||Joint statement by Satawu and Utatu on the breakdown of the CCMA
mediated Transnet talks
Satawu and Utatu 16 May 2010
The Transnet strike is set to intensify with no resolution in sight.
Management effectively walked away from any negotiated settlement
tonight after stating an unwillingness to budge on any item of money
substance. On Friday night Satawu and Utatu had carefully identified for
management areas of focus for negotiation towards settlement on the
expectation that they would apply their minds. The two unions had also
requested a break in the process in order to seek an expedited mandate
to move off the demand of an increase in the basic wage of 15%. It was
not without difficulty that a move to 13% was tabled, only to be
Management was only prepared to comment on the issue of the contract
workers (with an undertaking to reduce levels of contract employment by
2012) and the issue of retrenchments (with a guarantee of no
retrenchments for three months). On every other item they remained
absolutely rigid. The offer on contract workers provided no protection
or security for existing contract workers, as all of them could be
worked out of the system by 2012. This includes a large numbers of
contract workers whose contracts expire at the end of this month.
The unions wish to reiterate the reasons for the rejection of the last
minute so-called 11% offer. Put simply, for the majority of the 37,000
workers who are currently members of the Transnet medical aid scheme
(Transmed) it provided a worse deal than that tabled by management three
weeks before in conciliation.
For example. Under the 11% offer a worker whose current take home pay is
R127,300 including the 13th cheque, housing allowance and medical aid
subsidy, would increase to R139,693 compared to the previous offer which
took this amount to R143,130. Why would anyone accept an offer that is
worse than a previously rejected offer?
As unions we have come to the conclusion that the Transnet negotiators
are acting in bad faith, and are incompetent and uncaring of the company
and its workers, despite what they say in their full page newspaper
adverts. We believe they have been misleading their own board,
government and the public. Management have caused this crisis and they
must be held to account. They must be instructed by government as the
shareholder, to step off their inflexible pedestal and seriously engage
in the process of negotiation and compromise.
We are now calling on our respective trade union federations (Cosatu and
Fedusa) to escalate support for the strike. This dispute goes to the
heart of the national and international campaign for Decent Work and a
Living Wage. Our members will remain steadfast in the withholding of
their labour until a settlement is reached.
For further information please contact the following persons
For Satawu : Jane Barrett, negotiator
ph 011 3336127 or 082 82761
Zenzo Mahlangu, General Secretary
ph 011 3336127 or 0727347825
Robert Mashego, Deputy President
ph 082 4547018
For Utatu : Steve Harris, Deputy General Secretary
ph 082 5665516
Chris de Vos, General Secretary
ph 082 8825920
George Strauss, President ph
World Cup won't stop strike action, unions warn
Need to protect jobs seen as more important than soccer tournament
Kashiefa Ajam 15 May 2010
In four weeks' time, South Africa will play host to the world when the
country hosts the World Cup.
But the festivities could be hampered if unions decide to strike during
the soccer tournament.
Already it is evident that strike season is well and truly upon us, with
unions vowing to protest during the tournament if that was what it took.
This week saw strike action by the Communication Workers Union (CWU),
The SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), the United Transport
and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) as well as an illegal strike by employees
of the Rea Vaya bus system in Joburg.
On Tuesday, British Airways cabin crew announced plans to strike from
May 18 to June 9 - two days before the World Cup kicks off.
British Airways has warned that the unprecedented scale of the walkouts
over a 23-day period would cause "extensive disruption for potentially
hundreds of thousands of customers over a busy period" and may affect
travellers to South Africa for the month-long tournament.
Unite, which represents around 90 percent of BA's 12 000 cabin crew,
said it had been forced to ramp up its actions in a long-running, bitter
dispute over pay and conditions after BA turned down the union's demands
In a statement, Unite's joint general secretaries, Derek Simpson and
Tony Woodley, said: "Cabin crew are left with no choice but to take
further strike action. There can be no industrial peace without
meaningful negotiations and while management victimises trade unionists
and uses disciplinary procedures in a witch-hunt."
Cosatu has also pledged to strike during the World Cup if deemed
necessary. The union federation has submitted a Section 77 notice to the
National Economic Development and Labour Council over Eskom's decision
to increase electricity prices by 25 percent. And if a desirable
solution cannot be found, Cosatu will mobilise its members and start a
series of several stayaways and mass actions.
Cosatu has said it had "no intention" of disrupting the World Cup and
wanted it to be one of the most successful in Fifa's history, but added
that it could not stop protests because of the event.
The need to protect the 250 000 jobs which could be lost because of the
electricity tariff increase was "bigger than the World Cup".
"We can't say: 'white flags, World Cup. We will continue after the World
Cup'. Our argument is that the government and business must find a
settlement so that we are not subject to the 25 percent increase,"
Yesterday, Satawu and Utata members - flanked by CWU members - handed
over a memorandum of grievances to the CEO of Transnet Freight Rail,
Chris Wells, at the parastatal's offices in Parktown, Joburg.
Thousands of striking Transnet workers, supported by Vodacom employees
belonging to CWU, marched through the streets of central Joburg.
Striking Transnet employees had rallied earlier in support of Vodacom
staff at Premier Nomvula Mokonyane's office, where they aired their
grievances on labour broking.
As the memorandum was read out by union leaders, the crowd blew
vuvuzelas and whistles and paraded a cardboard coffin bearing the name
of Transnet human resources head Pradeep Maharaj.
The protesters dispersed soon after the memorandum was handed to
Transnet. The parastatal was given seven days to respond. - Additional
reporting by Sapa
Fishermen to defy Sutcliffe ban
Daily News May 14 2010
"Fisherman bait up in defiance of Sutcliffe" refers.
Fisher folks have vowed to ignore the directive given by the eThekwini
municipal manager to halt their fishing from the Durban piers which they
have fished from all their lives. They will bait up their rods and
continue to fish on all piers on the Durban beachfront.
After democracy local Durban fishermen have been denied access by
Transnet, which is using apartheid legislation to deny fishermen their
livelihoods. Most of the fisherfolk are third-generation subsistence
fishermen who fish to feed their families. This honest livelihood is
This action by the eThekwini municipal manager to deny fisher folks
their right comes on top of the determined attitude of the Marine and
Coastal Management team of DEAT, now part of the Ministry of
Agriculture, to increase the permit tariffs. Food and livelihood are a
right and enshrined in the South African constitution but subsistence
fisher folks of KZN find themselves in limbo, while the rich fish off
their expensive boats and yachts in Durban harbour and the ocean without
the fear of police harassment or arrest.
Andy Johnston, representing the artisanal fisherfolks in the Western
Cape, states that there is no law that bars them from fishing on the
beaches of either the Atlantic or Indian oceans. He further states they
have won a case in the Equality Court that has resulted in interim
relief granted to over a 1 000 subsistence folks in the Cape Province.
The Durban beachfront is becoming a rich man's playground and the poor
man's death ground.
Housing protest turns sour
Thando Tshangela (City Press) 11 May 2010
About 500 residents of Doornkop in Dobsonville, Soweto, this morning
barricaded Impala Road with burning tyres in a protest over slow housing
delivery and alleged corruption in the allocation of housing in the area.
The City of Joburg and the Gauteng housing department and Local
Government officials had to be dispatched to the area to address the
According to Soweto police spokesperson, Kay Makhubela, the police told
the protesters to disperse as they were gathered illegally.
He said police were pelted with stones and they responded by firing
Makhubela said: “46 of the protesters were arrested and will be charged
with public violence, illegal gathering and contravention of the Roads
Traffic Act and they will appear in court within the next 48 hours.”
A 50-year-old bystander, Lindiwe Khumalo, was injured on the hand and
foot by police rubber bullets.
A leader of the Doornkop Housing Crisis Committee, Thoko Mtubu, said:
“The community is tired with slow housing delivery and corruption in
One of the protesters, Johannes Maphisa, said police fired at the
community without being provoked.
Maphisa said: “We were told to wait for housing officials to come and
address us and without being provoked the police opened fire on us.”
The housing officials from the City of Joburg and Gauteng housing
department asked to meet a delegation from the protesters to resolve
Solidarity Aiming for SA Protest Record Against Crime
Solidarity 14 may 2010
Crime and the Police in PEwww.MyPE.co.za: The Solidarity Movement
(Solidarity, AfriForum and Helping Hand) announced that it plans on
setting a South African record on 19 May for the most protest
memorandums in one day. On the day, about 300 anti-crime memorandums
will be handed over to police stations across South Africa.
According to the Solidarity Movement, it is the largest protest action
of its kind in South Africa and definitely the largest protest against
crime ever. In addition to the handing over of protest memorandums
across the country, a protest gathering and concert will be held in
Pretoria on the day.
"South Africa will be painted red on the day. We expect thousands of
South Africans to wear red on the day. The message of the day is: "We
are tired of bloodshed." Memorandums will be handed over in every corner
of South Africa - from Amanzimtoti to Amersfoort, Boksburg to Colesberg,
Gansbaai tot Groenvlei, Kathu to Kinross, Malmesbury to Montagu and
Paarl to Polokwane," said Dirk Hermann, deputy general secretary of
According to Hermann, several businesses will close their doors between
13:00 and 14:00 on the day in support of the protest action and many
schools have agreed to wear red on the day in protest against crimes
"South Africans must never allow crime to become a normal part of
society. Crime is always abnormal and we should therefore protest
against it. However, we don't only want to protest on the day; we will
also appeal to communities to get more involved in community safety
initiatives. If we can succeed in creating 100 community safety
structures, we will have made South Africa a safer place."
The largest protest gathering will be held in Pretoria at the Harlequins
Club. It will coincide with a protest concert featuring a number of
well-known performers. A huge protest painting by the artist Salomi
Prinsloo, depicting crime in South Africa, will also be unveiled at the
gathering. In addition, victims of crime and their families will get the
opportunity to lay wreaths in memory of victims of crime. In the morning
churches will also hold prayer meetings about the crime situation in
Several other communities will also organise protest actions. The
national protest action will kick off with a protest concert on 15 May
in Hartbeespoort. The singer Dozi, together with victims of crime, will
hand over a memorandum in Hartbeespoort on 19 May. Victims of crime will
be present at the handing over of most of the memorandums.
Solidarity has also submitted an application to NEDLAC for a mass
protest in different industries. As soon as permission has been obtained
from NEDLAC, the wheels will be set in motion for the second phase of
the protest action.
Full details of the national day of protest against crime are available
The Port Elizabeth Solidarity Protest will take place at the Kemsley
Park sportsfields, Mount Croix on Monday 19 May 2010 from 12h00 to 14h00.
Posted by: mype on Friday, May 14 @ 15:46:09 SAST
Fired up over service delivery
14 May 2010
ABOUT 200 chanting protesters from the Westville community in KwaDwesi,
Port Elizabeth, burnt tyres and blocked the New Mission Road yesterday
afternoon in a protest over service delivery.
Two hours into the protest, Nelson Mandela Bay portfolio councillor for
human settlements Andile Mfunda arrived with two other councillors to
address the community. “The issue is about service delivery and the
community is demanding electricity in the area,” he said. “We are
currently trying to resolve a problem concerning land availability in
the area.” No one was injured during the protest. Picture: EUGENE COETZEE
Kwadesi residents protest against poor service delivery
ANGRY PEOPLE: Portfolio Councillor for Human Settlements Andile Mfunda
spoke to The Herald about the latest service delivery protest in
Westville, Kwadwesi when protesters blocked the New Missionvale Road.
Brettonwood High School pupils protest
SLINDILE MALULEKA 12 May 2010
Police were called in to Brettonwood High School in Umbilo yesterday,
where pupils expressed their anger over the disruption of learning after
teachers embarked on a sit‑in, refusing to teach since last week.
Pupils have also demanded that the principal leave the school, alleging
that he had behaved in a hostile manner toward them.
Pupils gathered on the school grounds to express their grievances, amid
a police presence to ensure a non‑violent protest, while other pupils
walked out of the school gates.
In September last year, school principal Nicholas Dlamini was suspended
after pupils alleged he had used corporal punishment.
The KwaZulu‑Natal Education Department conducted a preliminary
investigation which recommended that charges be brought against Dlamini,
and MEC Senzo Mchunu reinstated him, but said a disciplinary process
would be followed.
However, Dlamini said it was just a minority of teachers that had a
sit‑in and most were teaching.
Mlungisi Ntombela, Umlazi Education district director said they were
aware of the problem and a task team had been established to look into
the issues that the school is faced with.
SA Democratic Teachers' Union provincial chairman Mabutho Cele said he
received a call from the teachers saying they were worried about their
safety because they feared the principal.
This is a dirty game'
Sapa 13 May 2010
Some residents of Meyerton, south of Johannesburg, marched to their
police station on Wednesday night to demand the release of seven men
arrested for murder, Gauteng police said.
The men were arrested earlier on Wednesday after being linked to the
death of a man severely assaulted by local residents three weeks ago,
Constable Ntandika Ngcobo said.
Locals had accused him of house robbery. He died of his injuries a week ago.
The residents' spokesperson Mudin Maivha said the group's arrest was
politically motivated. Maivha claimed those arrested were members of the
Pan Africanist Congress.
"The community assaulted a criminal, now PAC members have been rounded
up... This is a dirty game."
He said 17 of their members had already been arrested for the murder.
"People feel the presence of the PAC in the Midvaal municipality and
resort to dirty tricks."
Ngcobo said there was no violence during the protest at the police
station. ‑ Sapa
Numsa threatens power blackout for World Cup
Business Report 11 May 2010
Power blackouts during the World Cup. That is the latest union threat.
It comes from the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), which is
involved in a battle with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) about
who should organise workers at the power utility.
There is also speculation about a battle brewing between Numsa general
secretary Irvin Jim and his much more established NUM counterpart, Frans
Baleni, to be the next general secretary of Cosatu. In a May Day speech,
Cosatu’s current general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, noted that Numsa
should not be organising within Eskom.
This has given rise to speculation that Numsa wishes to appear more
militant than NUM in order to win more support from Eskom workers; that
this is the reason that Numsa national spokesman Castro Ngobese made his
power‑blackout threat yesterday.
Referring to Eskom’s executives as “spoilt golden boys and girls”,
Ngobese, who formerly spoke on behalf of the Young Communist League,
warned: “Workers will use their power to withhold the utility’s ‘power’
until their demands are met.”
Numsa’s demands include a 20 percent across‑the‑board pay rise, six
months’ paid maternity leave and a ban on the employment of all casual
labour. Numsa maintains that the hefty pay rise is demanded for
lower‑paid employees who are subject to “racialised income inequalities”.
NUM has announced an 18 percent pay claim and has made no public
statements about other demands. All demands and counter offers are
supposed to be settled at the third of three, three‑day negotiations
sessions, which starts on May 26.
Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana took pains yesterday not to suggest
that it was a little opportunistic for about 200 elderly men and women
from villages in the former Transkei and Ciskei to turn up ‑ with their
blankets ‑ to protest against unpaid pensions and service benefits at
the gates to Parliament.
But he did note that similar protests by the retired mineworkers ‑ and
widows of former mineworkers ‑ had taken place at the Union Buildings in
Pretoria, as well as in Bizana in the Eastern Cape, costing individuals
up to R1 000 each in transport costs. However, he said he recognised the
right of all to protest and indicated that steps were being taken to
resolve the problems involved. Those who could prove they had
contributed through their places of work to the Unemployment Insurance
Fund (UIF) and other funds, including the so‑called 1970 Provident Fund,
would be assisted by the state.
Mdladlana has set up a task team, headed by UIF commissioner Boas
Seruwe, to interact with the ex‑workers ‑ who were housed in a community
hall in Gugulethu, a township 20km from Parliament, after spending a
night in the cold and rain outside Parliament on Monday.
Mdladlana said there were problems in resolving their demands, however,
as many of the applicants did not have IDs or even old reference books
from the apartheid era. This meant that not only had they never voted,
but they were not eligible for state grants ‑ including the old‑age
pension and child‑care grants or unemployment insurance, where applicable.
The protesters claimed they were victims of the multibillion‑rand fraud
scam in which former Fidentia boss Arthur J Brown had been implicated.
They are also making demands on a trust fund with R54 million in assets
held by the Compensation Commissioner for Occupational Diseases, which
falls under the Department of Health.
Mdladlana called on the media to help him keep in contact with the
ex‑miners. More than 4 000 were making claims and so far 159 claimants
had been paid out about R700 000 from the UIF.
The jobs statistics released this week paint a grim picture of
employment prospects in South Africa, with almost every sector in sharp
decline. As Adcorp labour market analyst Loane Sharp points out, 63.5
percent of the unemployed are now long‑term unemployed. Even more dire
is that 73.6 percent of youth under the age of 24 are now “inactive”.
This makes it all the more concerning that 127 000 students abandoned
their studies, presumably to look for work ‑ which in many cases will
The reality is that the cost of studying, even with state assistance, is
often too high, if transport and accommodation costs are factored in.
According to the latest General Household Survey released by Statistics
SA, three‑quarters of students attending higher education institutions
pay R4 000 or more a year. Difficulties in paying fees are more
pronounced if these students’ parents are unemployed.
Several ministers have recently commented about the role young people
are playing in service delivery protests.
The proposal from Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to enrol young people,
on a voluntary basis, in a national military service is one, possibly
good, solution. She also acknowledges the risk that if “we militarise
our youth, we are turning them over to society highly trained to kill
and a greater danger than before.”
This suggests that the national service should not focus on weapons
training, but service of another kind. The kind that would build and
offer support to maintain clinics and schools or help to provide
communities by building and maintaining infrastructure. Of course, the
air force and navy can train young people for industries such as
aviation and shipping.
More information about this plan and the previously announced wage
subsidy aimed at increasing the employment of young people is eagerly
awaited. Let’s hope that when these plans are unveiled in detail the
usual nay‑sayers this time will help work on the solution rather than
undermine these efforts from the outset.
Edited by Peter DeIonno. With contributions from Terry Bell, Donwald
Pressly and Samantha Enslin‑Payne.
SOUTH AFRICAN PROTEST NEWS 10 - 14 MAY 2010
Transnet protesters ordered to stop violence
MPUME MADLALA and SAPA 12 May 2010
Transnet was granted a Labour Court interdict yesterday prohibiting its
protesting workers from intimidating non‑strikers and damaging property.
This came ahead of the announcement that the South African Transport and
Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) would march from Currie's Fountain to the
city hall today to air its dissatisfaction with Transnet's 11 percent
wage increase offer. Satawu is demanding a 15 percent increase.
"The court interdicted Satawu from unlawfully interfering with business
or activities of Transnet and interfering with the performance by any
officials or employees of Transnet of their duties," read a notice,
signed by Transnet's human resources executive Pradeep Maharaj, that was
sent to unions.
Transnet spokesman John Dludlu said the company welcomed the Labour
Court's decision and that it was "deeply concerned" about the violence
and intimidation that had accompanied the strike.
Referring to the 13 Satawu members who were arrested on Monday for
public violence, Dludlu said the company was concerned about the levels
of violence and intimidation that had accompanied the strike.
Dludlu said the company would like to urge the unions to act responsibly
and respect the rights and property of fellow employees, suppliers and
customers. "According to Transnet's recognition agreement, the unions
are responsible for discipline and order during a strike.
"Picketing rules have been agreed between management and Satawu in all
regions," he said.
The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry manager for trade and
industry, Malusi Mpanza, said the strike was of concern, although no
major setbacks had been experienced yet.
Striking workers sabotage petrol train
Sapa 12 May 2010
A train transporting petrol and diesel has derailed between Durban and
Johannesburg today in an apparent sabotage action by striking Transnet
workers, a union official said.
This came as thousands of workers arrived at Durban's Curries Fountain
stadium in busloads to gather for a protest march to the city hall.
Thousands of transport workers have joined the national strike,
paralysing rail and port operations in Africa's biggest economy.
United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) general secretary Chris
de Vos said: "All indications are that it was sabotage ... the concern
is that striking workers are responsible for this,"
The railway plates had been loosened, causing the train to derail just
Nobody was injured.
Asked if commuters needed to be concerned about possible petrol
shortages due to the strike, De Vos replied: "Things could get ugly. The
corridor between Johannesburg and Durban has now been closed ... We
(Utatu) have the biggest majority at pipelines," he said.
De Vos said 18 locomotives were also damaged in the strike yesterday.
This happened in Ermelo and Durban, when rocks were thrown at
locomotives and some locomotives were set alight by striking workers.
Transnet's spokespeople were not available today to confirm the reports.
Today Utatu joined the SA Trade and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), whose
members have been on strike since Monday. Both unions rejected a wage
increase of 11 percent, demanding 15 percent.
Transnet obtained a court interdict yesterday to prevent striking
workers from "unlawfully interfering with business or activities of
Thirteen people were arrested for public violence and intimidation
during strike in Durban on Monday, police confirmed. ‑ Sapa
Workers deny 'sabotage' allegations
ARTHI SANPATH and MPUME MADLALA 13 May 2010
Striking transport unions have repeated their denial that workers are
behind the derailing of a fuel train near Burlington, Durban, early
Transnet labelled the act as "sabotage" as it came hours before SA
Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and United Transport and
Allied Trade Union (Utatu) workers staged a mass march through Durban,
demanding a 15 percent increase and refusing the 11 percent offered by
About 100m of rail track was sabotaged, causing the derailment of three
locomotives and six wagons.
John Dludlu, spokesman for Transnet, said this suggested very strongly
that the perpetrators had intimate knowledge of the infrastructure. The
Railway Safety Regulator reported that the train was carrying about 10
000 litres of diesel.
However, Utatu and Satawu ‑ together representing more than 80 percent
of Transnet's employees ‑ said their workers had been warned against any
acts of violence before, and during, the strike.
Utatu general, secretary Steve Harris, denied yesterday their members
were part of any illegal actions.
"We have on several occasions asked our members to stay calm and stay
within the boundaries of the law," he said.
Jane Barrett, spokeswoman for Satawu, said that as the investigation had
only begun, Transnet was premature in labelling the incident an act of
"And even if it is sabotage, the question is whether it can even be
linked to the strike and the union," she said, adding that there were
problems "all the time" on the railway lines.
"We condemn any acts of sabotage and our members were told that
destruction of property was not in our interest during the strike," she
The ANC also strongly condemned the "violent and irresponsible act of
Gwede Mantashe, secretary‑ general of the ANC, said: "We call on the
police to leave no stone unturned in tracking down, arresting and
charging anyone behind this despicable act of sabotage, which is not
only negatively affecting the transportation of goods but geared to
destroy our economy."
Dludlu said Durban, especially Umbilo, had been the site of the worst
acts of mayhem by protesters linked to Satawu.
The railway lines were reportedly closed until the early hours of this
Transnet management said it had urged the unions to abide by the court's
ruling to control its members and desist from acts of violence,
intimidation and vandalism.
The Labour Court granted Transnet an order with costs, interdicting
Satawu from unlawfully interfering with the business or activities of
Transnet; blockading streets and obstructing traffic; and damaging
public property and the property of Transnet; among others.
Dludlu added that the company had stepped up security around their
At the protest march yesterday from Curries Fountain to the city hall,
thousands of Transnet workers carried knobkieries and sticks as they
Satawu president, Ezrom Mabyana, said they were not willing to back down
from the 15 percent increase and vowed to continue with the strike until
their demands are met.
Themba Mthembu, the provincial secretary of the SACP, said the party
supported the striking workers.
Welcome Ntshangase, a Transnet representative, received and signed the
memorandum yesterday, saying that he would take it back to the
management in Johannesburg.
This article was originally published on page 3 of The Daily News on May 13, 2010
Union puts 'maximum energy' into strike
Sapa 13 May 2010
Transnet employees are expected to march in Johannesburg on Friday
morning against the parastatal's "refusal to grant workers their
demands", Satawu said.
"It is our responsibility to ensure that we put maximum energy, so we
don't have a strike that drags on for months," Xolani Nyamezele, Gauteng
secretary for the South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union said
on Thursday night.
"Also because of the arrogance Transnet is displaying, we get a feeling
they have no intention to budge."
He was speaking hours after the union, along with the united Transport
and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) agreed to go to the Commission for
Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration in Johannesburg.
The meeting would start at 2pm. Satawu welcomed the development but did
not anticipate process would be "quick or easy", the union's policy
research officer Jane Barrett said in a statement.
Utatu's general secretary Chris de Vos hoped the mediation would help
resolve the dispute "in the interest of workers, as they are losing
money". There were also fears the strike could cripple the economy.
But Nyamezele believed a strike could also help put pressure on Transnet
to up its 11 percent wage offer.
According to Barrett unions rejected the 11 percent increase as it was
never across‑the‑board and would have provided less take‑home pay for
two thirds of workers than the previous eight percent offer.
"The allocation of spend on employment cost had simply been rearranged.
In Satawu's view this was not negotiation. We are optimistic that under
the auspices of the CCMA, negotiations will resume in earnest, and that
agreement will be reached," she said.
The two unions would present a memorandum of demands to Transnet
management at Inyanda house in Parktown.
The workers want a 15 percent across‑the‑board wage increase, permanent
status for contract workers and four months maternity leave.
Before heading to Inyanda house, the group would meet at Mary Fitzgerald
square in Newtown, Johannesburg and head to Premier Nomvula Mokonyane's
office to present a memorandum against labour brokers, said Nyamezele.
He claimed 12 000 workers would take part.
About 2000 members of the Communication Workers' Union would also join
the march to Mokonyane's office.
Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne
Minnaar advised motorists to avoid certain routes as traffic would be
affected in the inner city.
"This is going to be a big one," he said.
Starting from Mary Fitzgerald Square around 10am, the marchers were
expected to go down Bree Street and into Simmonds Street. After taking
their memorandum to the premier's office, the protesters would join Fox
Street, go north up Rissik, which becomes Joubert and then into Hoofd
They would then make their way to the corner of Empire and Hillside
roads in Parktown to hand a memorandum to Transnet.
"They will then return to the Mary Fitzgerald Square through Bertha
Street," Minnaar said.
The march was expected to end at around 3pm. ‑ Sapa
Satawu press release : 11th May 5.30 pm
The General Secretaries and Presidents of Satawu and Utatu have met with
Transnet management and informed them of the non acceptance by members
of both unions of the offer that was delivered to the negotiating teams
on Friday. Labour indicated its willingness to enter into negotiations
to seek agreement and end the strike.
Management however repeated its take-it-or-leave-it position i.e. that
if the unions do not sign the offer, there is nothing to talk about.
Satawu views management’s response as highly irresponsible. The strike
can only be settled through negotiation – and this should be sooner
rather than later.
The strike therefore continues tomorrow. There will be mass marches in
Durban and Polokwane tomorrow, and one in Johannesburg on Friday, where
memorandums will be delivered to Transnet management. Marches were held
in Cape Town, Mafikeng, Port Elizabeth, East London, Richards Bay and
Vryheid today. The memorandum that was delivered is attached.
Satawu press release : 11th May 2010
The General Secretary of Utatu, Chris de Vos, has just announced to
large numbers of Satawu and Utatu striking workers gathered in
Braamfontein Johannesburg, that Utatu has officially joined the strike.
Satawu therefore expects that wherever there is still any limited
movement of goods and fuel by Transnet, this will be totally shut down
by this evening.
This should be a signal to Transnet management to start thinking
seriously about coming to the negotiating table with a seriously
adjusted offer, unlike the so-called 11% offer delivered to the unions
Fight goes on - toll protesters
Arthi Sanpath and Gill Gifford Daily News 11 May 2010
The South Coast anti-toll road opposition group says it is nowhere near
the end of the road in its battle to stop the N2 Wild Coast toll road.
With almost a week left to lodge appeals against the national
environmental department's green light for the project, the group is
completing its final document, which it hopes will sway minister Buyelwa
Residents are opposed to the N2 Wild Coast Highway from the Gonubie
interchange, near East London, to Isipingo in south Durban.
Previous attempts to stop the road - including thousands of formal
objections - have seemingly fallen on deaf ears.
But Ted Holden, of the Upper South Coast Anti Toll Focus Group, said it
hoped the appeal would be seriously considered. Failing that, it would
take the matter to court.
The toll road was to be discussed at the city's executive committee
meeting today, with the discussion focused on how the road would affect
residents of south Durban.
A detailed analysis was undertaken in 2008 of the effects of the road.
They included increased traffic congestion, accidents, pollution and
noise, which would decrease property values and reduce residents'
quality of life.
An updated report, using data from the municipality's recent household
travel survey, indicated that:
# The area south of the Isipingo Toll plaza has a population of about
350 000 households that will be affected by the road.
# Total work trips in the morning peak to 57 000.
# Of these trips almost 70 percent are by public transport and 30
percent by private car.
"The toll is unconstitutional, it is a public-private partnership and
the people of the area will not benefit," said Holden.
He and concerned citizens and members of local nature conservancies
organised a trek last Sunday along the beach from Pennington to
Scottburgh to draw attention to their opposition to the toll.
"We will be lodging an appeal against the minister's decision to give
the toll the go-ahead," he said.
Holden said if the minister upheld her decision, the group would apply
for an interdict until the matter was heard in court.
"This appeals process is not the end of the road for us; we will take it
further," he said.
eThekwini municipality had long voiced concern and opposition to the toll.
While the toll's initial environmental assessment was undertaken in
2003, the city's exco took a decision in October 2002 that no further
toll booths be placed inside the borders of the municipality.
In the 2008 study it was noted that toll fees would reduce the
disposable income of residents and workers in southern eThekwini by
between R96-million and R102m in 2010, which would result in a
reallocation of expenditure by households.
Johannesburg motorists have also expressed concern about the tolling in
"I think we're screwed. This is not a sustainable situation," said Rob
Handfield-Jones, managing director of driving.co.za, and a "motoring
"The middle class, which already carries the main tax burden, is not
going to cope with these kinds of costs."
This article was originally published on page 5 of The Daily News on May 11, 2010
Transnet granted interdict as strike intensifies
Sapa 12 May 2010
Transnet was on Tuesday granted a Labour Court interdict prohibiting its protesting workers from intimidating non-strikers and damaging property.
"The court interdicted Satawu from unlawfully interfering with business or activities of Transnet and interfering with the performance by any officials or employees of Transnet of their duties," read a notice, signed by Transnet's human resources executive Pradeep Maharaj, which was sent to unions.
The interdict also prohibits protesting workers from assaulting or intimidating Transnet officials and its employees, blockading streets and obstructing traffic.
Transnet spokesperson John Dludlu said the company welcomed the Labour Court's decision, and that it was "deeply concerned" about the violence and intimidation that had accompanied the strike.
The United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) on Tuesday announced it would join the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) in its nationwide strike against Transnet. The parastatal was sticking to its 11% wage offer on Tuesday afternoon. Unions wanted 15%.
Utatu secretary Chris de Vos said the union decided to join Satawu after its members rejected the 11% offer.
"As from tomorrow [Wednesday] 6am our members would be in the streets picketing. We have decided to officially join the strike," de Vos said.
Satawu policy research officer Jane Barrett said Wednesday's strike would be "massive".
About 84% of Transnet employees were expected to down tools, leaving the parastatal with only a handful of non-unionised workers, if they decided to work.
Transnet employs nearly 54 000 people, with Satawu representing 39% and Utatu 45% of these workers. -- Sapa
Transnet : no negotiations imminent
Satawu press release 11th May 2010
The General Secretaries and Presidents of Satawu and Utatu have met with Transnet management and informed them of the non acceptance by members of both unions of the offer that was delivered to the negotiating teams on Friday. Labour indicated its willingness to enter into negotiations to seek agreement and end the strike.
Management however repeated its take-it-or-leave-it position i.e. that if the unions do not sign the offer, there is nothing to talk about.
Satawu views management’s response as highly irresponsible. The strike can only be settled through negotiation – and this should be sooner rather than later.
The strike therefore continues tomorrow. There will be mass marches in Durban and Polokwane tomorrow, and one in Johannesburg on Friday, where memorandums will be delivered to Transnet management. Marches were held in Cape Town, Mafikeng, Port Elizabeth, East London, Richards Bay and Vryheid today..
CWU & COSATU CALL FOR A TOTAL BAN OF MODERN-DAY SLAVERY – LABOUR BROKERS
Communications Workers Union 12 may 2010
The Communications Workers Union calls on to all workers to participate in a planned march on the 14th of May 2010 (Friday). The march starts at 09h00 at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg, will proceed to the Legislature offices and Vodacom SA.
All workers who work under these labour broker companies so called (agencies), have experienced the brutality thus far.
No provident funds
No job security
No medical aid
No rights enjoyed in terms of Labour Relations Act and Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
FIGHT FOR QUALITY JOBS JOIN THE MARCH ON FRIDAY!!!
Utatu joins Transnet strike
Satawu press release 11th May 2010
The General Secretary of Utatu, Chris de Vos, has just announced to large numbers of Satawu and Utatu striking workers gathered in Braamfontein Johannesburg, that Utatu has officially joined the strike. Satawu therefore expects that wherever there is still any limited movement of goods and fuel by Transnet, this will be totally shut down by this evening.
This should be a signal to Transnet management to start thinking seriously about coming to the negotiating table with a seriously adjusted offer, unlike the so-called 11% offer delivered to the unions last Friday.
Transnet strikers strip subcontractors naked
Beauregard Tromp 11 May 2010
Police fired rubber bullets when striking South African Transport and
Allied Workers Union (Satawu) members attacked subcontractors and
stripped them naked on the first day of protest action at Transnet
And rival union leaders fear the violent protest action may prompt
non-striking workers to lay down tools.
Transnet laid criminal charges and instructed its lawyers to seek an
urgent interdict against Satawu's 19 000 members, who started their
indefinite strike on Monday by picketing outside Transnet buildings
throughout the country.
The incident happened on Monday morning in Umbilo, Durban, when strikers
forced their way onto Transnet premises and attacked subcontractors
before stripping them.
Police intervened by firing rubber bullets at the crowd. Twelve people
were injured, with six ending up in hospital.
"The company (Transnet) has collected video footage which will be used
in pursuing the intended criminal and disciplinary actions," said
Transnet spokesman John Dludlu.
"While we have asked the police to exercise restraint in dealing with
protesters, we are working closely with law enforcement agencies to
bring those behind today's violence to book and to ensure that this does
Following months of negotiations, Satawu last week rejected an 11
percent wage increase offered by Transnet, arguing that factors like
medical aid, the fate of contract workers and retrenchment had not been
Transnet has implemented contingency measures to minimise the effects of
the strike on freight rail services, ports and the movement of fuel
between Durban and Joburg.
The United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu), with 22 000
members, decided not to strike until it had consulted its members.
Satawu hailed the first day of the strike as an overwhelming success,
with all its workers heeding the call to strike. It voiced surprise at
earlier fears by Transnet that Satawu members would resort to violence.
"When we go on strike they try and bribe members by offering them double
salaries and buying people lunch. It's within their rights to use scab
Utatu general secretary Chris de Vos said the strike may have a severe
impact on the vote by his members on whether to accept Transnet's offer.
"Satawu is spreading the word that they may get 15 percent, and now even
our members are turning around and saying they want the same. With the
vicitimisation and the shooting by the police in Durban it makes our
position very, very difficult," said De Vos.
Utatu was still in support of getting 5 000 contract workers permanently
appointed but believed the 850 permanent jobs on offer "was a good
"We believe it is a good offer, but at the end of the day, the members
will decide," said De Vos.
Late on Monday, Satawu leaders were still trying to establish what
happened at Umbilo.
This article was originally published on page 5 of The Star on May 11, 2010
13 protesters arrested for public violence
Sapa 10 May 2010
Thirteen people were arrested for public violence and intimidation
during the Transnet workers' strike in Durban on Monday, KwaZulu-Natal
"Employees became violent and attacked people at work. Eight people were
injured one person was in a critical condition," said Lieutenant Colonel
Mdunge said there were about 1500 protesters carrying spades, shovels
and knobkierries. One person was injured with a spade.
He confirmed that police used rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
Those arrested were charged with intimidation, assault and public
violence.They were due to appear in court soon, said Mdunge.
Earlier it was reported that 15 people were injured when police fired
rubber bullets at the protesters.
Netcare 911 spokesman Jeff Wicks said a large group of men and women
employed by Transnet had gathered outside the Bayhead Road site.
"It is alleged that the group became obstructive and failed to disperse
on the instruction of police," he said.
The injured were treated on the scene before being taken to hospital,
Wicks said. - Sapa
COSATU backs SATAWU strikers
Cosatu 11 May 2010
The Congress of South African Trade Unions declares its100% solidarity
with the 18000 members of our affiliate SATAWU who are on strike at
Transnet, and pledges its full support for their just demands, including
for a 15% wage increase.
As well as struggling for a living wage SATAWU is also fighting for two
important and related principles on which COSATU has been campaigning
strongly - decent work and closing the gap between the rich and the poor.
The federation agrees that the more than 5000 workers who are currently
employed by Transnet on an apartheid-style annual contract basis should
be employed on a permanent basis.
It is unacceptable that any state-owned enterprise should be employing
workers on a casual basis. They should be setting an example by leading
the way in implementing ANC policies on decent work and poverty
alleviation, as adopted at the Polokwane conference.
In the interests of reducing the inequality gap, COSATU also agrees that
the formula for annual bonuses must be renegotiated, so that we can put
a stop to a disproportionate allocation of pay and bonuses going to
COSATU calls upon Transnet management to return to the negotiating table
immediately with a serious new offer so that the dispute can be settled.
But until then the two million members of all COSATU affiliates will be
right behind the SATAWU members on strike at Transnet. An injury to one
is an injury to all!
Satawu press release 9 May 2010
The strike at Transnet is set to start at 06.00 tomorrow 10th May.
Workers employed in all South Africa’s commercial ports, the national
rail network, the rail engineering operations, as well as the national
pipeline will be involved. The strike does NOT include Metrorail
workers. Metrorail is a separate company with a separate negotiating
process. There is a dispute in that company but this is at a different
legal stage, and there will be no strike tomorrow or any day this week
in that company. Commuters will therefore not be affected by Transnet
What will be affected is the movement of goods by rail, the movement of
fuel from the refineries in Durban to Gauteng, and the movement of goods
in and out of the ports. Long distance passenger rail will also be
affected as Shosholoza Meyl uses Transnet tracks.
Satawu wishes to remind the media that this dispute is not just about
money. It is also about two important and related principles. It is
about Decent Work, and about closing the gap between the rich and the
poor. Satawu has demanded that the more than 5000 workers who are
currently employed by Transnet on an apartheid style annual contract
basis should be employed on a permanent basis. We have also demanded
that the formula for annual bonuses be negotiated. This is so that we
can participate in the process of ending the practice of a
disproportionate allocation of pay and bonuses going to senior managers.
We believe that Transnet, as a State Owned Enterprise, has an obligation
to lead the way in implementing ANC policies on decent work and poverty
alleviation, as adopted at the Polokwane conference.
Please find attached a list of contact people in the event of wanting to
contact local Satawu representatives for details of meeting points, or
if you wish to do local interviews.
Mandela Park residents frustrated over lack of housing
Eyewitness News 9 May 2010
There was a strong police presence at Thusong Community Centre in
Khayelitsha on Sunday.
Western Cape Human Settlement MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela met with
aggrieved residents from Mandela Park.
Locals have accused the MEC of lying about housing delivery.
He once again reiterated to the residents that housing shortages in the
province remains a challenge in the department.
The official said addressing this problem will not happen overnight.
Madikizela and a few of his officials gave feedback to local residents.
The area has two housing projects which benefited more than 1 500 people.
However, residents said the location of these units was riddled with
corruption. They asked the MEC to deal with the matter.
# Chamber of Commerce predicts devastating outcomes of Satawu strike
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on
Sunday a strike among Transnet workers has the potential to devastate
The chamber said the local economy cannot afford an industrial action of
this magnitude because the country is still struggling to counter the
affects of the recession.
Transport union Satawu issued a strike notice last week after wage talks
It is demanding a 15 percent across-the-board pay hike while Transet
offered an 11 percent wage increase.
The nationwide industrial action will kick off on Monday.
The chamber’s Neren Rau said: “Sacci is concerned with the broader
impacts of the strike. Naturally, in terms of the direct impact in terms
of workers staying away from their places of work, it will impact on
other workers in other sectors of the economy, not just the transport
Two arrested for violent protests in Delft
Eyewitness News 9 May 2010
Two women have been arrested and face charges of public violence after a
violent service delivery protest in Delft.
Dozens of people blocked off an intersection of Delft’s main road
demanding proper housing.
Police had to fire rubber bullets to disperse the demonstrators who
burnt tyres outside an abandoned municipal office.
One woman who was in a nearby church said everything happened quickly.
“We heard loud sounds and we saw policemen shooting at people. There was
[a] lady who attends church with us who ran into the church. She was
nervous,” she said.
Photographer Muntu Vilakazi captured the frustration of elderly members
of the 1996-2000 Housing Waiting Committee over housing delays.
Committee members erected makeshift shacks on vacant land in Emdeni,
Soweto, and have vowed to continue to do so until their plight is heard.