||Numsa Statement on the latest developments on the Automobile Strike
NUMSA 20 August 2013
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) calls on the intransigent Automobile Manufacturers Employer’s Organization (AMEO) to fully concede to workers’ demands in the industry’s National Bargaining Forum (NBF). Workers decided to embark on an indefinite strike as a means of the last resort after everything else failed in order to persuade the filthy rich global bosses to revise their offer and come back to the negotiation table.
The tens of thousands of NUMSA members spread across all seven major automobile corporations and two medium and heavy vehicles assemblers have crippled and halted production in Pretoria where the industry is concentrated and in Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London. Production is not moving as a result of our members’ tactical position to engage in a strike action and employers should shoulder the blame due to their greediness and refusal to concede to workers’ demands.
We are currently busy preparing to take the battle to the employers’ doorsteps in the form of marches and demonstrations, starting from next week. Our doors remain open for negotiations.
The workers’ demands in the automotive industry’s NBF are consistent with the Living Wage Campaign of our beloved federation, COSATU, which is informed by the fact that the industry’s is the leading manufacturing industry globally and in South Africa. The automotive industry is generating mountainous reserves of wealth but is accumulated privately through dividends among shareholders and sky-high salaries for the bosses while workers are told about average inflation and have to contend with the escalating cost of basic services, accompanied by their meager, racialised and gendered poverty wages.
There are workers employed in the industry who live in shacks and informal settlements, coupled with overheating reliance on the state because their wages are insufficient to afford decent housing and other basic necessities. Over 20% on average of workers’ disposable incomes is liquidated by the cost of transport because of the persisting legacy of apartheid social engineering and its settlement patterns which have ensured that Africans in particular and black people in general live in the outer most orbiting spaces, far located from the centers where economic activities are concentrated.
The cost of belonging to the employment condition of medical aid is unbearable and unendingly rising. Workers’ take home pay quickly evaporates on the pay day before knockoff time because of the high levels of indebtedness that prevail as a forced mechanism to compensate for meager wages. As and when there is short time workers are not being paid whereas pay for temporary layoff is close to nothing.
Our core demands in the automotive industry NBF negotiations are thus reasonable, and include a conservative 14% wage increases across the board, 100% payment for short time and temporary layoff, a housing subsidy of only R750, and a transport allowance of R125 per week. The workers demand equal pay for work of equal value, and therefore equalization of pay rates. In particular this involves the extension to other companies in the industry of a R3.22 that is being paid at Toyota South Africa in order to correct distortions to the industry’s wage model.
We refuse to be threatened by the seven major automobile manufacturers organized under AMEO and companies such as UD Trucks, Man Trucks and Bus, that they will shift production elsewhere because our demands are unrealistic.
We refuse to be treated like cheap laborers, amidst the triple crisis of poverty, unemployment and inequality faced by workers in our country. As workers we deserve better wages in the interest of our children and youth who are at the receiving end of the capitalist brutality and barbarity.
Motor industry grinds to a halt
Cindy Preller and Mkhululi Ndamase 20 August 2013
THE Eastern Cape motor industry ground to a halt on the first day of a national strike that is expected to cost the industry R600-million in losses a day.
More than 20000 workers across the country stayed away yesterday, almost half of them in the Eastern Cape.
Motor manufacturers in the province – Volkswagen SA in Uitenhage, General Motors SA and Ford SA in Port Elizabeth and Mercedes-Benz SA in East London – reported a 20-30% turnout of employees yesterday, all of them administrative staff.
Production lines were at a standstill.
Wage negotiations between employers and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) deadlocked last week.
In Nelson Mandela Bay yesterday, about 450 GMSA workers picketed in front of the factory.
About 500 Ford engine plant workers in Struandale did the same, while about 1000 VWSA workers picketed in Uitenhage.
No incidents of violence were reported. Despite production continuing in the tyre manufacturing industry, concern is growing about the knock-on effect the strike may have on component manufacturers and suppliers to the auto industry.
VWSA communications manager Matt Gennrich said the company was unable to produce vehicles yesterday.
"Wage negotiations including the possibility of strikes is a part of doing business internationally," he said.
"Therefore, a strike that is resolved in a reasonable timeframe and without violence will have little impact on investor confidence.
"However, a protracted strike would have a potential impact, as would a sympathy strike for other sectors," Gennrich said.
GMSA communications manager Denise van Huyssteen said it was a challenge for the motor industry in South Africa to remain competitive against the growing number of high-volume and low-cost countries. The lack of labour stability was a major deterrent to investment and growth in the country.
"We were not able to continue with normal production today.
"At this stage, we are only proceeding with non-production operations in support of dealers and customers," she said.
Ford SA communications manager Alisea Chetty said production had been halted at its Silverton assembly plant and Struandale engine plant, which employed a total of 2090 workers.
"Leading up to the strike, we worked very closely with our suppliers in both plants to put contingency measures in place. There is a plan in place to recover as many lost units as possible," Chetty said.
Mercedes-Benz SA group corporate affairs divisional manager Mayur Bhana said the company, where 1700 hourly paid employees were on strike, hoped the negotiations would quickly lead to a comprehensive agreement.
"There is no production taking place in our plant. However, in terms of our contingency plans, MBSA continues to uphold its production planning for the current C-Class at this point in time.
"We expect to recover units lost due to this strike in the course of the next weeks and months," Bhana said
The negotiations started in April, with Numsa initially demanding a 20% wage increase across the board, but dropping it to 14% after a series of meetings with company bosses.
Employers initially offered 10% but after the negotiations hit a deadlock last week, they went back to their original offer of 5.6%.
Last week, employers reportedly asked for more time to consider the demands.
The Automobile Manufacturers Employers' Organisation (Ameo), which is negotiating on behalf of the employers, was optimistic the strike would end soon.
Ameo spokesman Thapelo Molapo said progress had been made since April.
"Initially, Numsa submitted a list of 24 demands and a lot of ground has been covered already. It is not a case of us waiting until the strike, but negotiating is a very long process. We are quite optimistic that we will reach an agreement within the next few days," he said.
Bay Numsa regional chairman Vusumzi Petshwa said they were planning on marching to employers this week to hand over their demands again.
"We have families and extended families that we need to support, so this does not only affect us but society in general," he said.
"We compromised when we went down from 20% to 14% and are still willing to listen to the employers' revised offer. We don't want anything less than a double digit increase. The ball is in their court now.
"When we will go back to work depends on the employers. The workers are very clear – they are not turning back until their demands are met."
National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) director Nico Vermeulen said the R600-million a day loss was an estimate of the entire value chain of the motor industry.
"It includes the automotive component manufacturers who supply the motor manufacturers with tyres, gearboxes, etc.
"The strike will also have an indirect impact on these manufacturers in terms of loss of income and other downstream opportunities.
"Once the strike has run its course, the manufacturers will have to recover their losses. The longer the strike continues, the more difficult this will become," Vermeulen said.
He said the strike action also undermined South Africa's track record as a reliable supplier.
Tyre manufacturers Continental Tyre SA and Goodyear SA said production had not been affected by the strike yet.
Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber chief executive Kevin Hustler said because the automotive trade was the anchor industry in the metro, the longer the strike continued, the more detrimental it would be to business and the economy at local and national levels.
"It will affect the confidence of our foreign investors once again.
"We are already facing low levels of business and consumer confidence in the country, and this will have a knock-on effect through the rest of the economy," he said.
Auto workers go on strike after pay talks break down
Sapa 19 August 2013
About 31 000 Numsa-aligned workers in the automotive manufacturing industry went on strike after pay talks deadlocked last month.
"Workers in the industry demand a 14 percent across-the-board wage increase and 100 percent payment if the employer instituted a short-term or temporary lay-off," said National Union of Metalworkers of SA chief negotiator Alex Mashilo.
Mashilo said the short-term or temporary lay-off applied when logistical problems in the supply of components occurred and workers were given notice to go home.
During this time they did not receive any salary until the components reached the plant and they were called back to work, he said.
"Workers are tired of being sent home when the logistical system breaks down and not receiving salaries. These workers have no other employer and so they must be paid while companies have put them on short-term or temporary lay-off," said Mashilo.
"It is not their fault that the supply of parts is not reaching the plants as they should."
The workers were also demanding a R750 housing subsidy and R125 transport allowance per week.
Marathon negotiations to avert the strike started in May and continued to July. However, they failed to bring the two sides to an agreement. Since July, further talks were held, until last Monday, but these also failed to break the stalemate.
"We still remain open to the resolution of the issues that the workers have put forward to the employer. There is room for the employer to approach us regardless of the strike if we are contacted at any instance, but until then the strike will go ahead."
He said workers would welcome any innovation the employer brought forward to resolve the strike.
Automotive Manufacturers Employers' Organisation chairman Thapelo Molapo said the employer and the union had been able to narrow down their differences from when the negotiations started in May.
"Unfortunately we have exhausted the formal negotiations process but [this] does not mean negotiations do not have to continue until a solution is found," Molapo said.
The solution was not going to come out of a strike but through negotiations, he said.
The National Union of Mineworkers (Num) said it fully supported Numsa's demands.
"The time to deliver to the working class is now. It is now or never. The working poor cannot wait any longer" Num general secretary Frans Baleni said.
Automotive companies affected by the strike were BMW, Nissan, Mercedes, Volkswagen, General Motors, Toyota, UD Trucks, and MAN Truck and Bus.
NUM supports NUMSA demands in car manufacturing
NUMSA 19 August 2013
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) notes and supports the wage struggles waged by its ally, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) in the car manufacturing sector. The NUM fully supports these demands for a living wage which are in line with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)'s campaigns for a living wage. The NUM calls on the car manufacturing oligarchy to accede to the noble demands of the metalworkers.
"The time to deliver to the working class is now. It is now or never. The working poor cannot wait any longer" says Frans Baleni, the NUM General Secretary.
The NUM wishes the metalworkers strength as they approach the car manufacturing oligarchy and assures them of unwavering support.
Lesiba Seshoka- 082 803 6719
Sadtu wants director out
Sadtu members march in Port Shepstone.
More teacher drama has unfolded.
16 August 2013
MEMBERS of the South African Democatric Teacher's Union (Sadtu) have embarked on a march demanding that the district's director of the department of education, Mfundi Sibiya, steps down.
The march started at the Dick King car park and the teachers are heading to the Department of Education where a memorandum will be handed over to the department.
SATAWU Gauteng Province marches against cleaning, security and taxi industry bosses in Tshwane on Thursday
Satawu 15 August 2013
Satawu in Gauteng province will lead a march against the cleaning, security and taxi bosses to abhor their injustices leveled against our members who are employed in these industries.Â Our main issues of concerns are about the unilateral conclusions of sectoral determinations that subject our members to the sublevels of poverty wages in their workplaces. Our members are demanding not to be left in the doldrums of sectoral determinations and therefore the minster of labour must reopen the process.
Our members will gather at Marabastad at 10:30 and proceed to hand over a memorandum of demands to the ministry of labour at number 215 Francis Baard Street, Tshwane.
The memorandum of demands will be handed over by the general secretary of SATAWU, comrade Zenzo Mahlangu.
Messages of support and solidarity will be received from COSATU and SACP Gauteng province.
For more information please contact Chris Nkosi, SATAWU provincial secretary on 078 625 9229
National Media Officer
South African Transport & Allied Workers' Union
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Tel: 011 333 6127
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073 513 7705
Service delivery protest in Finetown
IOL News 19 August 2013
Johannesburg - Residents in Finetown, south of Johannesburg, protested over service delivery on Monday, Johannesburg metro police said.
Inspector Edna Mamonyane said protesters had blocked the K43 road since 4am with stones and burning tyres.
“The metro police officers and the SA Police Service intervened and removed them from the road.
“The situation is calm,” she said. - Sapa
Duduza riots condemned
IOL News 16 August 2013
Johannesburg - The Ekurhuleni metro has condemned the violence in Duduza on Thursday during which dozens of foreign-owned shops were looted and burned.
Ekurhuleni metro spokesman Sam Modiba on Friday said police and ward councillors were working closely to restore the situation to normal.
“Residents should refrain from taking the law into their own hands and allow police to carry out their duties,” said Modiba.
The rioting came after a 23-year-old man was shot by a Somali national after being sold a used mobile airtime voucher.
“The family of the shot victim has confirmed that he is recovering well in hospital,”.
Police were continuing to monitor the situation
Foreign businesses attacked in Duduza
IOL16 August 2013
Johannesburg - Dozens of foreign-owned shops were burned and looted in Duduza on the East Rand, Johannesburg police said on Friday.
The violence on Thursday was sparked by the shooting and wounding of a 23-year-old man, allegedly by a Somali shop owner who sold him a used airtime voucher, Captain Johannes Ramaphora said.
“Residents vented their anger by looting and burning foreign-owned shops in the area,” said Ramaphora.
The Somali had been arrested and charged with attempted murder. The firearm he used was sent for ballistic tests to determine if it was used in other crimes. Five people were arrested for public violence and police were monitoring the situation.
Torching of councillor’s house condemned
IOL News 16 August 2013
Cope in Gauteng on Friday condemned the burning of an East Rand municipal ward councillor's house following a housing scam in Duduza.
The use of violence to express the genuine concerns of law-abiding citizens could not be tolerated, Congress of the People MPL Ndzipho Kalipa said in a statement.
“The MEC must take precautionary measures to avoid actions that tend to provoke the community into taking matters into their own hands,” she said.
Ward 84 councillor Silas Letsema's house was set alight with his two young children inside on Thursday. Nobody was hurt.
Gauteng human settlements MEC Ntombi Mekgwe said the house was one of two that were torched, allegedly by local residents whose illegally-built shacks were demolished in Tsakane Extension 17 on Thursday.
Mekgwe said the shacks were built on government-owned land used for one of two RDP housing projects in the area. Those living on the land had paid R70 to individuals who had allegedly falsely promised them RDP houses. In venting their anger, people targeted Letsema.
Police spokesman Captain Johannes Ramaphora said a case of arson had been opened. No arrests had been made and police were investigating.
Dozens duped in ‘housing scam’
IOL News 16 August 2013
Johannesburg - Vuyo Nkosi was left with just the clothes on her back and nothing to feed her children when the shack she was staying in was set alight by angry Tsakane residents.
On Thursday, the residents of the Ekurhuleni township took to the streets after they were allegedly duped by members of an organisation called the African National Housing Forum.
They burnt down the house of the woman who allegedly conned them. Her secretary’s house was also torched.
Two months ago, residents who were desperate for houses fell for a scheme they believed was genuine - although the “sellers” collected money in buckets and operated out of a shack.
The forum was allegedly offering land to residents for anything between R70 and R100.
Once they paid, they were allowed to build their shacks on a stand.
The residents filled in forms and were told these would be taken to the “Joburg office”.
“They would physically count seven steps and measure the stand into a square for you. The money was collected in big buckets,” said one resident, who didn’t want to be named.
“Thousands of people have bought these stands. Red Ants surprised us today and started taking down the shacks, claiming the land belonged to someone else,” said another resident.
Affected areas included extensions 16, 17 and 19.
Nkosi’s shack was previously mistakenly taken down by Red Ants.
For the past month, Nkosi was staying in the shack that was being used by the forum as an office to collect the forms and money.
“My children are hungry. All my belongings are gone. I called this woman from the forum and told her what happened but she left me stranded,” said Nkosi.
Police at the scene told residents to open a case against the alleged fraudsters and use the local hall for accommodation.
The forum could not be contacted on Thursday.
The phone numbers for the forum on the forms that were given to residents who wanted to buy land were not answered.
Thirty-five held over violent protests
IOL News 14 August 2013
Johannesburg - Thirty-five people were arrested during unrest in the Vaal Triangle, Gauteng police said on Wednesday.
“The protesters were arrested for public violence when they barricaded the R59 freeway after they were dismissed by a local company,” Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said.
Those arrested would appear in the Vereeniging Magistrate's Court on Thursday on charges of public violence.
Protesting pupils turn on the media
Daneel Knoetze 14 August 2013
Cape Town - Pupils at New Eisleben Secondary School stoned a Cape Argus photographer’s vehicle on Wednesday morning during violent protests against the school’s principal.
Hundreds of pupils protested outside and inside the school premises this morning. Garbage was dumped in the school’s corridors.
Attempts at contacting the principal were unsuccessful - his office phone went unanswered.
Cindy Waxa a Cape Argus photographer, said the pupils originally welcomed her as a photographer.
However, a rumour that she was an informant for the Department of Education made the rounds and caused some of the pupils to turn on her.
As she drove away in a company car, the protesting pupils hurled stones, smashing the back windscreen of the car.
Police were on the scene mid-morning and fired a tear gas canister to disperse the pupils. The Cape Argus witnessed a number of teachers leaving the school premises, but it is understood that the principal was still in his office at the time of publication.
Bronagh Casey, spokesman for Education MEC Donald Grant, said department officials were on the scene to monitor the situation.
“We cannot confirm the reason for the protest,” she said.
“This is something that we will have to establish during the course of the day.
“The school has, however, been closed for today and we will continue to monitor the situation,” she said.
Roads barricaded as protest erupts in Lenasia
SABC News 14 August 2013
Residents of Lehae near Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, have barricaded roads in the area with burning tyres. They say they are angry over a lack of service delivery.
The police's Kay Makhubele says the situation is tense and they have been deployed to monitor the situation. He warned that if people are violent they are going to be arrested.
Earlier this week, 12 residents of Protea south in Soweto who were arrested for public violence were each granted R800 bail by the local magistrate's court.
They were arrested last week after violent service delivery protests in the area. They barricaded roads with burning objects, stoned passing vehicles and damaged property demanding houses, water and electricity.
The case has been postponed until Monday.
Emotions run high in Windsorton
Sandi Kwon Hoo 12 August 2013
Kimberley - The town of Windsorton was on the brink of anarchy on Sunday night after police shot and killed a 23-year-old man accused of stealing a cellphone from a tuck shop owned by a foreigner. Thembi Might was shot only a few metres from his home in Kutlwano, Windsorton.
In the ensuing riot, nine people were arrested while a heavy police presence in the area was a sign of rising tensions. Several tuck shops owned by foreigners were attacked late on Sunday afternoon.
It is believed that one tuck shop owner reported that a cellphone and other items were stolen from his business.
Community members were on Sunday also baying for the blood of the police officer who allegedly shot Might, whom they said was unarmed and innocent.
They also said that the officer in question was also allowed to carry his firearm following the shooting incident.
“We are angry with the police for the degree of violence involved. This is police brutality because Thembi never carried any weapon or knife. There was no proof that he had stolen anything. We will not allow his death to go by unnoticed,” residents said.
The town of Windsorton was on the brink of anarchy on Sunday night after police shot and killed a 23-year-old man accused of stealing a cellphone from a tuck shop owned by a foreigner.
Family members had to drag angry relatives away from the scene when they confronted the police. Might’s brother said he intended to open a case of pointing of a firearm against a police officer.
The victim’s mother, Lenah, was inconsolable following the death of her son. She was comforted by family members as well as police officers at the scene.
A shocked and crying Kenyaditswe Might, said that her brother was gunned down in front of her. She said that the police had pursued him on allegations of the theft of a cellphone since Sunday morning.
“He refused to accompany the officers to the police station because he had done nothing wrong. Two shots were fired at him although he was not injured. Later that afternoon I was walking behind him near the tuck shop when I told him to come home. Four police officers again attempted to get him into a police vehicle and a shot was fired into the ground. A second shot hit him near his heart and he collapsed.”
Might’s friend added that he was also accused of stealing things from a tuck shop and claimed that he was beaten up by police officers when he was taken in for questioning.
“We never stole anything. We would never do that.”
Community members condemned the shooting and said that the incident had bitterly soured relations with the police.
“Perhaps Thembi was a young man involved in naughty things, but that can not justify his death. He grew up in front of us and was such a pleasant person,” one resident said.
Thembi was not married and had no children.
The former chairman of the Hartswater cluster community policing forum, Shaun Brand, called for calm but also expressed “disappointment” at the incident.
“Emotions are running high and we cannot allow for a situation where there is turmoil. While it is unfortunate that someone has died in the process, I believe that this was an isolated incident.
“The community must work together with the police.”
Police spokesman, Lieutenant Sergio Kock, said the police in Windsorton attended to a robbery that allegedly took place at a tuck shop in Kutlwano at about 11.30am where the tuck shop owner alleged that a man robbed him of his cellphone and fled the scene the previous evening.
“The police transported the suspect to the police station for questioning. He became riotous inside the police bakkie and broke the police radio, the rear view mirror and the front windscreen,” Kock said.
“The suspect fled on foot and the police later found him at the same tuck shop where he allegedly committed the robbery.”
He added that the man allegedly charged at the police officers with a knife, stabbing one police officer on his bulletproof vest.
“This prompted the officer to fire a shot and injure the suspect fatally in the chest. The suspect died on the scene,” Kock said.
“A murder docket has been opened and referred to the Independent Police Investigations Directorate for investigation.”
Kock added that community members went on a rampage and looted more than 10 tuck shops in Kutlwano and Hebron Park.
“The police managed to arrest six women and three men for public violence.”
He said that the police were also investigating cases of attempted murder, robbery as well as the malicious damage to State property allegedly committed by the deceased.
“The situation is reported to be stable but the police intensified patrols and will be monitoring the area until it returns to normal.”
Mandeni residents protest
IOL News 12 August 2013
Durban - About 1000 residents of the Nonyi informal settlement in Mandeni embarked on a service delivery protest on Monday, KwaZulu-Natal police said.
Residents threw stones at police, who used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse them, Captain Thulani Zwane said.
A public violence docket was opened. The protesters wanted the mayor of Mandeni municipality Siphesihle Zulu to speak to them. No arrests were made.
Protesters block R102 for two days
IOL News 13 August 2013
Durban - Shack dwellers in the North Coast town of Etete, between Shakaskraal and Groutville, have blocked the R102 for two days and are demanding houses in a service delivery protest.
The protesters have blocked off the R102 with rocks and expect Human Settlements MEC Ravi Pillay to address them on Tuesday, after KwaDukuza mayor councillor Ricardo Mthembu, was booed away on Wednesday.
Etete ward councillor, Promise Dube, said the community was tired of waiting for services.
She said residents had rejected Mthembu’s offer to wait three months and wanted assurance of a date when the project would commence.
“The mayor asked for three months to find a solution, but the people rejected it. He tried to explain that he needed to follow procedures, but they refused to listen to him,” she said.
The housing development is expected to take place in Etete.
“The people feel they are not getting the service delivery they require from the municipality in terms of housing.
“There is a project that has been approved and that has been communicated (to) the people, they have been waiting for a long time and are tired of waiting,” she said.
Dube said the project had been slowed down because there had been no land readily available for the 1 500 three-room houses to be built.
She said the municipality had since identified the land, and the project managers, Motheo Construction Group, had completed stage one of the project – which included identifying if the land was large enough to build a community on.
“The other problem the municipality is facing is that KwaDukuza has no water supply,” she said.
“We have to await approval from the Ilembe Municipality. A letter has been written to that municipality and we are waiting for the agreement to be finalised,” she said.
Provincial police spokesman Colonel Vincent Mdunge confirmed the service delivery protest and said police were monitoring the situation. He said no violent incident or injuries were reported.
Crimefighters are mired in poo
Anél Lewis 12 August 2013
Cape Town - Residents in the city’s crime hot spots are being shortchanged because law enforcement staff are forced to deal with ongoing service delivery protests in other areas.
One-third of the City of Cape Town’s police officers had to be redeployed from their usual activities to deal with unrest and poo protests on major freeways, said JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security.
Mayor Patricia de Lille said: “Hours of law enforcement time is being taken up to protect the city against these actions.” But the city would continue to rely on its police and the law to ensure that services were rendered.
The N2 has been closed numerous times in the past two months as protesters have burnt tyres and thrown human waste from portable flush toilet containers at motorists.
The toll that these clashes with disgruntled residents’ from informal settlements has taken on the city’s law enforcement resources, in terms of staff and financial loss, can be seen in the latest quarterly report submitted to the safety and security portfolio committee last week.
All the city’s law enforcement units have been affected. Metro officers had to respond to 189 protests between April and June, up 231 percent from the 57 actions in the previous quarter.
The city is divided into four policing areas, and three of these reflect a drop in operations because staff were forced to deal with protesters.
Only in area east, which includes Khayelitsha, Macassar, Strand, Somerset West and Delft, was there a marked increase in operational activities in this period. There were 620 operations in June, up from the 444 in May, as protest action in these areas intensified.
For area west, however, operations decreased from 1 282 in April to 1 024 in May, and then to a significantly lower 724 in June. The reason, the report says, “can be directly attributed to the ongoing protest action on the N2 and R300 where staff are assigned to work on a 24-hour basis”.
In area north, operations dropped from 934 in May to 533 in June.
Fewer fines have also been issued. According to the notes for area west, the drop in fines from 1 840 in April to 1 480 in May is because staff have been assigned to deal with protests on a 24-hour basis, and are therefore “not performing normal patrol duties in the area”.
The number of patrols at hot spots showed a slight decline in May and again in June as officers had to concentrate their resources on the protest action. Hot spot patrols include activities at informal settlements and informal trading areas, and at illegal dumping areas and open spaces.
A group of protesters barricaded the N2 and flung portable toilets and faeces at vehicles. Photo: Ross Jansen
There were 2 106 hot spot patrols in May, but this dropped to 740 in June owing to assistance rendered on the N2 instead.
Officers from the Informal Trading Unit have been deployed to the N2 and Philippi during protests to prevent damage to infrastructure, the report noted. In May, the unit removed 2 000 tyres stacked next to the N2 near Nyanga that were intended for burning during a protest.
The city’s rapid response unit was forced to curtail its visits to council buildings in June because it had to escort staff from the water and sanitation department to informal settlements so they could safely clean toilets.
“The unit was also required to escort and stand down with the electricity department teams in a number of townships so that staff could do necessary repairs and installations amid prevalent threats of intimidation,” said the report.
Although the number of no-go areas for city cleaning staff has dropped from 16 to just four, law enforcement is still required to ensure that the work is done safely, said Ernest Sonnenberg, mayoral committee member for utility services.
Website blacked out as UCT protests
Xolani Koyana (IOL News) 9 August 013
UCT will fly its flag at half-mast on Women’s Day on Friday and will have its website blacked out to protest against violence against women and children.
A number of other events are planned in the province to celebrate the 57th anniversary of the women’s march to the Union Buildings to protest against pass laws.
The 1956 march was led by anti-apartheid activists Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophie Williams.
On Thursday the university website’s homepage had a black background with the message: “We say enough, stop violence and crime.”
Vice-chancellor Max Price said recent cases of violence, including those of the seven-year-old boy and four-month-old girl who were sexually assaulted in Ceres, had shown that more needed to be done.
He said the university rarely made gestures, but it believed violent crime against women and children “threatens our existence as a healthy, progressive nation”.
“By lowering the flag, UCT is calling on our own students to dismantle the so-called culture of violence and sexual entitlement and patriarchy that allows men to feel they have rights over women’s bodies. Speak out when you hear your friends objectifying members of the opposite sex. Talk seriously and honestly with your partner about what you each expect, about what is negotiable and what is not,” Price said.
He said by lowering the flag the university had signalled that the government was “failing us”. People expected the state to protect them through efficient and well-resourced policing and the whole criminal justice system, he said.
The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster, which includes the police, Department of Justice, the National Prosecuting Authority and Department of Social Development, has a month-long programme during which they will teach residents about the justice system as part of Women’s Month celebrations.
Provincial police Commissioner Arno Lamoer will be at an imbizo in the Salvation Church Hall in Makaza where he will speak to residents about the role of the criminal justice system.
On Sunday, Lamoer and national police commissioner Riah Phiyega will deliver keynote speeches at a Women’s Day event at the Methodist Church, Langa Society.
The City of Cape Town will host a spa day at a Stellenbosch resort for children and widows of police officers killed on duty.
In Hout Bay, the Civic Association is planning a protest today, decrying the lack of access to land and decent housing. Association secretary Roscoe Jacobs said they supported women in protesting against Temporary Relocation Areas under construction in Hangberg. They had invited mayor Patricia de Lille to accept their memorandum. - Cape Times
Poo protests: ‘It can’t carry on’
Nontando Mposo 8 August 2013
Cape Town - Cape Town’s poo protesters again caused havoc on the N2, forcing motorists travelling on the highway near Khayelitsha, just before the Mew Way exit, to a standstill on Wednesday.
This is the second time in less than two weeks that N2 traffic has been targeted.
A group of about 10 men and women flung faeces at passing vehicles at about 1pm. Some motorists swerved to avoid the protesters, who were standing in the road with portable loo containers full of human waste, jeering and shouting at the motorists to come out of their vehicles.
Other motorists turned back and drove against the traffic, while yet others braked to a halt.
The protesters forced a truck to stop and tried to intimidate the driver into blocking the road.
Several city law enforcement vehicles and police vans arrived on the scene within minutes, but the protesters had disappeared through a hole in the fence leading to an informal settlement nearby.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut said police would remain in the area.
The protesters told the Cape Argus team, which was on the way to another assignment and which encountered the protest, that they were not affiliated to the ANC or the ANC Youth League, which was responsible for the July 28 attack on the N2.
A statement they handed to the Cape Argus read: “We have taken a decision to destroy these toilets, we reject them. We have received threats from every corner in the community that some people are opposing this struggle and are going to deal with us accordingly, but we are not intimidated by those utterings.”
Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said the N2 was closed for about 45 minutes to allow officers to clear the highway.
“The rain… washed away the human waste. We are worried about the safety of the motorists. It can’t carry on like this,” said Africa.
Protesters want premier, MEC in Soweto
IOL News 8 August 2013
Johannesburg - Service delivery protesters in Protea Glen south, Soweto, are demanding to speak only to provincial leaders, Gauteng police said on Thursday.
“They said no to (speaking to) a councillor; they want somebody higher than that,” Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said.
The residents would prefer it if the MEC or premier came to listen to them. Police were searching for the ANC branch's office in the area to help.
Residents began protesting at 3am, demanding service delivery, Makhubela said. Nineteen people were arrested for public violence.
“As police were trying to remove objects off the road, they were throwing stones at them,” Makhubela said.
Police retaliated with rubber bullets.
“The crowd initially dispersed but now they are coming back in larger numbers,” Makhubela said.
Chris Hani Drive was closed at the N12 link due to burning tyres on the road, metro police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.
“Motorists are advised to access Soweto through Kliptown and Diepkloof, as the Protea Glen south area is not safe,” he said.
Police, including officers in a helicopter, were monitoring the situation.
Soweto protesters off to early start
IOL News 10 August 2013
Johannesburg - A protest erupted in Protea Glen South in Soweto on Saturday morning, Johannesburg metro police said.
Residents began protesting at around 3am, said Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.
“They are burning tyres and throwing stones,” he said.
Traffic was being diverted off the Chris Hani road.
“The road is closed to traffic between Ndaba Drive and the N12. Motorists are advised to use Impala Road or go through Dobsonville and Diepkloof to go through and into Soweto as the Protea South area is not safe,” said Minnaar.
Locals began protesting in the area on Thursday, demanding better service delivery.
Nineteen people were arrested for public violence on Thursday after they allegedly threw stones at the police. - Sapa
Soweto protests reignite
Mail & Guardian 10 August 2013
Service delivery protests have resumed in Protea Glen in Soweto after 19 people were arrested for public violence on Thursday.
Service delivery protests have resumed in Protea Glen in Soweto after 19 people were arrested for public violence on Thursday. (Gallo)
The Johannesburg metro police say violent protests in Protea Glen in Soweto have resumed.
Residents began protesting at around 3am, said Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.
"They are burning tyres and throwing stones," he said.
Traffic was being diverted off the Chris Hani road.
"[The road] is closed to traffic between Ndaba Drive and the N12. Motorists are advised to use Impala Road or go through Dobsonville and Diepkloof to go through and into Soweto as the Protea South area is not safe," said Minnaar.
Locals began protesting in the area on Thursday, demanding better service delivery.
Nineteen people were arrested for public violence on Thursday after they allegedly threw stones at the police. – Sapa
19 arrested in Soweto protest
IOL News 8 August 2013
Nineteen protesters were arrested for public violence on Thursday in Protea Glen south, Soweto, police said.
“As police were trying to remove objects off the road, they were throwing stones at them,” Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said.
Police retaliated with rubber bullets.
“The crowd initially dispersed but now they are coming back in larger numbers,” Makhubela said.
Residents of Protea Glen south began protesting at 3am on Thursday demanding service delivery.
Chris Hani drive had been closed at the N12 due to burning tyres on the road, metro police Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.
“Motorists are advised to access Soweto through Kliptown and Diepkloof, as the Protea Glen south area is not safe,” he said.
Police - including officers in a helicopter - were monitoring the situation. - Sapa
Tyres slashed on city vehicles
Xolani Koyana (Cape Times) 7 August 2013
MUNICIPAL workers repairing toilets in Khayelitsha were left stranded for a few hours when protesting residents slashed the tyres of city vehicles and threatened to set them alight.
S-Section residents slashed the tyres of the maintenance truck and a supervisor’s bakkie while workers were inspecting toilets in the informal settlement yesterday.
There were seven workers at the toilets. The residents decried the city’s Expanded Public Works Programme
(EPWP), set up to clean and maintain communal flush toilets in informal settlements.
After throwing piles of rubbish on Pama Road, the group of about 60 people collected human waste from some of the clogged toilets and dumped it on the vehicles’ seats. Rubbish was also thrown on both vehicles’ front seats.
Residents threatened to set the vehicles alight, despite a heavy police presence. Resident Phuthumile Mkiva said they were supposed to meet EPWP manager Last Nondumo yesterday to discuss their concerns. Local councillor Luvuyo Hebe was also to attend. However, Nondumo did not arrive.
When residents called Nondumo’s office they were told a meeting would be arranged for Friday.
“That is too late. We just saw that these people were playing games. We don’t mind cleaning these toilets ourselves. That’s what we did before the city introduced this programme. If they don’t work with the community these protests will continue,” said Mkiva. Another resident, Sipho-sethu Runqu, said the programme was presented as a community-based project, but there was no community involvement. He said 17 people from the community had been employed but their contracts ended in June. In July one person was employed.
The police went to Hebe, who asked the protesters to be calm and disperse. He said he would arrange a meeting with Nondumo but “there isn’t much I can do to prevent the protest”.
On Monday, a group carrying portable toilets emptied the contents at the DA’s recruitment table 1 in Site C and on a vehicle outside.
DA provincial leader Ivan Meyer said ANC Youth League convener Muhammad Khalid Sayed should give the names of those responsible to the police.
Meyer said Sayed had confirmed on national TV that a group that had dumped faeces on the steps of the provincial legislature on Monday were league members.
Pressed last night, Sayed said he had checked and the protesters were not league members.
As much as the league sympathised with communities protesting against inadequate sanitation, they did not support their methods.
“Instead of spewing propaganda about the ANC Youth League the DA should focus on addressing the sanitation crisis in the Western Cape.”
Police fire rubber bullets to disperse protesting students
The Herald7 August 2013
PROTESTING students at Port Elizabeth College had to duck for cover yesterday as police fired rubber bullets into the crowd.
The outraged Qhayiya Campus students had locked the college’s administrator in the building after requesting a meeting with him and then allegedly being told that he had more important meetings to attend.
The students, who boycotted classes, were protesting because the administrator, Leon Beech, refused to listen to their grievances. They locked the gates, making sure he could not leave before responding to their grievances.
They barricaded the gate at the Struandale campus with a burning tyre and garden chairs.
"We have a problem with administrator Beech, who is allowing incompetency to be the order of the day,” Duma Rozana, a provincial executive member of the SA Students’ Congress (Sasco), said.
Rough justice for suspected rapist
Look Local 7 August 2013
A MAN suspected of raping a 12-year-old girl from Nkampani last Saturday night, was assaulted and stoned to death by an angry mob at Ngwemabala, Gcilima near Margate last Sunday morning. According to police spokesman Captain Gerald Mfeka, the man, identified as 28-year-old Simiso Ngilande suffered severe injuries and died at the scene.
The mob accused Ngilande of several rapes and housebreakings committed in the area recently. The last straw was the alleged kidnapping and rape of the child last Saturday, which prompted the mob to take the law into its own hands.
The community accused Ngilande of kidnapping the girl from her home while she was taking a bath and dragging her naked through the bushes to his house, where he raped her. He then took her to another location where he raped her again. On Sunday morning he released her. She told her family about the rape and the police were contacted.
Margate police are investigating a murder case against those responsible for the fatal assault.
Calm returns after Fochville protests
IOL News 13 August 2013
Johannesburg - Fochville in the North West was quiet on Tuesday after service delivery protests last week, Gauteng police said.
“It is very quiet there now,” Sergeant Busi Menoe said.
On Tuesday Gauteng human settlements MEC Ntombi Mekgwe attended a meeting with representatives of Greater Fochville Concerned Citizens (GFCC).
Residents were unhappy because of slow progress in the development of land in Kokosi extensions six and seven. Last week protesters blocked roads with stones and burning tyres. A spaza shop, a bottle store, and a house believed to belong to a councillor, were set alight.
“There was really no reason to demonstrate so violently because already a process was underway to procure more land,” Mekgwe said.
On July 12, 200 hectares of land, purchased for R30 million, were transferred to the human settlements department.
“As for the extension six land, the owner has approached us again to offer the land and avoid expropriation,” she said.
The municipality had already installed services on the land in preparation for development. The final valuations for the land earmarked for extension six were expected in the next two weeks. A further meeting would be held next week.
Those present at Tuesday's meeting agreed the situation needed to return to normal and that children needed to be allowed back to school.
On Monday, 26 people arrested for public violence during the protest appeared in the Carletonville Magistrate's Court and were released on a warning, Menoe said.
The matter was postponed to September 30.
On Thursday, 25 people appeared in the court and were also released on a warning, Menoe said.
Initially, 36 people were arrested but only 25 appeared in court on Thursday because the others were minors.
Nine-year wait drives protest
Kristen van Schie (IOL News )8 August 2013
Johannesburg - Extension six was supposed to bring 3 000 houses to Kokosi. But nine years later, the piece of land in the township outside the West Rand town of Fochville is still undeveloped. And the residents are tired of waiting.
The community has protested throughout this week, with small groups fighting running battles with the police.
Gauteng police spokeswoman Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale said 45 people were arrested during the week after a liquor store and a spaza shop had been looted.
The provincial ANC branch said three councillors’ homes were also torched.
Those arrested were expected to appear in court on Thursday morning.
Gauteng housing spokesman Motsamai Motlhaolwa said delays in Kokosi’s extension six cropped up soon after the government began installing services on the land in 2004.
A protester throws a burning tyre at a police nyala in Kokosi township, Fochville. Vacant land has been standing for years without any RDP homes being built. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu
“It appeared the seller had already offered the land to another buyer and the court ruled in favour of this buyer,” he said. The government is now trying to buy the land - again - but hasn’t settled on a price with the new owner.
On Wednesday, Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko tried to address the protesters, but emotions spilled over as they voiced their concerns.
“How can a person be free since 1994, but up until today be without a house?” asked one protester.
“If we didn’t toyi-toyi, we wouldn’t be getting the attention we’re getting now,” shouted another.
Unemployment, lack of roads, flooding, sewage spills, rubbish in the streets, expensive electricity, high rent and a mayor who, they said, routinely referred to them as “illiterate” and “children” in community meetings - these were the reasons behind the protest.
Slums Magodielo, spokesman for Merafong municipality mayor Maphefo Mogale-Letsie, denied the allegation:
“The mayor under no circumstances has ever referred to any member of the community as illiterate in any stakeholder or community meeting.”
The meeting dissolved when stones began to fly. The police used nyalas to disperse the crowd, but a small group taunted them throughout the afternoon.
An EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) contingent led by Kenny Kunene arrived later in the day to try to secure a negotiated release of the arrested residents.
“Fochville is neglected,” said Nonceba Ndamane, spokeswoman for the Greater Fochville Concerned Citizens. Residents were told last year that the land matter had been settled and development in extension six would soon begin. But later they learnt otherwise.
“We’ve had several engagements with the mayor’s office. We’ve been patient for a long time. We thought, ‘One day our government will do something’.”
Magodielo said “the community will be informed as soon as the matter is resolved”, but their patience has run dry. “The community is very bitter,” said Ndamane.
Fochville protesters in court
IOL News 8 August 2013
Johannesburg - Twenty-five people arrested for public violence in Fochville, near Carletonville, appeared in the Carletonville Magistrate's court on Thursday, police said.
“The 25 suspects were released on a warning; the case was postponed to September 27,” Sergeant Busi Menoe said.
Initially, 36 people were arrested but only 25 appeared in court because the others were minors.
Twenty-six other people were arrested on Wednesday for public violence.
They were expected to appear in court on Monday, Menoe said.
On Monday, residents embarked on a service delivery protest and blocked roads with stones and burning tyres.
“A spaza shop, a bottle store, and a house, believed to belong to a councillor, were set on fire,” Lt-Col Katlego Mogale said at the time.
On Tuesday, Mazibuko and Merafong municipality mayor Maphefo Mogale Letsie was meant to meet residents to discuss their concerns, but the meeting had to be abandoned when protests erupted.
Protesters held for public violence
News 24 7 August 2013
Johannesburg - A total of 45 people have been arrested in connection with public violence in Fochville near Carletonville this week, Gauteng police said on Wednesday.
The arrests were made on Monday and Tuesday when residents embarked on a service delivery protest, police spokesperson Katlego Mogale said.
Residents blocked roads with stones and burning tyres.
"A spaza shop, a bottle store, and a house, believed to belong to a councillor, were set on fire," she said.
On Tuesday, a meeting was held with Community Cafety MEC Faith Mazibuko and Merafong municipality Mayor Maphefo Mogale Letsie.
The protest erupted when the mayor attempted to address residents, and the meeting was called off, said Mogale.
Those arrested would appear in the Carletonville Magistrate's Court on Thursday
NPC workers embark on strike action.
An agreement has not yet been reached.
Look Local 5 August 2013
NPC workers in Margate and Port Shepstone ‘put down tools’ to engage in strike action last week. The strike is still ongoing. Wage negotiations started in November last year but broke down last week and the workers went on strike.
NPC workers on strike.
It seems that an increase of R2 500 was wanted, plus housing benefits, as opposed to a percentage increase in salary. Chief executive officer Piet Strauss, who is based in Durban, could not be reached for comment at this stage.
Strike: Private EMS services on standby
Jacobus Myburgh (LookLocal) 6 August 2013
Contingency plans allegedly are being put together after employees from various Emergency Medical Services (EMS) from the West Rand District Municipality (WRDM) embarked on a 'no work no pay' strike today 5 August.
A source from the EMS, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation, told the NEWS that private EMS services have made more vehicles available and are on standby in case of medical emergencies.
He says that only employees who are members of the South African National Workers Union (Sanwu) are striking and not the entire EMS unit.
"This comes after our Sunday and public holiday wages have been cut from two and a half days to one and a half day."
He says that the WRDM had the right to reduce it after it was noticed that the two and a half day salary was a mistake on their side for almost ten years.
"The employees have been paid the wrong amount for all these years. In terms of the law the WRDM had the right to decrease the amount after it was noticed.
"It is indeed sad as they (the employees) have been living on that amount for such a long time."
The Sanwu members are also demanding a 56 per cent increase in their salaries.
The source told the NEWS that the salaries have not been cut in half and that employees are still entitled to their overtime.
"Other employees are not on a strike as they feel that they have a responsibility towards their community and will not embark on any strike whatsoever."
The NEWS forwarded questions to the WRDM regarding the strike action.
Protest over hail relief
Nameera Sarjoo 29 July 2013
Protesters gather for march against Anglo coal station
Sapa 6 August, 2013
Earthlife Africa activists gathered in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Tuesday to march against a plan by Anglo American to build a coal-fired power station in Limpopo.
They carried placards that read: "Anglo you have a Choice - Go Renewable Now!", and "No to Energy Injustice!"
Earthlife project co-ordinator Tristen Taylor said the mining giant's plan would cause irreparable damage in the country.
"Anglo American is following an old dirty model of digging coal that was practised from the 1920s. This will end up being very expensive and causing serious damage to South Africa," Taylor said.
The protesters arrived in minibuses and prepared to march to the company's offices in the CBD. Taylor said the company was planning to build a coal mine, from which it would also generate electricity, and use it to power the mine.
The coal-generated electricity would also be sold to Eskom to help boost the national power grid, said Taylor.
Poo protesters target WC legislature
News 24 5 August 2013
Cape Town – Poo protesters in Cape Town have struck again, this time targeting the Western Cape legislature on Monday.
Eyewitness News reported that four men allegedly dumped faeces on the steps of the legislature and were seen fleeing the scene."
Andre Traut, police spokesperson, said: “The circumstances surrounding an incident this morning at the Western Cape legislature are being investigated. Four male suspects dumped human faeces on the steps and fled the scene.
The latest incident follows last week’s court appearance of 180 suspects, after they were found in possession of human waste at a Cape Town train station.
According the EWN the group planned to dump the faeces on the steps of the provincial legislature.
The case has been postponed to October.
Cops jump in to stop ANC-EFF clash
IOL News 5 August 2013
Rustenburg - A brief altercation has marked yet another meeting between Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and ANC supporters in a fight over a venue.
This is as political rivalry between the two parties swells.
Police were called to Paardekraal Hall in Rustenburg, North West, on Saturday during a stand-off, with the EFF accusing the ANC of political intolerance.
Malema’s newly hatched party claimed the ANC was out to disrupt its gathering, saying the EFF had booked and paid for the hall, only to find it occupied by the ANC.
In the end, the police decided to let neither party into the hall, but that did not save the situation as the face-off between the groups continued.
They stood about 50m from each other, singing and chanting disrespectful slogans, ridiculing political leaders of the political parties.
EFF members hold their meeting outside Paardekraal Community Hall after the ANC denied them access to the hall where their meeting was scheduled in Rustenburg. Picture: Tiro Ramatlhatse
At one point, police had to jump in and stop a fight after the groups got too close to each other and a scuffle broke out in front of the gate to the hall.
A while later, the groups retreated and went back to singing and mocking each other’s leaders.
The EFF gathering was aimed at garnering support for an independent candidate for Ward 19, Thembi Thekiso.
The ANC members were wearing T-shirts as part of the campaign to regain the council seat left vacant when an ANC councillor resigned.
Barnad Mtyotywa contested the seat for the ruling party.
With most ANC people now inside the hall enclosure, the EFF began its proceedings outside, with its leaders addressing about 300 supporters from the back of a bakkie.
When he spoke, Malema’s right-hand man, Floyd Shivambu, did not waste any time in tearing into the ANC leadership, labelling President Jacob Zuma, his ANC deputy Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC North West chairman Supra Mahumapelo as corrupt.
“Everyone in the ANC is corrupt. Jacob Zuma and Ramaphosa are corrupt,” Shivambu said to loud cheers from the crowd.
He also accused the ANC of disrupting an EFF meeting.
Shivambu urged people to trust the EFF for better service delivery and said they would benefit from the mines.
“We’re the ones who are going to provide better services, build better houses and will make sure platinum in Rustenburg benefits the people of Rustenburg.”
North West ANC spokesman Kenny Morolong confirmed there had been an incident between his party and the EFF, but said he did not have details.
Another clash between the ANC and EFF was reported at the University of Johannesburg more than a week ago when the EFF’s Kenny Kunene was prevented from speaking to students.
A stand-off erupted between a group clad in ANC T-shirts and EFF supporters, who reportedly tore an ANC T-shirt and stomped on it.
Political analyst Professor Andre Duvenhage said the clashes would “definitely lead to political intolerance”.
The clashes were “gaining some momentum, and that is creating worries for the ANC”.
He said the EFF was drawing big support from the youth and that “means competition, competition means conflict and conflict means violence”.