||Policemen injured in Ogies protest
Sapa 19 February 2010
Four people were injured and 42 arrested in Ogies, Mpumalanga, yesterday
during protests against mining company BHP Billiton.
Three police officials were injured when they bottles and stones were
thrown at them, a spokesmen said.
A protester was hurt when he was hit by a rubber bullet as police tried
to disperse an angry crowd burning tyres and barricading roads. The
situation was still tense yesterday afternoon. - Sapa
Back to school in Ogies as protests quiet down
The Citizen 19 February 2010
JOHANNESBURG - Schooling is set to resume in Ogies on Friday after
violent protests hit the Phola township this week, Mpumalanga police said.
Captain Leonard Hlathi said 68 people were arrested and 21 injured in
protests against BHP Billiton that started in the early hours of
“It is slowly getting better now. We had a quiet night,” Hlathi said on
“We have increased our police contingent and they are monitoring the
Hlathi said residents of the Phola township were expected to be able to
go to work on Friday after all the main streets were barricaded on Thursday.
“Schooling will also be normal again today ŠFridayĆ,” he said.
He said no shops were looted and no buildings damaged during the protests.
Those injured include three police officials who were hit by stones and
bottles and 18 protesters who were bruised by rubber bullets.
Hlathi said the residents were protesting against BHP Billiton, claiming
that the mining company should give them more jobs.
BHP Billiton owns the Klipspruit coal mine in Ogies.
The mine’s spokesman, Johnny Dladla, said 94 percent of the people
employed by the BHP Billiton’s Klipspruit colliery were from the
“Of these, eight percent are from the local Ogies or Phola township,”
He said BHP Billiton remained open and committed to continue discussions
with community leaders through the local Community Development Forum.
Last week, schooling was disrupted and the library set alight in the
Mpumalanga town of Balfour in protests against the local Burnstone gold
mine, which residents accused of not investing enough in infrastructure
Governance Minister meets with Siyathemba township leaders
SABC 18 February 2010
Co-operative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka is meeting with
stakeholders of the Siyathemba Township in Balfour, Mpumalanga, which
was racked by service delivery protests earlier this year.
He is currently meeting with religious leaders, after a closed meeting
with the mayor, local councillors and the Mpumalanga MED for
Shiceka is briefing the various stakeholders to find out what exactly
led to this recent outbreak of protest and to try to find a solution
with the provincial people and the local councillors.
The grievances of Balfour residents will also receive high-level
attention. The residents will use the opportunity to raise their
concerns with the minister.
Many problems in Mpumalanga, says premier
Sapa 19 February 2010
The many service delivery protests in Mpumalanga have revealed problems
with financial management, institutional capacity and leadership,
Premier David Mabuza said on Friday.
"Such manifestations of poor performance, poor communication and
perceived social distance between the servants of the people and people
themselves should become focal points of attention as we continue to
turn our local government system around into a better performing
machinery," he said in a speech prepared for delivery on the state of
While the province respected people's right to protest, violence and
intimidation would not be tolerated.
Mabuza conceded there were "some individuals" in government positions
who did "very little or nothing".
"As the provincial government we shall work with speed to either
capacitate all those who are incapable, needing such assistance, or
replace them with more capable people."
He called for public servants who were honest, professional and caring.
The province had no choice but to place some municipalities under
administration and effect leadership changes in others, he said.
In the short term the province would help municipalities respond to
problems raised by residents and help municipalities communicate with
In the long term, the province would develop a "comprehensive turnaround
A local government summit would be convened before the end of the month
to craft programmes to help municipalities be more people-centred and
The province lost 53 000 jobs during last year's recession. The
dependence of its citizens on social grants also increased dramatically.
Mabuza said the number of grant beneficiaries had grown 77 percent, from
579 907 in 2004 to 1 030 095 in 2010. The number of children accessing
grants had increased 110 percent, from 368 500 in 2004 to 774 176 in 2010.
On the province's dismal matric results last year, Mabuza said they
reflected a "serious weakness" across all grades.
"Once again, a drop in the Grade 12 pass rate to 47.85 percent in 2009
calls for extraordinary measures to turn around the situation for the
This was attributed, in part, to a "limited capacity to manage matric
"Last year, we pulled all stops to ensure that we put in place systems
and management processes to protect the integrity of our Grade 12
examinations. Despite these efforts, our name and the integrity of our
examinations were compromised by some unscrupulous elements."
To strengthen security, management and integrity of exams, the province
would establish a new examination centre. With the help of the Basic
Education Department, the province's examination unit would be
reconstituted, he said.
"We will ensure that all officials appointed into this new unit are
vetted before assumption of duty."
Mabuza said he wanted a 60 percent matric pass rate during his
administration. - Sapa
Run-down flats 'a living hell'
Tanya Waterworth 20 February 2010
Ralph and Marjorie Robinson have to wake up at 2am every day to collect
a little cold water, which may or may not trickle out of the taps.
They are both disabled, so it's always a battle for them to get down 10
flights of stairs because the lifts in their building have not worked
They are just two of the residents in a Durban block of flats whose
lives have turned into a "living hell".
The electricity at Elwyn Court on Mahatma Gandhi (Point) Road was cut
off last June. This means the lifts don't work and there is complete
darkness at night.
Now the water supply has become erratic.
One resident, Cynthia Vasagan, also disabled, has not left her flat for
seven months because she cannot get down the stairs.
Pensioner Corrie Bergh was badly burnt last week when she spilt boiling
water down her legs while trying to carry it from her stove to the bathroom.
"I also have to walk up and down 10 flights of stairs to go and buy
bread, which is very painful," said Bergh.
Floors seven to 11 are particularly badly affected by the lack of water
and residents say the water normally comes on for an hour or two in the
middle of the night.
"Water comes on once - normally in the middle of the night, so we wait
up for it.
"By the time I have collected water in two-litre bottles and gone to
sleep, the early morning traffic is starting.
"It's very tiring," said resident Ralph Robinson.
"And without the lifts working, I have to go down the stairs on my
backside, which is sore from going up and down 10 flights of stairs for
the last six months.
"I also have to pay people R20 a time to carry my wife up or down the
"I am always on time with my levy and all my payments are up to date, so
I am pleading for help."
The fire hydrants on the affected floors have also run dry.
The plight of pensioners and disabled people living in Elwyn Court was
first highlighted by our sister paper, the Daily News, when the lifts
Since then there have been accusations by the residents of mismanagement
by the managing agent, Ravi Moodley, from Amerada Property Management,
as well as a lack of financial statements and substantiating documents.
Resident Victor King said: "We tried to form a committee and fire the
managing agent, but he would not hand over any documentation.
"We wanted to see what he was doing with our money, but there have been
no financial statements for four years."
In September, the eThekwini Municipality was called in to assist. A
municipal task team was set up and two eThekwini officials were
appointed as trustees to manage a new account for levy payments.
But six months have passed and the lifts are still not working and the
water supply has been disrupted.
The day after The Saturday Star visited the premises and took
photographs, the residents received a letter from the body corporate
advising them that individual water meters were going to be installed.
No dates, times or amounts were specified, but body corporate trustee
Dan Parusram, from eThekwini Municipality, confirmed the planned
installation of water meters. The body corporate would have to pay for
them, but he said it was still in "a dire financial crisis".
"Levies are outstanding to the tune of R1.2 million," said Parusram.
"Added to that, there is a culture of non-payment by residents, with
more than half the residents not paying for their electricity and water.
There is also a lot of overcrowding in that block, with up to 10 to 12
people staying in a flat."
He said that an audit was under way and the next annual meeting was
expected to be held next month or in April.
Moodley declined to comment and referred all matters to the trustees.
It also came to light that there are at least two other buildings under
his management in Durban, Raynor House and Emerald Park, both of which
are experiencing similar problems.
Attorneys Sigamoney Incorporated, acting on behalf of Emerald Park, said
this week that High Court action was imminent.
Ineffective management sparks blocks' crises
Many flat owners in Durban's inner city are caught up in the financial
mess caused by residents not paying their levies and general
mismanagement of blocks.
But Organisation of Civic Rights chairman Sayed Iqbal Mohamed said
changes at national government level with regard to sectional title
ownership were in the pipeline.
He said an independent body, the Community Scheme Ombud would be introduced.
The Community Scheme Ombud Service Bill was published late last year for
"The idea is to provide sectional titles owners with a speedy and cost
effective dispute-resolution mechanism, which is long overdue. Also, the
Sectional Title Schemes Management Bill 2009, once it is passed by
Parliament, will bring all sectional title schemes under the Department
of Human Settlements," said Mohamed.
With regard to the plight of owners in Elwyn Court, Mohamed said: "Elwyn
Court is one of many sectional title blocks that has failed because
there is no proper or effective management of the scheme.
"Nationally, we have no fall-back or rescue plans for individuals and
families facing difficult times and no attention is ever given to
"We need to look at alternate forms of tenure that will provide a
practical solution for South Africans."
Mohamed added: "In the meantime, the residents/owners at Elwyn Court
will need to approach the High Court to have an administrator appointed.
"This will mean more levies, including special levies, to save the scheme.
"However, the appointment of an administrator does not necessarily mean
that the scheme is saved.
"There are instances where the administrator has absconded with levies."
* This article was originally published on page 11 of The Star on
February 20, 2010
Scrap Eskom's plan to steal
Noelene Barbeau (Daily News) 17 February 2010
Pensioners and schoolchildren braved the blistering heat yesterday to
make their disgruntled point outside Eskom's offices in Westville.
Some of their T-shirt slogans illustrated their frustration - "Eskom no
nuclear energy" and "No lies, service delivery now".
Another banner read: "Eskom's plan to steal from poor South African
people and destroy our environment must be scrapped."
Eskom has applied to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa
(Nersa) to increase electricity tariffs by 35 percent for 2010/2011 to 2012.
And now communities, more than 50 non-governmental organisations and
environmental groups and academics are sending out a message of
disapproval at three years of hikes.
Bobby Peek of the environmental group groundWork called on the World
Bank to stop a proposed loan of R29 billion to Eskom.
"If this loan - which may come up for a board vote in March or April -
goes through, poor South Africans will have to bear the burden of
Eskom's debt and the World Bank's cost recovery programme and climate
change will intensify."
Peek explained that the loan would fund Eskom's construction of
coal-fired power plants.
He said community groups fighting against the loan included activists in
the polluted Vaal Triangle where people burnt coal for heating and
cooking because electricity was unaffordable.
"Eskom shouldn't be given the World Bank loan and won't be as a result
of this campaign," said Peek.
Desmond D'Sa, of the South Durban Community and Environment Alliance,
handed over a document to an Eskom representative.
The document illustrated their views on the proposed World Bank loan and
the decision Nersa would have to make.
Pensioners from Wentworth, wearing Wentworth Development Forum
anti-Eskom T-shirts, said they received a monthly pension of R1 010.
"Eight hundred rand currently goes towards our electricity bill. What's
left for other monthly expenses?" asked a pensioner.
150 protesters held in Limpopo
SAPA 17 February 2010
Johannesburg - One-hundred-and-fifty people have been arrested for
public violence in Mohlalatsi near Apel in Limpopo, police said on
Senior Superintendent Motlapele Mojapelo said the group was arrested on
Tuesday after a protest against lack of service delivery turned violent.
He said a group of people forcefully took pupils out of local schools to
participate in the protest.
"When police arrived, they started throwing stones at them," he said.
A passing car was pelted with stones.
"The police arrested 150 people and charged them with public violence
and malicious damage to property."
He said the majority of those arrested were schoolchildren.
"We are pushing for the group to appear in court this afternoon
[Wednesday], if not they will appear in court tomorrow [Thursday]."
The protest was about lack of service delivery including water and roads.
Services protest - angry residents blockade offices
Alex Matlala 18 February
UNHAPPY: Some of the protesters who barricaded the main road leading to
the municipal offices of Molemole outside Polokwane stand outside the
locked offices during a demonstration against poor service delivery.
ANGRY residents of Mogwadi, formerly Dendron, outside Polokwane lined
the street leading to the Molemole municipal offices in a protest
against poor service delivery.
The residents called for the immediate resignation of the mayor Monica
Mohale, speaker Wilhemina Manthata, ch ief whip Erica Kataka and acting
municipal manager Sam Raselae.
T he disgruntled residents barricaded the main road, blockaded the
municipal offices gates and littered the area with garbage .
Acting manager Raselae allegedly left the meeting with residents
yesterday at a community hall when they demanded answers.
Mohale, the mayor, had reportedly promised to address the protesters but
failed to arrive.
By late yesterday there was no sign of her and the protest continued in
spite of the light rain that fell in the area.
Among other demands, the residents want the municipality to reduce
service rates because they claim they do not receive value for their money.
The residents also protested against the renting of toilets for 400
The municipality pays R86000 a month for the toilets, which the
residents say was excessive.
They also accuse the municipality of failing to provide water for the
past 18 months.
“We travel long distances to buy water from those with boreholes at
“Those who do not have money are forced to share the water from wells,
rivers and fountains with animals,” protest organiser Derrick Mothudi. said
He said some villages had not had water since 2008 and that the roads
were in a bad condition. He added that some villages were still in the
dark because of the slo w pace of electrifying their homes.
Timothy Molopa, the spokesperson for the municipality, said the council
had appointed a new company to provide steel toilets until they find
money to build new pit toilets.
He said complaints about water, roads and electricity were genuine and
undertook to raise these with the relevant departments and report back
to the community.
Three injured in Mpuma protests
Sapa 18 February 2010
Three people, including two policemen, were injured in a protest at
Ogies in the early hours of Thursday morning, Mpumalanga police said.
"We've got protests there, the people are saying they want BHP Billiton
to employ them," said Captain Leonard Hlathi.
"They started at 2am, barricading roads. Seven people have been arrested
so far... one of those were injured by rubber bullets."
He said protesters threw bottles at police officers.
"Two police officers were injured."
Hlathi said the police were monitoring the situation but it was "still
volatile" by 7.30am.
BHP Billiton owns the Klipspruit coal mine in Ogies. - Sapa
Cape residents oppose nuclear power station
Residents opposed to the building of a nuclear power station at
Bantamsklip on the southern Cape coast staged a protest march through
Hermanus on Saturday and handed a memorandum to the Overstrand
municipality, saying the local authority had failed to represent their
interests by supporting the proposed nuclear power plant.
John Williams, chairperson of the Save Bantamsklip Association, said on
Sunday that about 300 people had marched through the town to protest
against a proposal by Eskom to build nuclear reactors in "one of the
hottest biodiversity hot spots in the world".
"Eskom says they want to build two 4 000MW nuclear power plants at this
site which is a registered South African Natural Heritage Site and
contains vegetation that occurs nowhere else in the world. It's a centre
"Yet the mayor of Overstrand (Theo Beyleveld) has stated categorically
that he regards the nuclear plant as a growth potential and said Eskom
had hinted they would build schools and facilities as a spin-off,"
"We're saying that there is a big body of opinion that is dead against
it. The municipality is utterly wrong," Williams said.
He said his organisation, which included ratepayers' associations,
tourism associations, environmental groups and agricultural
organisations, represented about 5 000 people.
The memorandum called on the municipality to formulate a
"factually-based" Overstrand council position on the proposed
Bantamsklip nuclear power station, on which the public could then comment.
It also called on the mayor to commission an independent study to
determine the "true tourism and natural resource values" of the
Bantamsklip site, and to determine the comparative merits of allowing a
nuclear power plant to be built at the site.
The organisation criticised the municipality for failing to submit
relevant information to the EIA consultants.
"The mayor been saying 'hey guys, this is a golden opportunity for us'.
We're saying our environment is the very essence of our economy here. If
we don't see the link between environment and economy, we are lost. We
want to know if this (supporting the nuclear power plant) is DA policy
or old Broederbond policy?" Williams said.
On Sunday, Beyleveld denied that he had said he supported the nuclear
"I never said that. It's a lie. I said it's a growth potential but if
it's going to harm the environment we must re-look it. My opinion is we
need electricity but we must also conserve our natural beauty. We need
to let the EIA process be completed," Beyleveld said.
He said three Overstrand councillors had made input into the EIA.
Beyleveld said "only 90 or 110 people" had been on the protest march.
"There are 38 000 voters. I can't become part of a pressure group," he said.
By Melanie Gosling
This breaking news article was supplied exclusively to www.iol.co.za by
the news desk at The Cape Times.
Public Protector, Siceka will visit Balfour today
Sapa 18 February 2010
Johannesburg – Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and Co-operative
Governance Minister Sicelo Siceka will visit the Siyathemba township,
Balfour, today – the scene of a violent service delivery protest.
In a joint statement yesterday, Madonsela and Siceka said they would
meet local ward councillors to establish what “the bottlenecks hampering
service delivery are ... and come up with solutions”.
They would also meet community leaders at the Dipaleseng Municipality
chamber, said Madonsela’s spokesman Kgalalelo Masibi.
Siyathemba residents took to the streets last week, burning municipal
offices and a library, and uprooting Eskom poles to barricade the streets.
Several people, including three minors, were arrested for public violence.
The minors were released on bail of R500 each by the Balfour
Magistrate’s Court last week.
They are due to appear in court again today. – Sapa
SAfrica union says strike threat looms at Eskom
Reuters 16 February 2010
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's biggest union said on Tuesday
its members at state power utility Eskom were agitating for a strike for
higher housing allowances, but no date had been set for the work stoppage.
A possible strike by the union members could lead to power cuts in the
world's biggest platinum producer and gold producer and further damage
to Africa's biggest economy, which is emerging from its first recession
in nearly two decades.
Lesiba Seshoka, spokesman for the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) --
which represents about half of Eskom's
30,000-strong workforce -- said some members had held marches in three
provinces this week over the grievances.
The latest march was held on Tuesday in Gauteng province, where South
Africa's commercial hub of Johannesburg is located.
"The workers are angry over housing allowances, and their anger may
spill over into a strike," Seshoka said.
"They are mobilising through these marches, trying to assess how many
members are likely to join a strike if one is called."
Seshoka could not say when the strike would likely be held.
Eskom officials were unavailable to comment.
Mid-last year when the NUM and the other unions, Solidarity and the
National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, threatened a strike,
Eskom said it had contingency plans to ensure the power supply in the
face of any strike.
The strike threat, issued by the three unions at the height of a wave of
industrial action in South Africa, failed to materialise after it was
called off despite the unions' failure to win their initial demand of a
14 percent pay hike.
The unions abandoned their threatened strike and settled for a 10.5
percent wage raise, and agreed to a proposal by Eskom that the issue of
housing could be settled at a later date, even though the unions wanted
it settled as part of the pay deal.
Since then, the housing issue is yet to be settled, and union members
want to pressure Eskom to deliver on its promise.
Eskom generates 95 percent of South Africa's electricity.
Workers March to Eskom
Sapa 16 February 2010
JOHANNESBURG - National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members employed at
Eskom marched to the electricity parastatal in Matlosana, North West, on
Tuesday, the union said.
Spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said the march was part of a build-up to a
national action, which would be announced in due course. The workers
were marching over issues relating to housing allowances, the absorption
of temporary workers and the impending tariff hikes proposed by Eskom.
“Our members are sending a clear message that says we are now running
out of patience. We referred the issue of housing allowance to a task
team, but years later, we still have no resolution,” said Eldris
Mphahlele, NUM regional coordinator in Matlosana.
He said the proposed tariff hike would have a disastrous consequences
for the country.
“It is going to have disastrous consequences not only to us as
individuals, but on the entire economy.”
The workers further demanded that workers employed by contractors be
employed full-time by the parastatal.
“We cannot have a situation in which some labour brokers are still
around to exploit our members, we are running out of patience. If Eskom
does not want to do as we say, we will have it do as we do next time.
The strike action is on the horizon,” he said.
Seshoska described the march as peaceful. A similar march was held in
Mahikeng on Monday.
Disgruntled Eskom workers to stage protest
IOL 15 February 2010
Hundreds of workers at Eskom in Matlosana, North West, are set to march
over grievances including the parastatal's proposed tariff hikes, the
National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Monday.
Workers would protest over a "plethora of issues" including housing
allowances, casual workers and the pending tariff hikes, said NUM's
regional co-ordinator, Elros Mphahlele.
"Our members are sending a clear message that says we are now running
out of patience," said Mphahlele.
He said members would hand over a memorandum of grievances to Eskom
management. They would march to the parastatal's Matlosana offices at
10am on Tuesday.
The union said Eskom's proposed tariff increase of 35 percent each year
for the next three years would have "disastrous consequences" for
employees and the country.
It wanted Eskom to employ workers provided by labour brokers on a
"We cannot have a situation in which some labour brokers are still
around to exploit our members... The strike action is on the horizon,"
The Congress of SA Trade Unions in the province would join its affiliate
in the protest.
An Eskom spokesperson in the region said the parastatal was aware of the
protest on Tuesday but it would only be able to comment after receipt of
the memorandum. - Sapa
Two injured, three arrested during protest
Sapa 16 February 2010
Two people have been injured and three arrested while throwing stones at
anti-land invasion officials removing illegal structures in Scottsdene,
A spokesman for the city, Neil Arendse, said a group of about 30 people
had thrown stones at officials while they were removing two illegal
structures in Ashbury Court on Tuesday.
He said the officials had opened fire on the crowd with rubber bullets,
injuring two people, who had been taken to the Kraaifontein Day Hospital
Three people had been arrested and charged with public violence and
intimidation. They were expected to appear in the Kuilsriver
Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
Arendse added that the unit had removed other illegal structures in
Hangberg, Masiphumelele, Ocean View and on the N7 road reserve, near the
Montague Gardens off-ramp, without incident. - Sapa
Service delivery protests now spread to KZN
Sinegugu Ndlovu & SAPA (The Mercury) 17 February 2010
SERVICE delivery protests that ravaged towns in Mpumalanga last week
have spilled into KwaZulu-Natal, with residents of Newcastle unable to
get to work and school when protesters blocked off roads.
Residents of KwaDukuza also protested over the lack of services yesterday.
Police spokesman Vincent Mdunge said about 300 residents of Shakaville,
KwaDukuza, had protested that their ward councillor, Thulani Khuluse,
did not live in the area and was therefore unaware of their needs, which
included the lack of housing.
"The KwaDukuza people wanted to protest outside the councillor's house,
which is legal. However, the police warned them that they should apply
for the protest to be authorised in advance. Police were able to
disperse them without force," said Mdunge.
Khuluse denied that he had neglected residents of his ward. He said he
lived "about five minutes away" from the ward. He had had to move when
he married in 2003 and failed to get a housing site in the ward.
Khuluse said a meeting would soon be held to discuss the community's
grievances. He said that 63 homes had been built at a local housing
project, and 62 more would follow. Bickering among residents of informal
settlements over who qualified for the homes had delayed completion of
At Osizweni, Newcastle, about 1 000 people had blockaded roads with
burning tyres and debris, said Mdunge. The public order policing unit
was called in to disperse the crowd, which refused to allow taxis and
buses to pass through.
Stranded pupils were upset.
"I am a matric pupil and this will have a negative impact on my studies.
My mother paid to top up my smart card for transport, and that has gone
down the drain now," said a Hope High School pupil.
Co-operative Governance Department spokesman Lennox Mabaso said action
would be taken against councillors who did not live in their wards.
He said ward councillors were required to live in their wards to have
direct contact with their constituents.
Protesters blockade roads in Newcastle
IOL 16 February 2010
Police fired rubber bullets to disperse thousands of people who
blockaded roads during a service delivery protest which turned violent
in Newcastle on Tuesday morning.
"Scores of people blockaded roads and burnt tyres in Bloubosch township
in Newcastle. We had to use rubber bullets to disperse the crowd," said
Captain Shoes Magudulela.
He said major roads linking Newcastle and other towns were completely
blocked by protesters who complained about the local municipality's poor
Magudulela said the protesters had obtained a permit to march to the
Newcastle Municipal offices on Tuesday.
He did not know why they decided to block roads instead of march peacefully.
"We are currently trying to negotiate with the leaders of the protest to
stop the closing of roads," said Magudulela. - Sapa
Bethelsdorp removals protest
Mthetho Ndoni HERALD REPORTER Weekend Post email@example.com 16 February
BURNING tyres and smouldering piles of wood and large stones littered
Bethelsdorp’s informal settlement yesterday morning as protesters showed
their fury at the continued existence of the bucket system.
About 300 angry protesters, mainly residents of Extension 32 from ward
37, closed the township’s Barbery Drive and Rensburg intersection after
blaming ANC councillor Mbongeni Bungane for the lack of housing
delivery, and racism.
The protesters shouted “houses, houses, houses” and waved placards that
said, “We are not going anywhere”, “We want houses”, “We are tired of
promises” and “We want action”.
Community leader Hannies Grootboom said the protest aimed to send a
strong message to their ward councillor that they were fed-up with his
threats to relocate them to the Joe Slovo area.
“We are living in backyard shacks. We were given this land by the
municipality with the intention of the government building houses for
us. But the ward councillor wants to relocate some of us to empty RDP
houses in Joe Slovo and Chatty Extension areas. We are against that plan.”
Grootboom said the residents demanded that houses be built for them in
the area they were staying in as they did not want to be removed.
He said they wanted the houses they had been promised and were refusing
to move from one shack to another shack.
He said it would be unfair for the municipal to relocate them to an
undeveloped piece of land and they vowed to go on protesting against
their removal until action was taken by the municipality to improve
their living conditions.
The residents’ biggest gripes were the continued existence of the bucket
toilet system and the lack of housing delivery.
Marcus Mentoor, 43, said they had been staying in the area for three
years and nothing had been done by the municipality to improve their lives.
“We are not going anywhere because we didn’t cast our votes to be
relocated from one undeveloped area to another. We want improved
services by the municipality.
“It seems like we will have to fight with the municipality for better
living conditions and that is what we intend to do.”
Mentoor said the residents were united against the plan to be removed
and they would contest in court any force removal decision by the
Another resident, Suzan Adams, accused the ward councillor of not attend
community meetings even though invitations were sent to him.
“The man is a racist and he calls us names (coloureds) and we take that
as an insult.”
Feerossa Arries said the residents were not moving an inch because the
land had been given to them and it was reserved for the building of houses.
“We don’t want to be relocated to other areas because we are like a
family in this area.”
Lusanda Bezuidenhout said the existing bucket system was affecting the
lives of their children and they demanded the municipality build a
proper flush toilet system for them.
“They municipality collects the buckets to be cleaned once a month and
the overflowing buckets are a threat to the lives of the people.”
She said children were falling ill every day because of the germs and
stench and this should be stopped.
Former city council speaker Charmaine Williams came to listen to the
grievances of the protesters.
She asked the residents to protest peacefully in order for the
municipality to assist them with their demands.
“The community here is angry because they’ve been told that they are
going to be relocated and they don’t want to move out of this area.
“Their grievances are valid and I’ll request the housing committee and
the ward councillor to attend to these demands.”
Williams asked the residents to disperse peacefully.
She said she would consult the relevant municipal department to resolve
After the residents were addressed by Williams they went back and
removed the refuse and cleared the blocked streets.
Police spokesman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said a protest had
been reported, but there were no major incidents.
“Police were keeping an eye but it seems everything was peaceful after
the residents blocked the streets with burning tyres demanding to see
the ward councillor.”
When contacted, Bungane declined to comment.
Man swore at president, says ministry
Sapa 16 February 2010, 18:20
The 25-year-old student arrested for "waving" at President Jacob Zuma's
convoy last week swore at the president and resisted arrest, a spokesman
Police Ministry spokesman Zweli Mnisi said Chumani Maxwele had pointed
his middle finger at the president. He said this gesture was synonymous
with swearing and showing disrespect.
"No person is permitted to use foul language, swear at another
individual, especially as such conduct may lead to promoting hate
conduct in the Republic," said Mnisi.
The Sowetan reported on Tuesday that Maxwele had been arrested for
"waving on" Zuma's convoy while jogging in De Waal Drive, Cape Town.
A black BMW pulled up and three men jumped out, allegedly pointing guns
at him. He was then pushed into a car. A bag was pulled over his head
and he was then allegedly taken to Zuma's residence before being taken
to the Mowbray police station.
Maxwele, an active ANC member, was held for just under 24 hours. He was
allegedly interrogated by intelligence agents who asked for, among other
things, the names of his friends and the name of the chairmen of his ANC
He said his house had been raided by plainclothes policemen while he was
in custody. He was released before appearing in court.
Mnisi said Maxwele had become aggressive on the day of the incident when
the police stopped to question him about his actions.
"He became aggressive and began to swear at them. They then arrested
him, charged him with crimen injuria and resisting arrest," said Mnisi.
"He was detained and later transferred to Mowbray Police Station, which
has jurisdiction over the area of offence."
Mnisi called Maxwele's conduct towards the police "unacceptable".
"It will not be tolerated," he said.
Mnisi declined to comment about allegations that agents of the National
Intelligence Agency had raided Maxwele's house or interrogated him.
"We further need to clarify that the matter was handled solely by the
police, as it forms part of our mandate of protecting all VIPs," said Mnisi.
He did not answer a question about whether Zuma himself had pressed
charges against Mxwele.
Zizi Kodwa, the president's spokesman, declined to comment, claiming it
was a "security issue". - Sapa
NUM PROTEST ACTION AGAINST ESKOM
NUM 14 February 2010
The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West Province, jointly with its union (NUM) in the province, will be marching against Eskom’s attitude towards workers.
NUM has been in discussions with Eskom Management for months, negotiating conditions of service for workers. Eskom has been negotiating under bad conditions with a high attitude of exploitation.
NUM members will be marching to Eskom building demanding Eskom to receive the memorandum to go back to the table for the negotiation. The protest marches will take place as follows;
15 February 2010: march will be at Mafikeng from Mega City to Eskom office from 10H00 to 15H00.
16th February 2010: march will be from Matlosana NUM Regional office to Matlosana Eskom office from 10H00 to 12H00.
Issues that are raised by workers are as follows;
For more information feel free to call COSATU provincial secretary Comrade Solly Nani Phetoe on 082 304 4055
Strike action begins at TEBA Limited
NUM 14 February 2010
Members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will today march to TEBA Limited to hand in a memorandum of grievances which marks the beginning of a rolling mass action against the mining services company. The CCMA has awarded the NUM a certificate of non-resolution at a time when TEBA Limited failed to adhere to the CCMA brokered deal. The NUM demand a wage increment of 12,5% down from 13,5% whilst the company remains at 6%. The CCMA had proposed that both NUM and TEBA meet halfway,
that is NUM should drop its demand by 3,5% to 9% and TEBA should up its offer by 3% to 9% but the company refused to budge. “We have run out of ideas, the only idea we now have is for a full blown strike action beginning today” says Tseliso Lesibe, the NUM ‘s Chief Negotiator at TEBA Limited.
The NUM further demands a 3% service increment for each completed year of service plus a R5 500 once off payment for those with 10 years of service or more.
Tseliso Lesibe- 082 6774234
Head: Media & Communications
National Union of Mineworkers
Tel: (011) 377 2047
Mobile: 082 803 6719
Workers down tools at Idwala Lime
NUM 14 February 2010
A strike by over 300 workers at Idwala Lime in Danielskuil, some 145 Kilometers from Kimberly enters its second day today. The dispute centres around organizational rights as Idwala refuses to recognize the National Union of Mineworkers which represents over 60% of the workforce. The NUM had referred the dispute to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) which then failed to resolve the dispute. The CCMA has since issued a certificate of non-resolution to the dispute giving the NUM the right to strike. “We have decided to go the strike route
after prolonged talks with Idwala Lime. They have clearly opted for a confrontational approach” says Botshelo Lebelo, the NUM ‘s Regional Organizer in Kimberly.
“This is an indefinite strike action unless the company comes to the party” says Lebelo. Idwala Lime is owned by Idwala Industrial Holdings which owns Idwala Carbonates, Idwala Magnitite, Lime Distributors, Idwala Sales & Distribution as well as Idwala Industrial Minerals.
Botshelo Lebelo- 082 677 4247
Head: Media & Communications
National Union of Mineworkers
Tel: (011) 377 2047
Mobile: 082 803 6719
COMMUNITY TO PICKET ON 15 FEB AT PRETORIA HIGH COURT!
ANGLO PLATINUM: HANDS OFF RICHARD SPOOR!
PRESS ALERT: 12 February 2010
Community members from Limpopo will picket outside the Pretoria High
Court on Monday, 15 Feb 2010. The community members have recently filed
a legal case challenging Anglo Platinum's expansion onto their land.
Within 2 weeks of the legal case filing, their attorney, human rights
lawyer Richard Spoor was set to appear at trial due to a lawsuit against
him by Anglo Platinum and Patrice Motsepe's African Rainbow Minerals.
Community members and their supporters see this as a way for Anglo to
divert Richard Spoor's time and resources away from their case toward
this defamation case against him.
Community members are fed up! When the Sekuruwe community protested at their ploughing fields last week, one community leader was arrested in the midst of the South African Police Service forcefully pushing the community off the LAND THAT IS IN DISPUTE BY A CURRENTLY FILED LEGAL
CASE. This expansion further onto their ploughing fields is threatening
their food security, and the community members have vowed to boycott the
Minister of Mining's initiative to form a task team, in which these
For More Information, Please Contact: Phillopos Dolo 073 789 2489, Brand
Nthako 082 628 1362, or Anne Mayher 082 398 6882.
Earlier press statement for background information
ANGLO PLATINUM BULLDOZES SEKURUWE COMMUNITY'S MEALIE FIELDS
Today the Sekuruwe community stood and watched as Anglo Platinum
proceeded to bulldoze land the community used for ploughing fields.
This aggressive violation by the mining company is the latest
development in a week of hostile action against the community on its
remaining land, this after a year of systematic destruction of its most
One community elder said "Anglo Platinum has already destroyed
everything where we ploughed. We had crops coming up already and they
are now all destroyed."
The community has repeatedly stated that they did NOT give consent for
Anglo Platinum to use their land. Despite repeated requests and demands
that Anglo Platinum stop working on their land until the dispute is
settled, Anglo Platinum proceeded to destroy the community's fields, and
call the police to arrest anyone who attempts to go onto their land to
protect their crops.
47 community members were arrested last year when the community tried to stop Anglo Platinum's contractor, Phuti Funeral Homes, from removing graves on the same farm without the community's consent.
The community intends to express their frustration by demonstrating at
the site tomorrow, and they also plan to demand that the Minister of
Mining intervene and stop Anglo Platinum from destroying their land.
The community members wonder when will government ever come to their aid as they watch their land, their water, and their ancestors be destroyed at the hands of Anglo Platinum.
For more information, please contact Mr. James Shiburi 072 478 3894