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South African Protest News 18 - 31 October 2010 (2010) South African Protest News 18 - 31 October 2010.  : -.

Workers take over factory to defend jobs 29 October 2010

Solidarity needed!
DSM (CWI in South Africa) reporters 27 October 2010

On Wednesday 20 October, the workers of the Mine Line/TAP Engineering factory in Krugersdorp, just outside Soweto, started an occupation of their workplace to stop the former owner from stripping the factory of machinery and other assets and to fight to save their jobs. The workers are organised by the Metal and Electrical Workers Union of South Africa (MEWUSA) in which the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM – CWI in South Africa)), plays a leading role. They are occupying the plant and mobilising a mass solidarity campaign, demanding state takeover of the factory, so that it can be reopened as a democratically run workers’ co-operative.

Mine Line/Tap Engineering, which produces valves, locomotives etc for the mining industry, was shut down in August as the owner, Mr. Mulder, was trying to escape responsibility for the deaths of three workers in a 4 August accident, caused by his gross disregard for workers’ health and safety. Despite the economic crisis, Mine Line has remained a viable business. The insolvency is the direct result of Mulder’s criminal looting, fraud and theft. He took R15m in cash from the company account, in addition to the fleet of luxury cars and helicopters he had bought himself with company money, and filed for bankruptcy the following day. While he has since been colluding with the liquidator, Commonwealth Trust, to loot the company, stealing its funds to set up business elsewhere, the 107 workers and the families of the workers who were killed are left with nothing to show for, in most cases, over 25 years of service.

Workers decided on Wednesday 20 October to guard the premises to stop the ex-owner and the liquidator from stealing any more machinery or other assets from the factory. Workers are fighting to save jobs, pensions and benefits, but also to show that production and society in general can be run without the capitalist bosses. The workers are demanding that the state should transfer ownership to the workers and inject capital to revive the business, and are forming a co-operative to run the factory, as a step towards the nationalisation of the company under workers’ control and management.

The occupation of Mine Line is the first action of this kind by workers in SA to defend jobs since the onset of the recession in 2008. Over 1 million jobs have been lost in SA since the recession set in – according to the IMF this is the world’s highest rate, relative to growth rates. 55% of SA’s working age population is not economically active (although the official unemployment rate is “only” 25%).

Regrettably, the trade union movement’s leaders have reacted to the recession as if it is a natural phenomenon for which no-one can be blamed. Instead of coordinating a united mass action campaign to push back the bosses’ offensive and defend jobs, they have focused on signing deals with the bosses and government for the “common good” – in effect, bailing out the bosses. The Mine Line workers are refusing to pay for the crisis caused by their boss and are sending a loud and clear message to workers everywhere to do the same. The economic crisis has exposed to millions that the capitalist system is unable to take society forward and this struggle will provide important lessons for organised workers, struggling working class communities and youth organisations in SA and internationally on how to fight for a socialist alternative.

The workers are mobilising and appealing for the support of other workers and their communities. Already, the Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI in SA), COPAC and the wider Conference of the Democratic Left, a new united left initiative, are taking an active part in support for the occupation. There is now an urgent need to unite the weight of the entire labour movement and the mass struggles of communities and youth into a mass solidarity campaign. Pressure also needs to be put on the company’s main creditors: ABSA (bank) to pursue the ex-owner, not the company, to recover what is owed to it (he borrowed R35m on false pretenses and never invested it in the company). The same applies to the R15m owed to the South African Revenue Services (SARS).

The workers are inspired by the courageous examples set by workers at e.g. INNSE in Italy, the Vestas and Visteon occupations in Britain, etc. We appeal to all working class political organisations, trade unions, or individuals to send brief messages of solidarity to MEWUSA and the Mine Line Workers Committee as well as letters of protest to the liquidating company (model letter of protest and details below).

Army unions threaten strike
Hlengiwe Nhlabathi 27 October 2010

Military trade unions on Wednesday gave the government until November 5 to pay their World Cup deployment allowances or face another mass protests. Photo: Masi Losi, Pretoria News

Military trade unions on Wednesday gave the government until November 5 to pay their World Cup deployment allowances or face another mass protests.

“... We implore President (Jacob)Zuma to act decisively and pronounce on the fact that our soldiers were not paid,” national secretary of the SA National Defence Force Union, Pikkie Greeff told journalists in Pretoria.

“Ever since the retirement of president Nelson Mandela, successive presidents have played little role in the affairs of the SA National Defence Force.”

About 10 000 troops were still owed R30 000 each. The department had promised to finalise payments by this month, but nothing had happened so far.

Members of the SA Police Service received their allowances.

Greeff claimed all platforms, including collective bargaining and even arbitration, had effectively been closed to SANDF members and their unions.

“The only avenue still available to them are national, public protests... We can't in a democracy such as ourselves have a defence force that deploys its troops and does not pay them,” he said.

“We want to know what the commander (in-chief Zuma) is going to do about it. His troops are walking around... they are hungry, they are unpaid and quite severely upset.”

Greeff said this negatively affected morale. Making false promises to soldiers was an act of subversion.

“It can lead them to revolt.”

Last year's national strike was marred by soldiers trying to scale the perimeter fence of the Union Buildings on August 27. Asked how they would avoid similar violence, Greeff said: “We can't do anything when provocateurs are planted.”

Deputy president of the SA Security Forces Union, Charles Jacob said mass action was their constitutional right.

He said people blindly pointed fingers at soldiers and the union while their call for a probe into their conditions of employment landed on deaf ears. The unions insisted agent provocateurs had been planted among striking soldiers to cause chaos.

Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu's utterances that she didn't recognise unions and wanted to do away with them undermined the Constitution, he argued.

“The minister can't just wish us away. Let's engage in dialogue to bring about a better defence force.”

Greeff urged Zuma to intervene, as previous salary increments announced by him in December last year had lead to “chaotic” structures within the SANDF. Lower-ranked soldiers were in some instances receiving higher salaries than their seniors.

“There is until today no publicised salary scale... it goes to the heart of the fact that the department is dangerously managed,” said Greeff.

Comment from the ministry was not immediately available. -

COSATU NW marches to Mineral Resources department
Cosatu 29 October 2010

COSATU and its affiliate NUM are taking to the streets today to protest against the exploitation of workers by Aourora , the liquidators and the Department of Mineral Resources.

The history of the so called Aourora company is known in the country, this company has caused death among many workers, their children are out of schools due to non- payment of their salaries. It has also neglected the healthy conditions of workers.

Workers will be marching to the DMR in Matlosana on the 29 -10-2010 from 10am. The protest action will be starting from NUM offices to the office of the Minister to hand over the memorandum. We calling the community of Matlosana to give solidarity support the action.

Media is invited to the protest action to expose corruption, exploiters and the killers of our 16- year-old democracy.

More information please call COSATU provincial secretary Solly Phetoe;0823044055.

COSATU calls for boycott of Pick n Pay in solidarity with SACCAWU strikers
Cosatu 29 October 2010

The Congress of South African Trade Unions pledges its total support for the 27 000 workers on strike from today, 29 October 2010, at Pick n Pay outlets, and calls on all its members and all customers to boycott the company’s stores until a settlement of the strike has been reached.

Pick n Pay and other dominant companies in the retail sector, pay their top executives massive salaries and bonuses, yet continually try to keep their employees on poverty wages, using casualisation as a way to undermine workers’ solidarity and push down wages and working conditions still further.

The trade union movement as a whole must send a message to the employer that the workers of South Africa are united behind their comrades in Pick n Pay and will no shop at any of their stores until management come forward with a settlement which is acceptable to the workers and their union SACCAWU.

For more details of the strike, please contact: Mike Abrahams, SACCAWU Spokesperson on 082 336 5363, or Mduduzi Mbongwe, SACCAWU Deputy General Secretary, on 082 336 5146.

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
1-5 Leyds Cnr Biccard Streets

P.O.Box 1019

Tel: +27 11 339-4911/24
Fax: +27 11 339-5080/6940
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456

UCT WOrkers message of Solidarity to Pick 'n Pay striking workers
28 October 2010

Dear Comrades,

We send greetings and solidarity to all Pick n Pay and affiliated
workers. We support your demands. We support your industrial action,
especially strike action. Like you we know how the bosses force us to
use our weapon of the strike. It is a good weapon and one of the
strongest we as workers have. When we strike we are showing the bosses
our strength and we, as the working class, have a lot of strength.

We see how every day you workers are working in those Pick n Pays for
the capitalist bosses to secure your livelihoods. Workers in this
country and also all over the world are doing the same in many
workplaces. Many of us are forced to work and many of us have no
employment. When you show the bosses your strength by standing up
against them and demanding your needs be met, you are also showing
something else. You are showing workers everywhere that we can and
must stand up against the capitalist bosses. We have heard you. That
is why we are sending you this message of solidarity.

Here at UCT we are facing many problems like those you face and
workers everywhere always face. The bosses here at UCT behave like
your bosses. Most of us are outsourced workers working for bosses from
the private sector in an institution belonging to the public sector.
The UCT bosses did this. They brought the private sector here to UCT.
Just like the bosses at Pick and Pay and the capitalists everywhere,
these private sector bosses try give us less wages and make us work
more so that they can make more profit. We reject all of this.

We support your strike action. We support your call for a consumer
boycott. We support your picket lines. We stand with you in the
struggle for decent working conditions, for decent wages, and for job

Viva the workers of Pick n Pay, Viva!

In solidarity,
UCT Joint Shop Stewards Committee

Contact cde Matthew on 084 759 8988 or

Mike Abrahams


More than 80% of Syntell (Pty) Ltd’s workforce who are Samwu members will be engaging in a protected strike action in the coming week. This followed a failed attempt by the CCMA to mediate an agreement between parties.

The strike action is likely to negatively impact on traffic management services (processing of traffic fines, traffic summons, etc) throughout the country. This as Syntell has contracts with most municipalities to run their traffic functions. The City of Cape Town, one of the biggest municipalities that outsourced traffic services to Syntell will be the worst affected by the strike action.

“The company simply refused to meet with Samwu to negotiate wages and conditions of employment, even when we met at the CCMA. We fail to understand the stubbornness of the company to recognize Samwu as the collective bargaining agent of workers. To make matters worse this company is owned by a trade union investment company (Sactwu Investment Holdings). They simply implemented a 5% wage increase. This is undermining our Constitutional rights to engage in collective bargaining”, said Mario Jacobs, Samwu Provincial Organiser.

The union’s Special Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) which is currently meeting in Cape Town took a special resolution, that they shall be calling on their members to support the strike action, particularly at those municipalities where Syntell has a contract.

Andre Adams, Samwu Provincial Secretary confirmed that the Special PEC resolved to support the Syntell strike action. “We take note that Syntell has contracts with most municipalities in the province. For these municipalities to enter into contracts with a company that wishes not to recognize union rights is problematic to Samwu. Bigger municipalities, like the City of Cape Town, must realize that such situations could take us on a collision course with the municipality. The same applies to other municipalities.”

For further comment contact Mario Jacobs, Provincial Organiser on 084 841 0870 or Andre Adams, Provincial Secretary on 082 565 1207.

Issued by;

Tahir Sema.
South African Municipal Workers' Union of COSATU.
National Media and Publicity Officer.
Office: 011-331 0333.
Cell: 0829403403.

NEHAWU 28 October 2010

NEHAWU has declared a nationwide strike at the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications {NRCS} starting today the 28th of October 2010.This comes after the union and the employer deadlocked over wage negotiations where the union was demanding 17% wage increase but the employers final offer is 6,5%.There are other unresolved issues that relate to the grading system ,the recognition of experience, skills and qualifications including the provision of adequate tools of trade.

The strike details in Pretoria are as follows:

Venue : NRCS at SABS Campus1 Doctor Lategan Road, Groenkloof, Pretoria.

Date : Starting today, 28 October 2010

Time : 09h00

Members of the media are invited to come and cover the workers struggle for a living wage and better working conditions.

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat Office

For further information, please contact: Sizwe Pamla (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 011 833 2902 - 082 558 5962 or email:

Visit NEHAWU website:

Cape Town Right2Know march video
Mail & Guardian 28 October 2010

A sea of red will flow through Cape Town on Wednesday 27 October as thousands of supporters of the Right2Know Campaign demonstrate their opposition to the Secrecy bill. The mass march, led by religious leaders, civil society, Zapiro, Freshlyground and other prominent South Africans, is the culmination of the R2K campaign's week of action.
Watch Video

Strike looms at Lonmin as talks collapse
NUM 28 October 2010

Wage talks between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and platinum giant Lonmin collapsed yesterday paving a way for a possible strike by over 18 000 mineworkers. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will today refer a wage dispute to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The NUM demands a wage increment of 11% down from 12% whilst the company has for the past month danced on one spot, 7%. “We cannot allow the company to dance on one spot forever, we have to move on” says Erick Gcilitshana, the NUM‘s Chief Negotiator at Lonmin. “We are already preparing ground for a strike against Lonmin for we no longer have choice. We always advise companies that we rather reach an agreement without seeking an intermediary as two is company and three is crown” says Gcilitshana.

“It is looks like the company require the intervention of the crowd and that is why apart from informing the CCMA, we are also speaking to our 18 000 members to be prepared for war” he says.

The National Union of Mineworkers calls on the company to improve its offer to 11% as a matter of urgency as it has already ran out of time.

Erick Gcilitshana- 082 809 3105
Lesiba Seshoka- 082 803 6719

Lesiba Seshoka
National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)
7 Rissik Street ,JOHANNESBURG
Tel: (011) 377 2047
Mobile: 082 803 6719

Right to know march in Durban
Patrick Bond 27 October 2010

Today several hundred angry Durban residents marched on City Hall to demand that the ruling party retract its proposed legislation to intimidate independent media and shut down our rights of access to information, so hard-won in the struggle for liberation. When the ruling party tramples on the democracy it helped the society win, then those forces in civil society who also fought apartheid must act swiftly and passionately. That's what the Durban Right2Know march was all about!

200 march against Information Bill
Sibonelo Ngcobo (The Mercury) 27 October 2010

About 200 people marched through the Durban central business district on Wednesday to express concern over the possible introduction of the Protection of Information Bill.

The protesters were part of the Right2know campaign, a coalition which claims a membership 370 organisations opposed to the bill currently before Parliament.

The protesters marched through Dr Pixely Ka Sema to the Durban City Hall.

Protesters held placards, some of which read: “Say no to the Cwele Gag Bill”; and “Our Freedom is your freedom”.

Some protesters wore white t-shits with the slogan: “We demand the Right2know”.

The memorandum was received by Bheki Nkwanyana, a representative of the office of KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize.

Convener of the march Desmond D’sa said the march consisted of shack dwellers (abahlali basemjondolo), students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the Durban University of Technology.

“There are community members from Meerbank, Isipingo, Wentworth, KwaMakhuthu and other areas,” said D’sa.

He said the march was part of a fight to protect the constitution.

“We can even go to jail for our voices to be heard.”

The intention of the bill is to widen the type of information the government can classify and critics believe this will lead to arbitrary classification of information to avoid scrutiny of possible wrongdoing by government officials.

The campaign included another march in Cape Town on Wednesday. The march began at Keizersgracht Street at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and was to end at Parliament by noon. -

Four week long strike spreads like wildfire at Mototolo Mine
NUM 27 October 2010

A four week long strike action that began at the Angloplatinum and Xstrata Joint Venture of Mototolo Mine in Steelpoort, Mpumalanga continues and has now been supported by a secondary strike action. The strike by over 1300 workers at Mototolo Mine is over wages wherein the NUM demand a wage increment of 14% for employees falling under the A3 category; 11% for the A4 and 10% for categories B1 to B5. A secondary strike action began this week at Thorncliffe Mine where 520 workers joined the strike; at Lydenburg Works where 420 workers joined the action and at Mototolo Concentrator where a 180 downed tools in support. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) calls on the company to accede to the workers demand

The strike began on the 29th September and the company has improved its offer to 13% for category A3 whilst acceding to other categories. Members demand that the company should come to the party with 14%. “There is no turning back, the company has to deliver, says Makgabo Mabapa, the NUM ‘s Regional Secretary in North East.

Makgabo Mabapa- 0828804439

Lesiba Seshoka
National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)
7 Rissik Street ,JOHANNESBURG
Tel: (011) 377 2047
Mobile: 082 803 6719

Strike at South Deep halted for now
Business Report 27 October 2010

A strike at Gold Fields' South Deep operations has been halted for now.

South Africa's second-largest gold producer on Tuesday said the labour court had granted it an interim interdict prohibiting the strike action by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

The strike action by the NUM got underway on Tuesday morning after the company and the trade union failed to reach full agreement over NUM demands to participate in certain decision-making processes that Gold Fields views primarily as management prerogative.

These include, among others, the recruitment and selection of middle to senior management as well as tender and procurement practices.

Gold Fields said the interim interdict has been granted pending the leading of oral evidence concerning factual disputes relating to the protected or unprotected nature of the strike.

The registrar of the court has yet to set a date for the hearing of the matter.

"Gold Fields has engaged and will continue to engage with the NUM in an endeavour to resolve the underlying issues that led to the dispute," the company said. - I-Net Bridge

NUM serves strike notice to JIC Mining services
NUM 27 October 2010

The National Union of Mineworkers has yesterday served the notorious labour broker called JIC Mining Services with a notice to strike, beginning Sunday evening. JIC Mining Services offers drilling and blasting services to Impala Platinum, Hernic Mine in Brits, Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine, Xstrata in Limpopo and Shiva Mine in Matlosana amongst others and employs over 7000 workers. The hard-hitting strike action that will be unleashed by the NUM over the labour broker emanated from failure to reach consensus on wages. The NUM demands that the minimum wage for workers employed by JIC be raised to R3000 a month; that JIC should improve its medical aid contribution and its living out allowance. The NUM demands that the living out allowance be raised to R1200. “The company has called us to a meeting. We hope the meeting will resolve all these problems otherwise I am afraid production will cry like a newborn baby” says Mxhasi Sthethi, the NUM‘s Regional Coordinator in Rustenburg.

“If they do not move, come Sunday, all these mines that rely on them for services will be grounded” says Sthethi. “We actually call on the Department of Labour to disband all labour broking and if they continue to be hesitant when our people suffer, we will dismantle the system ourselves. We will break the chain” he says.

Mxhasi Sthethi- (NUM Regional Coordinator) 082 903 3489

Lesiba Seshoka
National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)
7 Rissik Street ,JOHANNESBURG
Tel: (011) 377 2047
Mobile: 082 803 6719

Cape service delivery protest flare–up ’unusual’
Highveld FM 25 October 2010

Metro Police officers are increasing patrols in Nyanga following a series of violent service delivery protests.

Several people were arrested on Sunday after a group of disgruntled protestors went on the rampage.

Deputy Metro Police Chief Yolanda Faro said officers are also being targeted during the demonstrations.

She added, “ suspects were arrested for public violence during protest action... Two of our metro police officers were injured after the group pelted stones at patrol vehicles."


Meanwhile, the Human Sciences Research Council on Monday said the nature of service delivery protests appears to be changing in the Western Cape and that the recent flare-up in protest action in the province is unusual.

The council said ongoing political mud-slinging between the Democratic Alliance-led provincial government and the ANC may be contributing to an increase in mass-action.

The council’s David Hemson said previous studies showed protests tended to drop in the weeks and days leading up to local government elections.

“Pre-election there’s been usually something of a quieter period. So we’re entering into an unusual period...” he explained.

The DA, which also controls the Cape Town City Council, has come under fire in recent weeks for its handling of the Hangberg eviction debacle.

Hemson said the Makhaza toilet saga and housing shortages may also be to blame for raising tensions.

Cape Town protests spread
Unathi Obose 26 October 2010

A FOUR-WEEK service delivery protest in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, has spread to Philippi, with hundreds of residents barricading busy roads with burning tyres over the weekend.
The protest was set to continue last night, according to Eric Notana, chairperson of the Philippi People's Forum.

"We will continue until Plato (Cape Town mayor Dan) agrees to meet us. He must deliver positive answers," Notana said.

Last month the organisation handed over a memorandum to a city representative in which they complained that they had not been told of any plans to build houses for them.

Mabhuti Nkwenkwana, 49, said he was one of the first people to set up home in the area (Kosovo) 13 years ago.

"How long are we going to stay in shacks? We share our groceries with rats. Some of us have TB and pneumonia because these shacks are very cold," Nkwenkwana said.

Backyard dweller Nomtha-ndazo Mfengu is willing to be moved anywhere as long as she gets a decent house.

"If you come from town with food parcels the landlord gets cross. You have to bribe her by giving her some of the food," Mfengu said.

The city had promised to respond to the residents' memorandum by October 21. Plato's spokesperson Rulleska Singh told Sowetan yesterday that the mayor had replied to the memorandum.

Jubilee Ianra protest against Anglo Platinum
Jubilee South Africa and IANRA South Africa
Press Statement 25 October 2010

Jubilee Mokopane will be marching with the support of IANRA South Africa to the Anglo Platinum PPL mine north west of the town of Mokopane in Limpopo province on Tuesday 26 October 2010 from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm.

The immediate reason for the march is in support of the Sekuruwe community and the court case it is currently pursuing against the mine for the destruction of the community’s land for a tailings dam for the waste from the mine’s operations.

Anglo Platinum fenced off the land the community has always used for ploughing and grazing, instantly preventing the villagers from accessing and using the land and severing their ability to sustain their livelihoods. In the process of destruction, the company has desecrated community graves on the land. It has been forced to apologise and to support the reconstruction of the skeletal remains, but many graves remain unaccounted for with numerous skeletal remains still believed to be on the land being destroyed. The destruction to date has already been extensive and people from the community are reporting that the mine appears to be starting to pour unknown substances onto the land.

The broader reasons for the march include the general destruction of land and the environment and contamination of water affecting numerous villages in the area. According to Phillipos Dolo, Jubilee Mokopane Coordinator, “This is an environmental injustice. We demand that Anglo Platinum stops the degradation and contamination of the environment and water with immediate effect and that it makes reparations for the damage it has caused.”

The march will also make a statement against the lack of progress in the task team established by the Ministry of Mineral Resources after it called for the disestablishment of the much detested Section 21 companies established by Anglo Platinum in communities affected by its operations. Instead of honouring its commitment to the task team, the company is continuing to make deals with the current illegitimate leadership of the Mapela Tribal Authority and the Section 21 companies. It is also continuing to make selective offers of employment to manipulate community leaders while failing to provide any significant jobs for the affected communities.

The march is being supported by the International Alliance on Natural Resources in Africa – South Africa (Ianra South Africa), a network including communities affected by mining as well as NGOs supporting these communities. The network was formally established earlier this year and is organising exchange visits between communities and people affected by mining. Currently, communities affected by Anglo Platinum and other companies engaged in platinum mining in both the Greater Rustenburg area and the eastern limb of the platinum belt in Limpopo are in Mokopane to lend their support to the march.

These include communities in Greater Rustenburg which have faced long-standing damage by Anglo Platinum to their land, environment and livelihoods and are also facing further expansion of mining activities. They are demanding sustainable development, reparations and benefits from the existing mining operations as well as a halt to expansion without consultation.

The community of Magobading in the eastern limb is also present. They have long-standing grievances in relation to their removal from areas in which Anglo Platinum has established mining operations to the rural township of Magobading created for that purpose, with lack of access to land and water and inadequate services and far from any potential places of employment.

George Dor

Jubilee South Africa General Secretary and IANRA SA working committee

For further information, contact:

Phillipos Dolo, Jubilee Mokopane coordinator, 073 789 2489

Joseph Magobe, Rustenburg, IANRA SA working committee, 083 960 5818

george dor +27 (0)11 648 7000 +27 (0)76 460 9620

SACCAWU Press Release: Pick 'n Pay workers plan of action
SACCAWU 25 October 2010

The ongoing Pick 'n Pay wage dispute has not been resolved yet. SACCAWU has submitted wage and improved working conditions proposals for 2010 to the Company during December 2009 and workers were due to receive their increases at the beginning of March 2010. After numerous attempts to resolve this dispute and almost one-year later there is still no resolution in sight, thus SACCAWU members at Pick 'n Pay are preparing for strike.

On the 26th October the parties will meet at the CCMA to conclude on picket rules for strike action, while at the same time members are preparing a series of ten mass protest marches throughout the country, where a memorandum will be handed over to the Company.

In Gauteng, workers will stage a march on the 28th October 2010, while nine other marches will take place throughout the country on the 29th October.

The Gauteng march will take place on the 28th of October 2010where members and supporters will deliver a memorandum of demands at the Chris Hani Crossing newly opened store in Vosloorus. The memorandum will be delivered at 13h45.

Further protest marches planned for the 29th October 2010 as set out below:

City/Town Operating Unit/Destination Time for handover of the memorandum

1. Bloemfontein Bloemfontein Hypermarket 13h00

2. Cape Town Kenilworth Store 13h00

3. Durban Durban City Hall 13h00

4. East London Vincent Park Store 13h00

5. George Garden Route Mall Store 13h00

6. Nelspruit Riverside Mall Store 13h00

7. Polokwane Savannah Mall Store 13h00

8. Port Elizabeth Walmer Park Store 13h00

9. Vereeniging Bedworth Park Hypermarket 13h00

SACCAWU expect the majority of our 27 000 members to join the industrial action

Workers demand:
• R550 per month increase or 12% whichever is greater
• A 10% Staff discount on basic food stuff.
• 120 hours per month guaranteed for Variable Time Employees
• A one year agreement wage agreement

SACCAWU further demand:
• End the use of labour brokers
• The establishment of a Centralised Bargaining Forum for the retail sector

We call on our allies and the public in general to support this industrial action by not crossing the picket-line and not shopping at Pick 'n Pay until the dispute is resolved. Should his dispute becomes further protracted we would mobilise the community for and call a Consumer Boycott of Pick 'n Pay.

Mike Abrahams

mike abrahams 0823365363
Mduduzi Mbongwe 0823365146

COSATU NW protest against racism in Ottossdal
Cosatu NorthWest 25 October 2010

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West and its affiliate SATAWU will wage a protest action at the Ottossdal magistrates court tomorrow, 26 October 2010 in their fight against racism.

This is prompted by the appearance of two SATAWU members who are accused of assault while they were dismissed for engaging in a legal strike at Pula foods. These members were assaulted by the members of the group called the Noord Wes Plaaslike Veiligehied while they were demonstrating during their legal strike.

We want to call on all the authorities to act and protect the working class and the poor farming community as they continue to be abused by the racist elements

All members of COSATU and the alliance are mobilised to come and support their fellow workers

For more information call COSATU NW provincial secretary Solly Phetoe 0823044055.

Minister still 'stubborn' on Secrecy Bill changes, protests set to intensify
Issa Sikiti da Silva 25 October 2010

State security minister Siyabonga Cwele's latest 'stubborn' stance on the much-hated Protection of Information Bill changes has angered right groups and media organisations, which are set to take their loud campaign to Durban and Cape Town this week to protest against the government's unconstitutional attempt to return the country to the apartheid's secretive and autocratic rule.

"Judging by his ever more desperate attempts at spin, the minister is clearly feeling the heat, but we will not be put off course and we will continue our week of action, culminating in a mass march to Parliament and Durban City Hall [this] Wednesday, October 27," the Right2Know campaign said in a statement.

Cwele claimed in September to have heard the public's concerns and even outlined proposed changes, which critics described as 'cosmetic at best'.

Blew it
But, when he appeared before Parliament's ad-hoc committee last week, he blew it. He categorically rejected the criticism levelled against the bill, calling it illegitimate and stating that the bill in its current form was in line with the Constitution, international human rights charters and conventions, and international best practices.

Cwele said: "Those who continue to argue against the bill, following our proposals on 17 September 2010 and today, are basically of the view that South Africa has no legitimate national security to protect."

Those who oppose the Secrecy Bill argue that the legislation will stifle the free flow of information - the lifeblood of an open, responsive and accountable democracy - and hamper investigative journalism and send SA back to the inferno of apartheid days.

William Bird, of the Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), said on Sunday 24 October: "We regret that both the minister and the state security agency recently refused to supply a copy of the minister's first submission to this same ad-hoc committee. The reason given was that 'disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause prejudice to the defence and security of the republic'.

"Made in public"
"This claim was made despite the fact that the submission presentation was made in public, that its content was widely reported, and that a transcript and recording of the submission were available online. (See, entries on 5, 12 and 13 October 2010)."

Bird added: "As the MMA, we believe that there is a real fear that this bill, if enacted, will be used to hide information that government ministers and civil servants may view as embarrassing, damaging or politically difficult.

"Unless there is a real and effective way for people to access and publish information that 'is in the public interest' this proposed legislation would violate rather than protect the rights of South African citizens."

This week's Right2Know campaign protest programme is as follows:

Monday (today):

Cavalcade through central Durban with coffins depicting death of information - departing from Diakonia Centre, at 20 Diakonia Avenue, Durban, at 12 noon).

Film Screening in Cape Town: 'The Most Dangerous Man in America' with Tri Continents Film Festival (Labia on Orange cinema, 68 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town at 6.15pm).

Tuesday (tomorrow):

Mock 'book burning' and performance art in Durban at Workshop Amphitheatre (Workshop Shopping Mall, Pine St, Durban Central, 8am-12 noon).

Placard-making session in Cape Town (ISS Office, 2nd Floor, The Armoury, Buchanan Square at 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock at 2pm).

Wentworth Community Meeting (Austerville Community Hall, corner Austerville and Percy Johnstone Road, Austerville, Durban at 6.30pm).


KwaZulu-Natal: March to City Hall Gathering at Botha's Garden, Julius Nyrere St,Durban at 8am.

Western Cape: Right2Know March to Parliament gathering in Kaizersgracht Street, Cape Town at 9.30am, arriving at Parliament at 12 noon.

Pick n Pay workers plan strike
Business Report 25 October 2010

Pick n Pay workers nationwide plan to begin a strike over wages and conditions of employment on Friday, a union spokesman said on Monday.

"We will start on Friday in all regions," said SA Commercial Catering and Allied Workers' Union deputy general secretary Mduduzi Mbongwe.

The parties were meeting at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration on Tuesday to finalise picketing rules, but, Mbongwe said consumers could expect picketing near all the country's stores.

The Johannesburg region would set the tone on Thursday with a march to a new store opening in Vosloorus.

Some of the issues up for negotiation had been resolved, but there were still many outstanding matters, he said.

Matters agreed on were that the minimum wage for category one workers be R3 000, compared with the R3 500 opening demand and a uniform cleaning allowance of R51.35 compared with the demand of R70.

They had brought their original demand of an across-the-board increase of R895 or 20 percent down to a R550 per month increase or 12 percent, whichever was greater, and this was still being negotiated.

They were also still trying to reach agreement on: whether they should get a 10 percent discount on basic items; an offer that workers pay R5.50 for their subsidised meals instead of the R5.70 Pick n Pay proposed; 120 guaranteed working hours per month for all variable-time employees; that the difference between each category be adjusted from the current R160 to R300, and that employees receive 100 shares in the form of a gift at five years of service and every five years thereafter.

The union said they were prepared to refer the incentive issue to a second process.

They also wanted cashiers applying for positions of either front line supervisors or cash office positions to retain their cashier two days off per month when promoted. As cashiers they usually worked six days a week, said Mbongwe.

In a statement Pick n Pay said the matters of labour brokers and centralised bargaining were not part of its current dispute with Saccawu.

Centralised bargaining existed with a high number of South African retailers, including themselves. Labour brokering was not in dispute between the union and Pick n Pay.

Mbongwe agreed with this.

The company said the current dispute was about wages and conditions of employment, regarding demands tabled by the union in December 2009.

Pick n Pay reiterated it was also not reinstating its year-end functions, which Saccawu had claimed was an attempt at sweetening them.

They were just going to have their usual in-store festive season function, the statement read. - Sapa

Municipal manager assaulted
Andre Grobler 22 October 22 2010

A group of about 20 people in Kuruman allegedly assaulted the area's municipal manager and damaged his office during an altercation, police said on Friday.

Charges of assault and malicious damage to property were being investigated after the group stormed into the office of the Ga-Segonyane municipal manager Atlholang Eric Gaborone, Captain Tony Modise said.

“Gaborone, 42, was allegedly assaulted in his office which was damaged by a group of between 15 to 20 people.”

Modise said the group indicated they represented people with small, medium and micro enterprises in the town. The attack happened shortly before 11am on Wednesday. The group was reportedly unhappy with certain tender processes at the municipality.

Municipal spokesman Martin Tsatsimpe said Gaborone sustained injuries during the incident, which took place in front of other managers.

“The staff was severely traumatised by the incident, which led to the offices being closed for the day.”

Business had returned to normal by Thursday. The municipality had not received any formal correspondence on the group's problem. Tsatsimpe said all they knew was media speculation about unhappiness over tenders.

The group entered the municipal building loudly protesting and allegedly barged into Gaborone's office while he was meeting with other employees.

Modise said two people from the group confronted Gaborone, allegedly assaulted and “mistreated” him before overturning his desk, damaging it in the process.

Police said an additional case of intimidation was opened after one of the group allegedly threatened the municipality's technical manager.

According to Modise, when police arrived at the scene the situation had been defused.

Police had opened case dockets, but no arrests had been made. The senior prosecutor in the region would decide whether to go ahead with the case or not.

Tsatsimpe said it was possible there would be talks with the group about their complaints soon. - Sapa

‘Stop the return to Apartheid-era secrecy’
SAPA 19 October 2010

About two hundred people with masking tape over their mouths started marching from Senate House in Johannesburg on Tuesday, as a silent protest against the proposed Protection of Information Bill.

“The bill is unconstitutional... Marching to the Constitutional court is therefore important,” Right2Know spokesperson Siphiwe Segodi said to reporters.

Most marchers did not get the memo about a silent protest and sang struggle songs loudly while carrying their banners down Jorissen street.

Many carried the banners, “Ignorance is no bliss” and “Stop the return to Apartheid-era secrecy”.

“We hope that through this march, consideration will be made to radically revise the bill,” Segodi said.

Earlier, the organisation's spokesperson Mark Weinberg said in a statement: “The Right2Know campaign aims to raise awareness about the threat that the Protection of Information Bill - the secrecy bill - poses to our democracy,”

“(We want to) mobilise South Africans to demand that the Bill be scrapped in its current form.”

Marchers were expected to meet at noon on Tuesday outside Wits University's Senate House entrance in Jorissen Street and start marching towards Constitution Hill.

“We will start off with the singing of the national anthem and then listen to a poem written by one of our partners. We will then have a member of the SA history archives talk about the info bill,” the campaign's Gauteng convener Ayesha Kajee said.

“Lastly, a member of the anti-privatisation forum will talk about the potential impact of the bill on communities at grassroots level.”

Pickets were also expected to take place in Durban and Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday, with a comedy evening ending the campaign's first day in Cape Town.

Supporters of the campaign included the Media Institute of Southern Africa, Media Monitoring Africa, the Professional Journalists Association, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and writer Nadine Gordimer.

Campaign activities would take place until October 27. -

Cops monitoring shack dwellers
IOL News 20 October 2010

Khayelitsha was quiet on Wednesday morning after protests by shack dwellers led to violence and property damage, Western Cape police said.

Captain Anneke van der Vyver said the protests started on Tuesday evening and ended in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

All roads leading into the township were open and people could safely visit the area.

The reason for the protests was not clear. Two trucks and a car were set alight and cars driving into the area were stoned. A police car was also damaged.

SABC news earlier reported that the protests were called by shack dwellers' movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, whose Western Cape spokesman Mzonke Poni claimed “criminals” had taken advantage of their peaceful demonstrations. It was believed they were protesting against poor service delivery.

Van der Vyver said: “At this stage we cannot confirm if they were involved or not. Our main concern is to keep an eye on the situation. Protests around service delivery will be investigated once we have done other primary investigations.”

A police report was expected to be issued later in the day. A case of public violence and two cases of malicious damage to property were opened. No arrests had been made. - Sapa

Christians to boycott Woolworths
Lynnette Johns Independent Newspapers 20 October 2010

Christians are threatening to boycott Woolworths after its decision to pull religious magazines from its shelves.

Christians are threatening to boycott Woolworths after its decision to pull religious magazines from its shelves.

Churches and Christian radio stations, TV programmes and magazines are readying themselves to appeal to hundreds of thousands of Christians to agitate for the reintroduction of the literature in Woolworths stores.

The campaign will be accompanied by a boycott call if Woolworths does not comply.

One of the leaders of the campaign is Errol Naidoo, who heads the Family Policy Insitute, a Christian lobby group.

Last week Woolworths said it was removing Christian magazines due to low sales. But the company told the magazines it had a policy not to stock religious and political literature.

Naidoo wrote to Woolworths chief executive Simon Susman, complaining about the decision. He said the company could not have overlooked its policy for eight years.

In reply , Susman said:

“Our teams were regrettably in error in listing this kind of publication. They have now been reminded of the policy.”

Naidoo said on Wednesday that

he was writing an e-mail for hundreds of thousands of people, urging them to lobby the store to reinstate the magazines. - Cape Argus

Hangberg residents "will not be moved"
IOL News 18 October 2010

Residents of Hangberg in Hout Bay, gathered to protest outside the Western Cape High Court against the City's plan to get an interdict to evict the community. The residents built informal structures along a firebreak on the slopes of the Sentinel, and are refusing to move.

‘They can kill me, I’m not going anywhere’
Luvuyo Mjekula 19 October 2010

“They can kill me, I’m not going anywhere,” said defiant Hout Bay fisherman Donovan Williams yesterday.

Williams is one of 52 Hout Bay residents facing eviction by the City of Cape Town but who have vowed not to move.

He said if evicted from his home, he would lose his livelihood and his family would be left to die.

“I don’t want to end up in Blikkiesdorp because I will be nothing to my family.”

He was still troubled by violent scenes last month when police escorted workers who had gone to demolish shacks.

“I can’t sleep or go to work. I’m traumatised because of what happened,” he said.

As a result of the violent exchanges between residents and police, he gets angry whenever he sees a police officer.

Speaking to the Cape Times outside St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town where he and other residents had met after the City of Cape Town’s eviction application in the Western Cape High Court on Monday, Williams was visibly furious.

He said he refused to vacate a house he said he spent a lot of money building for his wife and two children, 14 and one.

His youngest son, who has a heart condition, would be the most affected, he said.

Having his four-roomed house demolished meant he would need money to build another house.

“Where must I get the money? I am not wealthy,” Williams said.

Fishing was the only job he had and if moved from Hout Bay he would lose income. The 35-year-old said the sea was his only place of work and he would not consider leaving Hout Bay.

He accused the city of sidelining coloured people.

“You get black empowerment and white people have all the money, but nothing is done for coloured people,” he said. - Cape Times

200 dismissed Community Development Workers at North West Department of Sports, Arts and Culture
COSATU 19 October 2010

The Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliates (NEHAWU & SASAWU) congratulate the acting North West MEC of Sports, Arts and Culture for the political intervention on the matter of 200 dismissed workers and the staff who were dismissed at the time when the MEC Grace Bothman was removed from the office.

COSATU accepts that the 200 Community Development Workers (CDW) who were dismissed in March 2010 will be reinstated from the 1st November 2010 and that all political staff who were also dismissed unfairly are now back to work.

COSATU will continue to monitor the treatment that that these poor workers will receive during their coming back as from the 1st November 2010.

All 200 dismissed CDW must report on their work station from 1 November 2010.

For more information feel free to call COSATU NW provincial secretary comrade Solly Nani Phetoe on 082 304 4055.

COSATU supports SAMWU protest action against corruption in municipalities
COSATU 19 October 2010

The Congress of South African Trade Unions and SAMWU will be marching from the municipal offices to the SALGA provincial office in Klerksdorp on 22 October 2010 from 9h30-14h30. The media is invited.

The purpose of the protest action is a continuation of COSATU’s campaign against corruption in the municipalities. SAMWU workers are also demanding a detailed report on the matter of the late comrade Moss Phakoe and the call to re-call the premier of North West province.

Part of the protest march is to send a clear message to the corrupt councilors that COSATU will not support any corrupt candidate who is not nominated by the community, or anyone who has never delivered services to the people that elected him or her.

COSATU will also calls on SALGA to respond to the municipal workers on why it has not concluded the minimum level of agreement on condition of service for past 4 years.

COSATU and SAMWU are calling the provincial government to do justice to the people of the North West on service delivery. Workers in most of the municipalities are unable to perform their duty due to poor conditions of service such as no Employment Equity plan no Occupational Health and Safety equipment and many other Conditions of Employment.

We call the municipality to employ all those contract workers who have been exploited for years with no salary slip, no benefits, and being used to perform job’s for nothing.

We call on all COSATU members and communities in Matlosana to support the protest action.

For more information call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary, Solly Nani Phetoe, on 082 304 4055

Pickets against Info Bill
IOL News 19 October 2010

Cape Town-100826-Independent Newspapers staff protest abou the proposed media laws in front of parliament. Picture Jeffrey Abrahams

Over 370 organisations plan to conduct a silent march to Constitution Hill in Johannesburg on Tuesday, as part of protest against the draft Protection of Information Bill.

“The Right2Know campaign aims to raise awareness about the threat that the Protection of Information Bill “the secrecy bill” poses to our democracy,” the organisation's spokesman Mark Weinberg said in a statement.

“(We want to) mobilise South Africans to demand that the Bill be scrapped in its current form.”

Marchers were expected to meet at noon on Tuesday outside Wits University's Senate House entrance in Jorissen Street and start marching towards Constitution Hill.

“We will start off with the singing of the national anthem and then listen to a poem written by one of our partners. We will then have a member of the SA history archives talk about the info bill,” the campaign's Gauteng convener Ayesha Kajee told Sapa in a telephone interview.

“Lastly, a member of the anti-privatisation forum will talk about the potential impact of the bill on communities at grassroots level,” she said.

Pickets were also expected to take place in Durban and Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday, with a comedy evening ending the campaign's first day in Cape Town.

Supporters of the campaign included the Media Institute of Southern Africa, Media Monitoring Africa, the Professional Journalists Association, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and writer Nadine Gordimer.

Campaign activities would take place until October 27. - Sapa

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