!


Council members to be probed
Maryke Vermaak 10 April 2013

Sasolburg - Members of the Metsimaholo council in the Free State are to be investigated following claims of corruption and wasteful expenditure, speaker Sello Matena said on Wednesday.

He said he and mayor Brutus Mahlaku would also be investigated by a committee set up by the council for this purpose.

Matena was speaking after hundreds of disgruntled residents of Zamdela, outside Sasolburg, in the Free State, marched to the municipal buildings.

They delivered a memorandum demanding that they step down within seven days. The residents accused Matena and Mahlaku of corruption.

Mahlaku allegedly spent R4 million on personal security, and Matena allegedly used a council credit card to pay for liquor.

Matena said this was the first he had heard of the allegations against him.

“The investigation will be done. I've not done anything wrong.”

He said residents' anger at the cancellation of a Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) meeting was valid.

“That process is run by (the) demarcation board. I'm still waiting for the reason (why it was cancelled).”

The MDB had been scheduled to hold a public meeting in Sasolburg at 10am on Wednesday.

The board would have met the community to discuss and give an update on a proposed merger of the Metsimaholo municipality in Sasolburg with the Ngwathe municipality in Parys.

In January, four people were killed, several injured and hundreds arrested during violent protests against the proposed merger.

Several cars were set alight and government buildings damaged in Zamdela.

Chairman of the Metsimaholo Concerned Residents Committee, Lucky Malebo, was upset on Wednesday over the postponement.

“(The board) got a letter from the premier's office that they had to postpone the meeting,” he said.

“This tells us that we cannot even trust the MDB. It is being influenced by (Free State Premier Ace Magashule).”

African National Congress provincial executive committee member Mpho Ramakasta said Magashule should not have interfered.

“Magashule has taken the law unto himself. He must stop interfering.”

He said the independence of statutory bodies needed to be respected.

“We all want this process to be open, fair and transparent. Our advice to those interfering is to back off.” - Sapa
www.iol.co.za

Protest scuppers demarcation meeting
Maryke Vermaak 10 April 2013

Sasolburg - A public Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) meeting in Zamdela outside Sasolburg, in the Free State, was cancelled on Wednesday because of a protest, the board said.

“When the MDB became aware that there was protest meeting planned, we decided to cancel today's (Wednesday's) meeting,” MDB CEO Gabusile Gumbi-Masilela said.

“The process in which we are engaged in should be conducted in a conducive environment, and the community involved in the march was the same stakeholder targeted for the public meeting.”

Gumbi-Masilela said the board had not known a service delivery protest was planned for Wednesday. The meeting was cancelled until further notice.

She said the march had nothing to do with the public participation process, and said lack of service delivery should not be confused with the determination of boundaries.

“The re-determination of boundaries is geared towards ensuring that communities and stakeholders that reside in the affected areas benefit from this process,” she said.

“Community members and stakeholders of the Metshimaholo and Ngwathe municipalities have always expressed the desire to engage with MDB to make their views on the issue of amalgamation of the municipalities.”

The MDB was scheduled to hold a public meeting in Sasolburg at 10am to give residents an update on the proposed merger of the Metsimaholo municipality, in Sasolburg, with the Ngwathe municipality, in Parys.

In January, four people were killed, several were injured and hundreds arrested during protests against the proposed merger. Several cars were set alight and government buildings were damaged in Zamdela.

Zamdela was quiet on Wednesday afternoon after hundreds of residents marched to the municipal buildings to deliver a memorandum in which they demanded that Metsimaholo mayor Brutus Mahlaku step down within seven days.

Police spokesman Constable Peter Kareli said the protest was peaceful, that police had kept an eye on the situation, and that only one case of damage to property had been reported.

Public order police would remain in Zamdela until local police were sure everything had returned to normal.

Council speaker Sello Matena told the marchers their claims of corruption and wasteful expenditure would be investigated, including those against him and Mahlaku. The council had set up a committee for this purpose.

The residents have accused Matena and Mahlaku of corruption. Mahlaku allegedly spent R4 million on personal security, and Matena allegedly used a council credit card to pay for liquor.

Matena said this was the first he had heard of the allegations against him. He said residents' anger at the cancellation of a MDB meeting was valid.

“That process is run by (the) demarcation board. I'm still waiting for the reason (why it was cancelled).”

Metsimaholo Concerned Residents' Committee chairman Lucky Malebo was upset about the postponement.

“(The board) got a letter from the premier's office that they had to postpone the meeting. This tells us that we cannot even trust the MDB. It is being influenced by (Free State Premier Ace Magashule),” he said.

African National Congress provincial executive committee member Mpho Ramakasta said Magashule should not have interfered.

“Magashule has taken the law unto himself. He must stop interfering.”

He said the independence of statutory bodies needed to be respected.

“We all want this process to be open, fair and transparent. Our advice to those interfering is to back off.” - Sapa
www.iol.co.za

Zamdela calm after protests
SAPA 10 April 2013

Sasolburg - The situation was quiet in the Zamdela informal settlement outside Sasolburg, in the Free State, on Wednesday afternoon after a march by residents, police said.

Hundreds of disgruntled residents marched to the municipal buildings to deliver a memorandum demanding that Metsimaholo mayor Brutus Mahlaku step down within seven days.

Constable Peter Kareli said the protest was peaceful, but police were keeping an eye on the situation.

“Everything went smoothly from the side of the police.”

He said there was only one reported incident of damage to property.

“A tuckshop was attacked. They broke three windows. We stopped them. They didn't take anything.”

He said no arrests were made.

Public order police would stay at Zamdela until local police were sure everything had returned to normal.

“For now everything is still fine,” Kareli said.

Council speaker Sello Matena told the marchers that claims of corruption and wasteful expenditure against members of the council would be investigated.

He and Mahlaku would also be investigated by a committee set up by the council for this purpose.

The residents have accused Matena and Mahlaku of corruption.

Mahlaku allegedly spent R4 million on personal security, and Matena allegedly used a council credit card to pay for liquor.

Matena said this was the first he had heard of the allegations against him.

“The investigation will be done. I've not done anything wrong.”

He said residents' anger at the cancellation of a Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) meeting was valid.

“That process is run by (the) demarcation board. I'm still waiting for the reason (why it was cancelled).”

The MDB was scheduled to hold a public meeting in Sasolburg at 10am on Wednesday to give the community an update on the proposed merger of the Metsimaholo municipality, in Sasolburg, with the Ngwathe municipality, in Parys.

In January, four people were killed, several were injured and hundreds were arrested during violent protests against the proposed merger. Several cars were set alight and government buildings damaged in Zamdela.

Metsimaholo Concerned Residents' Committee chairman Lucky Malebo was upset about the postponement on Wednesday.

“ 1/8The board 3/8 got a letter from the premier's office that they had to postpone the meeting,” he said.

“This tells us that we cannot even trust the MDB. It is being influenced by (Free State Premier Ace Magashule).”

African National Congress provincial executive committee member Mpho Ramakasta said Magashule should not have interfered.

“Magashule has taken the law unto himself. He must stop interfering.”

He said the independence of statutory bodies needed to be respected.

“We all want this process to be open, fair and transparent. Our advice to those interfering is to back off.” - Sapa
www.iol.co.za

Police monitor Free State protest
Maryke Vermaak 10 April 2013

Johannesburg - Hundreds of marchers gathered at the Zamdela police station outside Sasolburg in the Free State on Wednesday morning.

Dancing and singing, they demanded that Metsimaholo executive mayor Brutus Mahlaku step down because they believed he was corrupt.

There was a heavy police presence in the informal settlement.

Earlier, Constable Peter Kareli said police were ready for the march, which was scheduled to start at the arts centre in Zamdela at 10am.

“They will be going to the Zamdela police station to open a case docket against the mayor for corruption,” he said.

The marchers would then move to the council offices in Sasolburg, where a memorandum would be handed over.

“From the police side we are ready.”

Kareli said public order police from Welkom, Bloemfontein and Bethlehem had been called in.

He said the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) would also be meeting the community in Sasolburg at 10am to give an update on the proposed merger, in 2016, of the Matsimaholo municipality, in Sasolburg, with the Ngwathe municipality.

In January, four people were killed, several were injured and hundreds were arrested in violent protests after the announcement of the planned municipal demarcation.

At the time, several cars were set alight and government buildings were damaged in Zamdela.

The merger was suspended following the violence. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za

www.iol.co.za


Wildcat strike at Northam continues
Dineo Faku 9 April 2013

NORTHAM Platinum and rock drill operators are still at loggerheads over the payment of performance bonuses amid a work stoppage that started a week ago.

Northam was weighing its options to get rock drill operators at its Zondereinde mine in Limpopo back to work amid pay hike demands for an effective 38 percent increase, spokeswoman Marion Brower said yesterday.

About 500 rock drill operators refused to drill while underground last Tuesday, and as a result the company suffered a loss of 3 900 ounces of metal concentrate equal to a R46.2 million loss in revenue.

“The situation at Northam is still unchanged. The unprotected industrial action is continuing, the company is considering its position. The company will update the market and media of changes,” Brower said.

Lesiba Seshoka of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) blamed Northam for reneging on an agreement in which rock drill operators received an incentive of R15 for each hole they drilled over and above their salaries.

“Northam has no right to unilaterally change the terms of the agreement without consulting with the union,” he said. “If they continue we’ll declare a dispute with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.”

The strike continued after several meetings between the NUM and management could not resolve the issues. The NUM represented the majority of employees at Northam, while the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union was not represented at the mine.

The issue at Northam occurred against a backdrop of increasing tensions over performance bonuses between mining companies and employees. Last month employees went on an unprotected strike at Shanduka Coal and Exxaro Resources over the payment of performance bonuses.

Performance bonuses at Shanduka and Exxaro were not paid as operations had not met production targets.

Meanwhile, production at Shanduka’s Graspan Colliery had returned to normal after the unprotected strike.

“The Graspan Colliery and the neighbouring Townlands operations are back to normal and operating at full capacity,” Shanduka said yesterday.

Shanduka dismissed 250 employees who were involved in the strike. Subsequently employees could appeal the dismissals.

Production at Exxaro’s Matla, Arnot, Grootegeluk, Leeuwpan, Inyanda and reductants operations were also back to full production.

Northam shares rose by 3.29 percent to R36.16 yesterday.
www.iol.co.za


Sadtu members to embark on national go-slow
The New Age 8 April 2013

SA Democratic Teachers Union members will embark on a national go-slow when schools re-open this week, the union said on Monday.

This was to press for the resignation of the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, and her director general, Bobby Soobrayan, Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said.

Inland and coastal schools were expected to reopen on Tuesday, after the holidays.

Maluleke said Motshekga's department had also not honoured a 2011 agreement to increase the salaries of matric paper markers.

"The minister [Motshekga] is failing the nation and she continues to undermine collective bargaining. Her leadership is affecting the quality of education," said Maluleke.

According to Maluleke, teachers will only be reporting to schools to teach. They will not perform extra duties, such as marking, hosting departmental visits or attending workshops.

"Supplementary exams that were written in February will not be marked. They are usually attended to in April, " Maluleke said.

Teachers were up in arms earlier this year, when government proposed that education be made an essential service, making it unlawful to strike. The department's Hope Mokgatlhe could not immediately comment on the looming go-slow.
www.thenewage.co.za


Swartruggens toll gate campaign continues
Cosatu 6 April 2013

The Congress of South African Trade Unions, with its affiliates, held a successful campaign against the expensive toll gate which is situated on our N4 road that belongs to millions of motorists.

It must be on record that our action started very late due to the conduct and attitude of Bakwena and Sanral, being part of the triangular meeting to approve all the strict conditions with the municipality, and a late run to the high court.

We want to be on record that with those bad conditions set out to us by the municipality during our application, as per the Gathering Act, we are going to continue with our program until we see action to reduce the toll.

Sanral and Bakwena are the beneficiaries on that expensive toll gate. The poor people, motorists and the communities of the NW are not benefiting. Some of the people who are benefiting are those who are close to Bakwena and Sanral and most of them are politicians.
We are happy that the high court of Gauteng confirmed our application and the conditions set out by the municipality, and our march must continue as we did under those bad conditions.

We want to warn those who think that taking us to court will make us lose momentum, that in fact we are gaining more support from outside and we will mobilize the churches with Congress of South African Churches from Rustenburg, in their uniform, to pray for our campaign and our government to listen.
We will be back at the toll gate with our campaign on19April 2013 from 12h00 to 19h00, we are now going start our program at the N4 Kosher junction next to the cemetery, and proceed right to the expensive toll gate.
We call on those who are supporting our call for reducing the toll fee to join us with their cars and trucks on the same date and, please, people who do not support our campaign, the rich capitalists must not come, if they want use the road, they are allowed under the supervision of their own friends Bakwena and Sanral.

We will follow the law passed by the apartheid government. The Gathering Act, which is applicable only to the poor workers, is an old apartheid act, representing the views of the same who are in power of money to take us to court using our own money from the expensive toll gate.

We will not rest. The task team established by the minister must be disbanded. It s failing the poor motorists and will not produce any results with involvement of Sanral and led by the DG.
The same people leading the task team are the same people who signed the tender to Sanral, so we must not expect anything from that task team, as it has not produced anything.

We are calling our poor motorists to join our fight. We will not rest until our demands are met. We defeated the old strategy of the racist government and we will do the same, on the same day, 19 April 2013. We will be calling for a boycott of all the shops that are practicing racism and exploiting our poor workers, and the municipality that is continue to exploit our old women, young girls and boys with their EPWP.

For more information feel free to call COSATU NW provincial secretary Solly Phetoe [0823044055.


PRESS STATEMENT ON THE PROTEST MARCH TO THE DIT CAMPUS BY POULTRY WORKERS (03 April 2013)
FAWU 2 April 2013

The General Secretary of Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU), Katishi Masemola, will be leading a protest march by members of FAWU to the DTI Campus in Pretoria on the 3rd April 2013, between 11h00 and 13h00, to highlight the real threat that chicken imports from Brazil and European Union (EU) have to the 40 000 jobs in our country’s poultry sector, thereby calling on Government to protect our sector.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Rob Davies, or his nominated delegate is expected to receive petition during the march

For more information kindly contact Katishi Masemola, General Secretary, at 082 467 2509, Moleko Phakedi, Deputy General Secretary, at 082 492 5111, or Dominique Swarts, Media Officer, at 082498 5631.
KATISHI MASEMOLA
General Secretary


Cape strike organiser gets state funding
Cobus Coetzee (IOL News) 2 April 2013

Nosey Pieterse, an organiser of the recent farmworkers’ strikes in the Western Cape, is getting funds from the government.

Pieterse’s organisation, the Black Association of the Wine and Spirits Industry (Bawsi), played a critical role in mobilising the striking workers “towards calmness and constructive engagement with the employers”, according to a report on the strikes by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The report was submitted to the portfolio committee for agriculture in Parliament last month.

The department also told Parliament that it was paying money to Bawsi. The chief director for sector capacity development, Mokutule Kgobokoe, said the government was funding Bawsi to help with the “rights of (the) vulnerable” in the Western Cape.

For the past two weeks, the department has failed to answer questions from the Cape Times about why it is funding Bawsi, how much money has gone to the organisation and which other organisations are getting funds.

Bawsi’s trade union, Bawsi Agricultural Workers Union of South Africa (Bawusa), helped mobilise workers’ protests during the strikes.

Farming in several towns across the province was brought to a standstill from November to January when workers protested at low wages and poor living conditions.

Agri SA labour committee chairman Anton Rabe said the funding of Bawsi raised questions. “Certainly there is a conflict here, specially if you think of Pieterse’s role in the strike. Why Bawsi?” he asked.

Pieterse confirmed Bawsi had received money from the department, but said it was the government’s responsibility to supply details.

Pieterse said Bawsi applied alongside other organisations last year to register on the department’s NGO database and had received funding.

The department spent a total of R13 million on NGOs last year and budgeted R16m for this year.

Pieterse said Bawsi helped the department distribute food parcels to families during the strike and defended workers who were dismissed from work or evicted from houses on farms.

“We also ensure the newly imposed rent and payments (farmers charge) after the strike are stopped,” he said.

Pieterse said Bawusa was created out of Bawsi. “Bawsi is an NGO and it couldn’t defend workers at the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration),” he said.

When the Cape Times put questions to Kgobokoe, he asked why the information was needed.

The deputy director for communication, Antoinette Fourie, said the information first had to be signed off by Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson and the department’s acting director-general, Sipho Ntombela, but had not responded since.

Joemat-Pettersson’s spokesperson, Palesa Mokomele, did not answer any questions.
cobus.coetzee@inl.co.za
www.iol.co.za


Passengers’ mutiny halts faulty bus
Colleen Dardagan and Lungelo Mkamba (IOL News) 2 April 2013

KwaZulu-Natal Traffic officials found the steering mechanism to be faulty on this SA Roadlink bus destined for Joburg. The driver initially refused to drive the bus from the Durban station, but his employers pressured him to do so.

An SA Roadlink bus bound for Joburg was impounded at the Mariannhill Toll Plaza, Durban, on Monday after panicked passengers phoned ahead to traffic authorities to say the vehicle was not roadworthy.

This followed a heated exchange at the Durban bus station where, in front of waiting passengers, two drivers refused to take the wheel because they knew it was dangerous. However, the drivers eventually boarded, but the passengers put a stop to the journey.

Senior KZN traffic inspector Abby Naicker, who supervised the roadworthy test, said only one parking brake was working, the exhaust was cracked, the steering mechanism was faulty and there were “massive” oil leaks.

“We have removed the licence disc, this vehicle is suspended and when (SA Roadlink) sends another bus we will test that one too,” she said.

At the same time, 18 SA Roadlink passengers bound for Cape Town, who were to leave at 6.30am were squeezed into a taxi, with a letter promising that a “proper” bus would meet them in Umtata.

On Monday night, passenger Polani Mabusela called The Mercury from Umtata saying the bus sent to meet them was full and they were returning to Durban. SA Roadlink employees at the Durban station refused to talk to The Mercury and head office officials said no one was available on Monday.

The blitz by the road traffic inspectorate at the Mariannhill Toll Plaza continued, with many errant motorists coming up with excuses that tested the patience of KwaZulu-Natal Transport and Safety Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu who was with the officers stopping vehicles.

The driver of a Lamborghini Gallardo, pulled over for not having number plates, told traffic police he could “not risk drilling on the front for a number plate that would damage his car”. He kept his licence plates in the boot. He was fined R1 500.
www.iol.co.za


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