||Residents threaten ANC
Natasha Prince and Bronwynne Jooste 8 April 2011
Police had to use rubber bullets against angry Nyanga residents. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane
Police opened fire with rubber bullets and two men were arrested on charges of public violence after a group of angry Nyanga residents took to the streets to issue the ANC with a warning: withdraw the ward candidate the party has named for the area, or they’ll vote for the DA.
Residents of ward 37 in Nyanga insist that the ANC has named the “wrong” candidate for ward councillor and some are threatening to punish the party at the polls by voting for the DA.
Others say they don’t want to have to vote for the DA, because they remain loyal ANC supporters, but they are angry with how the ANC has handled the selection of its councillor for the ward, which covers the areas of Nyanga east of Abonwabisi and E Mjodo, west of Zwelitsha and south of Sithandatu streets.
Last year, the ANC lost a key ward in one of its traditional strongholds to the DA - ward 44, which covers part of Gugulethu and Heideveld.
The Western Cape ANC has admitted that it is aware of the problem in ward 37, and its provincial secretary, Songezo Mjongile, told the Cape Argus today that similar scenarios were playing out in wards across the province.
But the party is blaming those who lost out on being nominated as ward councillors for organising the protests.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut said about 200 people had barricaded Zwelitsha Drive yesterday evening.
The people had thrown stones at police vehicles patrolling the area, Traut said.
“Police were duty bound to take action and rubber bullets were fired to disperse the crowd, who posed a threat to the community.”
Two men, aged 21 and 25, had been arrested on a charge of public violence and were due to appear in court today, he said.
No injuries were reported.
The majority of the protesters had dispersed by late last night, and a police Nyala and several smaller police vehicles were guarding the intersection, which was strewn with rubbish, stones and still-smouldering tyres.
A number of power-line poles had been uprooted.
About 30 residents marched to the Nyanga police station at about 9pm to in an unsuccessful bid to negotiate the release of the two men who had been arrested for public violence.
Outside the police station, the group explained that the trouble in ward 37 had started last month when the ANC had presented them with four ward councillor candidates.
The residents explained that they had favoured two candidates - Lindiwe Batsela and Mxeke Templeton - and were shocked when they heard days later that Mzimasi Mansali had been chosen.
Resident Amos Sigadi said the community was unhappy.
“They surprised us when the results came out - it was the wrong person,” said Sigadi.
Since then, he said, residents had held meetings with ANC leaders in an attempt to overturn Mansali’s selection.
Another resident, Minky Bacela, said they had decided to give ANC members an ultimatum at a meeting yesterday: if the candidate was not changed, they would vote for the DA.
“That was the outcome of the meeting,” she said
The residents did not want to have to vote for the DA, Bacela said. “We don’t support the DA. We still support the ANC, but we want the right ANC candidate.”
Provincial secretary Mjongile said there were similar situations in other parts of the Western Cape. The party was having regular meetings with the residents of ward 37, he said.
“There is a process. We are engaged with people in various areas where there is unhappiness about the selection.
“But we have noted that it is the people who lost who are largely behind these protests.
“They mobilise sections of the wards. And this is not unique to ward 37.”
Mjongile said the registration process for candidates was closed, and the candidates had been selected using “democratic ANC structures”. - Cape Argus
Reinstate Transnet, say angry commuters
News24 6 April 2011
Johannesburg - At least 300 disgruntled train commuters gathered in central Johannesburg on Wednesday to protest against "unsafe" and "unreliable" passenger rail systems.
"We want Transnet reinstated, because it is much better and has the experience of running the service," said Bongani Ntuli, chairperson of the Concerned Commuters' Organisation of South Africa.
He said the march was related to poor service from both Metrorail and the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa).
"The people are tired of Metrorail and Prasa.
"Our lives are in danger because most of the trains and coaches that we travel in every day are old and date as far back as 1958, the 1960s and 1985," the organisation said in a statement ahead of the march.
"These trains don't meet the safety standard, there is no emergency landing, no fire extinguishers in the coaches.
"We are told that there is no money for new rolling stock but more than R25bn has been spent on the Gautrain which the working class cannot afford."
It included safety concerns, non-discipline of drivers and time-keeping issues.
"At certain stops, drivers wait for the next driver to take over and sometimes we have to wait really long," said Ntuli.
"When there is a breakdown, we have to wait up to seven hours for a technician, from far away, to come because of traffic jams."
Ntuli said robbery was rife on trains and that women, who were sometimes delayed while returning home at night, faced being raped.
"We will not allow this to happen to our women. Their safety is important." The group said it wanted disciplined drivers with experience.
At about 9:30, Ntuli said drivers at Park Station in Johannesburg refused to allow commuters off the trains because they were headed to the protest.
Scores of singing and vuvuzela-blowing protesters marched down Pritchard Street in the Johannesburg CBD on Wednesday to make their grievances heard.
They were heading to the Gauteng legislature to hand over a memorandum of their demands.
Police were monitoring the situation.
Long-standing rail dispute
Last year, the then public enterprises minister, Barbara Hogan, had to hold a meeting with officials from Prasa and Transnet in a long-standing rail dispute.
In its annual financial report, Prasa said it had "inherited from Transnet a business that was poorly-managed, neglected and whose financial management systems and internal controls were non-existent and certainly did not meet acceptable record keeping principles".
Prasa suspended its Shosholoza Meyl service in August after accusing Transnet of failing to carry out work on Prasa locomotives.
Shosholoza Meyl was transferred from Transnet to Prasa in 2009.
Prasa accused Transnet of charging too much and doing a poor job in maintaining its locomotives.
Transnet denied this and in turn accused Prasa of owing it about R1.3bn.
After the meeting with the minister, the Shosholoza Meyl service was reinstated.
COSATU MPUMALANGA’S PROTEST MARCH TO THE OSHOEK BORDER GATE IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF SWAZILAND
Cosatu 8 April 2011
On 12 April 2011 COSATU members in Mpumalanga in collaboration with its Alliance partners and MDM structures will stage a protest march to the Swaziland Oshoek border gate in solidarity with the workers and the poor of Swaziland in their struggle for freedom and democracy in that country.
COSATU support the demands of the poor people of Swaziland which are as follows:-
Ř Unbanning of all political parties in Swaziland
Ř Unconditional return of all those who are in exile
Ř Media freedom
Ř Democratic constitution
Ř Freedom of choice and association
The protest march will be held as follows:-
Assembly point: Madzanga Primary School
2km to the Oshoek border gate
: From 12h00 – 12h30
Handing over of memorandum = 13h00
For more information please contact Fidel Mlombo, COSAYU Mpumalanga Provincial Secretary @ 0827195699
TFMC declared war with the CWU
CWU 8 April 2011
After a protracted negotiations process between Communication Workers Union (CWU) and the Total Facilities Management Company (TFMC) over wage increments which dates back to November 2010, the parties have finally reached a deadlock. This stems from a failure by the TFMC to concede to workers’ demand of 8% wage increment even after involving the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) whose intervention on 6 April 2011 has failed to produce any results due to the company’s intransigent manner of engaging CWU in good faith.
Before approaching CCMA the parties attempted on 15 February 2011 between themselves to find a solution to the dispute through mutually agreed internal dispute resolution mechanisms, but to CWU disappointment the company stuck to their initial position of 7% increment despite enormous movement made by CWU i.e. moving from 15% to the current 8%.
The CCMA has therefore issued a certificate of non-resolution of the dispute which in terms of the Labour Relations Act No. 66 of 1995 (as amended) gives the union a right to embark on industrial action.
CWU is therefore mobilising its members with an intention to embark on an action that the company has never witnessed before. To this end, CWU will follow all the necessary procedures as outlined in the Act including that of serving a 48 hour notice to the company about our intention to embark on a strike action. A detailed Program of Action in this regard will be developed after consultation with both our members and other relevant constitutional structures of the union.
As the organisation, we would want to call upon the TFMC that the room for further engagement for the purpose of meeting the workers’ legitimate demand is therefore still opened before it is too late to find a solution to this impasse.
Issued by CWU National Office
Matankana Mothapo, National Spokesperson - 0827590900
Mob attacks alleged killer
IOL News 7 April 2011
Forty-nine people were arrested for a mob attack on a Polokwane man who allegedly murdered his girlfriend, Limpopo police said on Thursday.
Lieutenant Colonel Mohale Ramatseba said the 34-year-old man had an argument with his girlfriend on Monday, and then allegedly stabbed her.
“The suspect fled the scene and an enraged group of people went on the rampage,” he said.
“The mob then went to the suspect's home and took his mother to the streets.”
She was ordered to show them where her son was hiding.
The mob then went to the chief's kraal where he was assaulted .
“Police intervened and he was rescued. Three police vehicles were also pelted with stones and windows were damaged.”
The man was left with serious injuries and was taken allegedly went back to his house and set it alight and assaulted his sister.
The 49 include 29 males and 20 females aged between 16 and 30.
They have been charged with attempted murder, public violence, arson, malicious damage to property and assault with intend to do grievous bodily harm. - Sapa
The Unemployed People’s Movement & the Women’s Social Forum March for Toilets this Friday
Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement 7 April 2011
On Friday the Unemployed People’s Movement & the Women’s Social Forum will be marching, in Grahamstown, for toilets, electricity and housing. Toilets are an important issue for the safety and dignity of our people. It is an absolute disgrace that all these years after democracy so many of our people have inadequate toilets or no toilets at all. It is a clear sign of the contempt with which the predatory that has captured the state treats the poor.
The demand for toilets has been central to the protests and struggles of popular movements around the country. The reason for this is that toilets are a matter of basic human dignity as well as safety in terms of both health and the risk that women without toilets face will looking for safe places to relieve themselves in the night.
Here in Grahamstown our comrades in the shacks have no toilets at all. Other comrades have those toilets that are supposed to be cleaned out twice a week. But they are left uncleaned for weeks with the result that they begin to smell, to overflow, to become infested with insects and to become unusable. The result is that many people that have access to toilets on paper do not have access to toilets in reality.
The Makana Municipality has not been negotiating on this issue in good faith. They continue to insult our dignity day after day. Therefore we will be marching on them once again. Our main demand is for toilets but we will also raise the issue of electricity and housing.
We invite all those journalists that continue to say that our struggle, and all the other protests and struggle around the country are driven by disgruntled members of the ANC with their eyes on party lists and tenders, to come and relieve themselves where we relieve ourselves. They will soon see that it is the material conditions of our lives that have given rise to our movements. The movements of the poor are genuine movements with genuine issues.
The SABC television programme Cutting Edge has been here in Grahamstown this week. They are making a programme about the disgraceful situation that the Makana Municipality has put us in. Their programme will be screened next Thursday at 9:90 p.m. on SABC 1.
We held a mass meeting last night and the position of the people is clear. Toilets are a matter of basic human dignity and we will defend our dignity.
The march will start on Ragland Road at 10:00 a.m. and proceed to the Town Hall. Everyone who supports our demand for toilets for all is welcome to join us.
Genoeg is genoeg!
Xola Mali (UPM) – 072 299 5253 – email@example.com
Ayanda Kota (UPM) – 078 625 6462 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Nosigqibo Saxujwa (WSF) 079 107 9596
NEHAWU DECLARES A DISPUTE AT BOTH NETCARE AND MEDICROSS
Nehawu 7 April 2011
NEHAWU has declared a dispute with the private healthcare company Netcare and its subsidiary Medicross over the nurses wage negotiations for the year 2011 and our first dispute resolution meeting is scheduled for the 11th of April 2011.Our union has been patiently negotiating with these companies hoping that they will accede to the very modest and reasonable demands of the workers without success. We are going to continue engaging the employers so as to reach an amicable solution to this deadlock but we warn the employer that our members reserve the right to withdraw their labour if they do not get a decent wage increase and an acceptable response to their demands.
Press release re: President Zuma’s visit to mining-affected communities in Mokopane
Jubilee South Africa 6 April 2011
On the eve of President Zuma’s municipal electioneering visit to the Mokopane region in Limpopo, severely affected by exploitative mining activity, the community of Mosesetjana experienced harassment at the hands of police acting on behalf of one of the mining companies and its allies.
On Sunday, people from Mosesetjana village engaged in peaceful protest against Platreef Resources’ presence on their land in search of platinum. After the protest, three people were arrested in response to a member of the village section 21 company laying a charge against them and two others. The section 21 company is the creation of a brother of the local headman who is also part of mine management and it is through this arrangement that the company has gained access to the community’s land without the community’s consent. The three have just been released after the complainant dropped charges and the community will be meeting today to welcome them back and decide on the next steps to be taken.
This is just one of an ongoing series of insults perpetrated by the mining companies and their collaborators in government against the people of the Mokopane region. In a visit in the run up to the last elections, the then Minister of Minerals and Energy Sonjica promised to disband the much hated section 21 companies, but failed to carry through on her promise. She saw to the establishment of a task team including representatives of some nearly 20 villages in the Mapela and adjacent Mokopane chieftaincies as well as Anglo Platinum, but this has proved to be no more than an empty talk shop with the mine refusing to engage with sincerity. This reality has been pointed out to the current Minister with no improvement to date.
The Task Team managed to get the Minister’s agreement to get Anglo Platinum to stop work on the tailings dam which has entailed the destruction of the Sekuruwe community’s land, its river system and wetland and the desecration of their graves, but Anglo Platinum has refused to comply. Instead, mine management descended on the village by helicopter to offer the community a clinic and a water tank, this no doubt as part of the preparation to pave the way for the President’s visit.
Jubilee South Africa will be supporting the affected communities during this friendly moment of electioneering as well as the more brutal period ahead post the elections.
For further information, contact:
Phillipos Dolo, Jubilee Mokopane Coordinator, 073 789 2489, email@example.com
(regarding the Mosesetjana events) Jan Mautla, Mosesetjana Community, 083 338 4408
George Dor, Jubilee South Africa, 076 460 9620, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cops on high alert in Rietfontein
6 April 2011
Police fired rubber bullets at protesting Rietfontein residents, north west of Johannesburg, on Wednesday morning, a Gauteng spokeswoman said.
“Police are handling the situation there, and there are still some sporadic gathering of people in some parts. We will remain on high alert until everything has calmed down,” said Captain Katlego Mogale.
She said the police were forced to fire rubber bullets when about 500 residents started throwing stones at officers who were trying quell a service delivery protest.
Mogale said residents began protesting at 4am and tried to barricade the R114 road with burning tyres.
No-one was injured and 15 people were arrested. - Sapa
Angry residents target school
IOL News 5 April 2011
Community liaison officer Charlmagne Mguga checks the damage through a shattered window pane. Picture: Jeffrey Abrahams
A Hout Bay resident faces charges of assault and malicious damage to property after he was arrested allegedly for throwing stones and damaging private property in Imizamo Yethu where a primary school is being built.
The man was expected to appear in court by Tuesday.
He and about 30 community members are suspected of damaging office windows and building material, including excavators and loaders at the school building site, apparently because they do not want the school to be built there.
They apparently want houses.
The construction is to continue despite the vandalism.
Hout Bay police are investigating the destruction.
Education MEC Donald Grant has condemned the vandalism and called on the community to help make the new school a success.
His spokeswoman, Bronagh Casey, said on Monday the donor-funded school was expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The school would open its doors in January.
Casey said there were “minor incidents” of vandalism at the site and construction had not been affected.
“It must be emphasised that we have reached this point after very careful consultation with all structures of the neighbouring community and there is overwhelming support for the school,” she said.
“Residents of the area realise the enormous benefits that this facility will provide, most importantly the provision of a quality education to hundreds of young people.”
Jonathan Schrire, co-ordinator of the project, said community members had said the school should be built elsewhere but had not provided alternatives. - Cape Times
Jo'burg refuse collectors embark on strike
Mail & Guardian 7 April 2011
Johannesburg's refuse collectors, employed by waste-management agency Pikitup, began a full-blown strike on Thursday morning, the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) said.
Spokesperson Tahir Sema said about 2 000 workers were busy gathering for a meeting on the first day of the strike.
He could not immediately confirm the meeting point. However, Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said that workers were expected to gather in Joubert Park.
Pikitup received the strike notice earlier this week after workers embarked on a go-slow in certain areas.
Workers have accused Pikitup of being "riddled with corruption", and of refusing to address workers' legitimate concerns.
"Workers are concerned about the department and would want for Pikitup to be free from corruption and nepotism," Sema said.
Other disputes were around wage disparities and the intimidation of union members.
Sema said most Pikitup employees were union members.
Pikitup spokesperson Pansy Oyedele said on Wednesday that the company tried everything in its power to reach an agreement with Samwu.
She said that management met with Samwu on Wednesday to try to find a way forward.
However, Sema said Samwu repeatedly made calls for an urgent meeting with Pikitup, to no avail.
"Management has refused to meet with us," he said.
Meanwhile, Pikitup asked residents who do not have their rubbish collected during the strike to be patient, and to keep it inside their yards for the time being.
"... We are asking residents who do not have their waste collected to please keep it inside their yard and be patient," Oyedele said.
People with the capacity could take general waste to the four landfill sites that would also remain open, Oyedele said.
These sites are: Goudkoppies in Houthammer Road, Devland; Marie Louise in Dobsonville Road, Roodepoort; Robinson Deep in Turffontein Road, Turffontein; and Ennerdale in Old Lawley Road, Lawley.
Pikitup's garden sites will remain open during the strike, but only for garden waste and not general domestic refuse.
Oyedele could not detail contingency plans in the event of an extended strike. -- Sapa
Pikitup workers noble fight against corruption and nepotism
SAMWU PRESS STATEMENT 6 April 2011
We urge residents to bear with us in our efforts to ensure that Pikitup works better for us all. The department is in crisis and riddled with corruption.
Workers at Pikitup will embark on a full blown strike action from tomorrow. As the largest Local Government Union, SAMWU would like to denounce the propaganda being spread by the Pikitup management, indicating to the public that it has met with us. We have repeatedly made calls for an urgent meeting but Pikitup management has refused to meet with us.
We strongly advise Pikitup to come sober minded to the negotiating table and address workers concerns. Workers reasonable demands are as follows;
- An investigation must be commissioned into corruption and irregular tenders that were awarded. Tenders riddled with corruption amounting to 100’s of millions of Rands were given out.
- We are demanding that management look into wage disparities that exist and have existed in the department for many years.
- We are also demanding the suspension, pending the outcome of an investigation, of the MD, CFO, fleet executive, secretary of the company and fleet GM, over issues of corruption.
- All intimidation of Union Members and Managers who are Union members must immediately stop.
- Money must stop being wasted on contract workers.
- MD must stop abusing his power, by appointing cronies and friends in the department.
Workers are concerned about the department and would want for Pikitup to be free from corruption and nepotism. Should management not agree to meet with us over the above areas of concern, we will be forced to make available to the public all documentation we have collected, which detail the corruption and nepotism we speak about.
We urge residents to bear with us in our efforts to ensure that Pikitup works better for us all. The department is in crisis and riddled with corruption. We have tried all at our disposal to get through to management, since 2008 to be exact, yet they refuse to address the legitimate concerns raised by workers.
Last week our Shop Steward had been violently threatened at her home for raising issues of corruption and nepotism at Pikitup and today SAMWU has learnt that Managers are now being threatened, for supporting the workers demands and some were threatened for merely being SAMWU members.
For further comment contact SAMWU’s Shop Steward Phumlile Shange on 084 285 2216.
South African Municipal Workers' Union of COSATU.
National Media and Publicity Officer.
Office: 011-331 0333.
COSATU NW, NUMSA and NUM taking Hernic Ferrochrome head-on
Cosatu 6 April 2011
The Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliates are taking Hernic Ferrochrome mine head-on again on issues of super-exploitation and union bashing which is led by real white racist management from the contractors, the racist security company and the mine directors.
The contractors dismissed around 400 workers during a protected strike over a wage dispute. During the same protected strike, workers on solidarity support strike were assaulted and shot, right inside the mine, by a racist security company called PPS, and police who were at the scene.
During the first COSATU protest action against the conduct of the firm, 300 workers were reinstated, on condition that they must resign from the trade unions. Workers refused but management continue to stop the union deductions from their salaries. The rest of the workers who are still dismissed are those who refused to be told to resign from their own union.
The worst that Hernic mine is doing is dismissing all NUM shop stewards and suspend all NUMSA shop stewards who are now facing disciplinary hearings due to them being leaders of the poor workers.
The Congress of South African Trade Union is back to the street fighting against this super-exploitation of the workers.
We are calling on the directors to be at the mine to receive the memorandum,
We are calling all the share holders to instruct their directors and all contractors to reinstate all dismissed workers and to withdraw their actions against the union leadership.
The union must be respected as per the LRA.
The security company called PPS must be removed from the mine and the police must also take responsibility for the shooting of our members at the workplace.
The protest action is taking place on Thursday 7 April 2011 from 9h00 to 15h00 from the crossing road next to Sasol petrol station at Madibeng.
Media is requested to be part of our protest action to see how our members are exploited by the so called BEEEE employers.
Media from Pretoria must be there, please, as we are told that Madibeng [Brits] is under Pretoria.
For more information feel free to call COSATU NW provincial secretary, Solly Phetoe, on O823044055.
Overberg Foods - Drivers and Assistants On Strike
FAWU 5 April 2011
About 30 workers, mainly drivers and van assistants employed by Overberg Foods, a cold storage company, have embarked on protected strike action since 2 April 2011 in pursuit of better wages.
The workers demand a bonus for the current year, a wage increase of R 100.00 per week as well as assistance for their children’s school uniforms at the start of the year to be deducted later.
Management, on the other hand claims that there is no money to give its employees a wage increase or bonus this year. But workers feel that the company is not being honest as it goes about doing business like normal and even bought a new property while busy renovating the existing property. “Workers say that they cannot keep up with incoming orders and the demand to work overtime. While some workers have accepted management’s position, the company feels the impact of the strike since its products are going nowhere. “ The casuals don’t know the routes and all of the experienced drivers and van assistants are on strike”, says the company organizer, Zane Marthinus.
The company supplies restaurants like Steers and Spur with cold storage products.
Kindly call Zane Marthinus on 082 468 8180 or the writer below for more information.
Dominique Swartz- FAWU media officer on 082 498 5631
Bridgestone South Africa
Cosatu 5 April 2011
This Japanese tyre manufacturing multinational, with plants around the world, is waging a war to destroy the national bargaining system NUMSA has fought hard for, to raise the standard of living of workers who were discriminated against for years under apartheid, denied training opportunities, prevented from occupying certain positions and paid a bare minimum.
During the 2010 bargaining round between NUMSA and New Tyre Industry Employers Association, which led to a month-long strike until an agreement was reached, Bridgestone insisted on making separate, lower, offers. After the end of the strike Bridgestone said they were not bound by the agreement and insisted on implementing the lower offers they made during the negotiations.
The matter went to arbitration where the company lost but the company is still refusing to grant an increase to certain employees who are ‘red circled’ (those who earn above the minimums in the industry).
So NUMSA members in certain categories have not received the salary increases due them for 2010, while other tyre companies which signed the industry agreement - Apollo, Continental, and Goodyear - have granted these increases.
Bridgestone has now locked out 1 200 workers in Brits and Port Elizabeth and is demanding that all workers, both the ‘red circled’ and ‘non-red circled’ sign acceptance letters of their offer which is far lower than the industry’s increase.
The company is not only trying to drive down wages down but continues to take measures to intensify work, putting immense pressures on workers and causing health & safety problems. They have installed cameras to monitor every activity of workers 24/7, turning the workplace into a virtual prison.
Food sales and merchandising workers
Cosatu 5 April 2011
COSATU has previously expressed its disgust at the way food sales and merchandising workers are exploited and abused. We are therefore in total support of the 6 000 FAWU members who have gone on strike today, 4 April 2011, to demand recognition of the union and the rights to collective bargaining.
The companies involved are Unilever, Pioneer Foods, Parmalat, Private Label, Combined Marketing Services and urban Merchandising Services, to whom these workers provide popular brands of dairy products, tinned food, brandy, wines, bread, fruit juice and cool drinks.
These companies used to employ these workers on a permanent basis but then outsourced the work to labour brokers. “What is even more disgusting,” says FAWU, “is that these workers do not enjoy basic benefits such as retirement funds and they earn as little as 40% (R2 500 a month) of the R6 000 a month salaries for the same jobs that are still performed by permanently employed workers on the manufacturers’ payroll.”
One of the strikers, Lekgotla Morake, told the Sowetan that they are employed by labour brokers - including the Smollan Group - to go from supermarket to supermarket, packing shelves with only that company's product. He says their working conditions are ‘terrible’. "To get this job, you must have your own car. We get sent all over the place all day long, yet we don't get any petrol money. You can work for this company for 10 or 15 years but there is no pension fund for you. This is why we joined the union.”
FAWU General Secretary Katishi Masemola says: "Our members are prepared to hold on for weeks or months in this campaign until basic organisational rights are achieved and bargaining rights are guaranteed by collective (recognition) agreements. We will be mobilising workers in Parmalat, Unilever and Pioneer Foods divisions of Sasko bakeries and Ceres juices to embark on secondary strikes and other solidarity support activities."
He can be assured of COSATU’s full support and we urge all workers to respond to calls by FAWU for consumer boycotts of products and stores and any other solidarity support activities.
For more information, please phone Katishi Masemola, FAWU General Secretary, on 082 467 2509
STAFF STRIKE – HOWARD COLLEGE CAMPUS
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: CORPORATE RELATIONS 5 April 2011
Dear Colleagues and Students
UKSU and COMSA are continuing with the strike action and have converged on
the Howard College campus this morning. We have received reports from RMS
on intimidation and disruptions at various venues on the campus. In addition,
the striking members of COMSA and UKSU intimidated staff at the EGM
Library to join them. The EGM and Law Libraries were closed temporarily but
have since been opened.
It should be noted that reports received from RMS have been substantiated by
reports from students, staff that are not participating in the strike and parents
of students that have been affected by the disruption of lectures at the Howard
COSATU NW and NUM protest action against Simmer and Jack, Stilfontein
Cosatu 4 April 2011
The Congress of South African Trade Unions and the NUM, with its members at Simmer and Jack, will be protesting against the union-bashing led by the management assisted by some of the police at Stilfontein.
The protest action comes after the management and its racist security company called the police to arrest the union leaders during the negotiation time after workers decided on action against the attitude of the mine negotiating team which was arrogant on all issues presented by the union leaders on behalf of its members.
The eight union leaders were arrested on the allegation of the intimidation to its own members, all of our union leaders are on bail with condition.
The action will take place on 5 April 2011 starting from 10am.
Our demands will be that the mine must withdraw the case our members.
The mine must refund the unions money paid for the bail including the legal cost of the case which was on 30 March 2011 at Stilfontein local magistrate.
The mine management must stop its union-bashing with the police and the security company they are using.
The police of the NW must explain to the workers from when did they start to be the labour court. They failed to arrest people who intimidated, threatened and planned to kill the federation leaders but they are able to act quickly on the allegation against the poor workers who have no money to pay them as part of the corruption programme in the NW.
Media is invited to the protest action, for more information feel free to call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary, Solly Phetoe, on 0823044055]
UPDATE STUDENT PROTEST ACTION UKZN
UKZN Management 4 April 2011
We have received reports that students have embarked on protest action at the medical school campus and have barricaded the Umbilo Road entrance. Exams being written in the Exam Hall on the sixth floor of the Main Medical School Building were disrupted by the protesting students.
Over the weekend Executive Management met with the SRCs to discuss the issues raised by protesting students. Following a lengthy discussion the SRCs agreed to inform the student membership of the deliberations. The SRCs undertook to report back to Executive management today Monday 4 April at 10h00.
STRIKE ACTIONS BEGINS BY SLAES AND
MERCHANDISING WORKERS, WHO ARE FAWU MEMBERS, IN SEVERAL COMPANIES
F.A.W.U MEDIA RELEASE!! 1 April 2011
About 6 000 members and supporters of the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU), working
in some of the food sales and merchandising companies employing about 9 000 workers, will be on strike action as from the 4th April 2011 in pursuit of organizational rights, particularly for recognition of their union (FAWU) by these labour broking sales and merchandising
The six following companies are affected by the strike action with their total workforce i.e
Unilever (3 000 employees), Pioneer Foods (3 200), Parmalat (1 327), Private Label (200),
Combined Marketing Services (800) and Urban Merchandising Services (385). The last three
companies are respectively handling products of Distell and KWV wines, Rhodes foods and
Coca Cola bottling companies.
Our members are prepared to hold on for weeks or months in this campaign until basic
organizational rights are achieved and bargaining rights are guaranteed by collective
(recognition) agreements. These sales and merchandising jobs, used to be performed as
permanent jobs before their outsourcing by these manufacturers in the 1990s/2000s, are
currently performed by workers employed under precarious conditions by these labour brokers.
What is even disgusting is that these workers do not enjoy basic benefits such as retirement
funds and they earn as little as 40% (R2 500 a month) of R6 000 going salaries of the same jobs that are still performed by permanently employed workers on manufacturers’ payroll.
The union will marshal all efforts to ensure that this campaign is successful. We will be
mobilizing workers in the manufacturing companies of these products, such as Parmalat,
Unilever and Pioneer Foods divisions of Sasko bakeries and Ceres Juice to embark on
secondary strikes and other solidarity support activities.
Please call the writer or the Sales and Merchandising Sector Organizer, Mr Lekgotla
Morake, at 078 139 1953 or the Gauteng Provincial Secretary, Mr Moleko Phakedi, at
082 492 5111 for more information.
FAWU General Secretary
082 467 2509
Public event: Peaceful protest at Big Bay
Two Oceans Aquarium 27 March 2011
This weekend, a peaceful protest will be staged at Big Bay on Cape Town’s west coast.
If you are concerned about the sewage spills that happen on this beautiful beach, this is your chance to make a stand.
The protest is happening from 11h00 to 11h30 on Sunday, 27 March, and is organised by Women on Waves (WOWees).
16 held in E Cape protests
IOL News 1 April 2011
Sixteen people were arrested during protests by community members from Duncan Village, East London on Friday, Eastern Cape police said.
Lieutenant Colonel Mtati Tana said disgruntled community members protested on the Ziphunzane bypass road from about 4am.
“A crowd of about 300 blocked the road and started burning tyres and throwing stones at cars that were driving past.
“Police arrived and warned them to stop but they continued. Rubber bullets had to be fired to disperse the crowd,” he said.
It took police about three hours to control the protesters.
“Police struggled until 7am to persuade them to leave. Traffic was blocked for some time causing a great delay,” Tana said.
Police were not sure what the community was protesting about. - Sapa
Police ‘brutality’ at UKZN
Sinegugu Ndlovu and Jauhara Khan (IOL News) 1 April 2011
Two students of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus remained in hospital on Thursday, nursing rubber bullet wounds to their groins, as riot police were accused of using heavy-handed tactics against students protesting over funding packages on Wednesday.
Geology masters student Nkosinathi Jele, 25, is in Addington Hospital awaiting an operation for two rubber bullets to be removed from his left upper thigh. Jele said he was in his room at the campus residence when police aimed for his testicles and shot him at close range.
“I had earlier been part of the strike, but later returned to my room. I was heading out when a policeman jammed the barrel of the gun in the open door. He pushed me to the bed and tried to shoot my testicles. He shot me from a few centimetres away and two pellets are still jammed in there. They shot my friend in the back and thrashed us with batons,” said Jele.
Another student was transferred to St Augustine’s Hospital after he was shot in his penis. Police allegedly entered his room and shot him in the groin.
In other allegations made against the police on Wednesday:
- Pharmacy honours student Lindo Ngcobo said that she was shot in the hip and chest while in her room. She said she had remained in her room during the strike, thinking she was safe. However, a policeman had entered and started shooting.
“He slapped me and called me terrible names. Then he pulled me by my hair and dragged me into the corridor and to the police van. I could not walk,” she said.
- Another student, who would not be named, said he was shot in the hand. “I was in the corridor when police came up the stairs and started shooting at those standing outside their rooms. I tried to run into my room, but they came in, shot me and took me to the van,” he said from his hospital bed.
- Another student held a cotton swab to his face, where a rubber bullet had removed a chunk of flesh below his left eye. “They came into the residence and just started shooting at everyone,” he said.
SA Students’ Congress spokesman Phinda Motaung said police entered residences and set off teargas canisters.
“When students ran out for air, they were beaten up and arrested. There were students who weren’t part of the strike, who believed their rooms were their sanctuary. But students are being shot inside their rooms and dragged out by their legs,” he said.
Police Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge denied the allegations of police brutality.
“There’s no truth to that. Police aren’t wild animals; they acted within the framework of the law.
“This started yesterday (Wednesday), when police officers were stoned, leading to nine being injured.
“There were several attempts to quell the (student) violence, which failed. We were stoned, compelling us to use extra-ordinary force, including rubber bullets and pepper spray, to curtail the rampage; we couldn’t fold our arms,” he said.
Mdunge said officers only entered residences to make arrests.
“Police only went there to arrest those that committed a serious crime. You can’t commit a crime and then run into your room and think it (your room) is a haven,” he said.
He said 103 students were arrested on public violence charges yesterday, taking the total to 150.
The university urged students to contact their faculties about the scheduling of tests and lectures.
Meanwhile, the university yesterday secured an interdict in the Pietermaritzburg High Court preventing students from assaulting, intimidating or harassing anybody at any UKZN campuses and from damaging and removing property.
In addition, the students are prevented from barricading or blocking entrances to the campuses, and from organising or participating in protests on UKZN premises.
The order directs the police to ensure that the interdict is implemented. - The Mercury
UPDATE STUDENT PROTESTS
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: CORPORATE RELATIONS 31 March 2011
Dear Staff and Students
Kindly find below updates on all our campuses.
1. WESTVILLE CAMPUS
1.1 Protesting students started singing from the Oval Residences around
7:30. The Police are on site and have contained them in the New
1.2 We have received reports that forty eight (48) students have been
arrested. They are due to appear in court this morning
1.3 We have also received reports that there are eight students that were
treated in hospital yesterday for injuries sustained from rubber
bullets. All the students have been discharged.
1.4 We are following up on reports that some students that have taken
refuge in their rooms are amongst the students that have been
arrested and injured.
1.5 There are very few students in classes this morning. In view of this
most of the lectures have been cancelled.
1.6 The rumour that two students died is NOT true.
1.7 There is a meeting scheduled to take place this morning between the
Vice-Chancellor and the SRC.
1.8 The Westville SRC is addressing the protesting students.
1.9 The windows in the Administration Building and Senate Chambers
have been broken; roads have been blocked; fires are erupting on the
residences but these have been brought under control; fire equipment
in residences has been damaged.
1.10 About 80 students have been escorted by Police to their vehicles from
outside the Admin block
1.11 One student has been attended to by NETCARE for injuries sustained
due to tear gas.
2. EDGEWOOD CAMPUS
2.1 There has been some disruptions on the Edgewood Campus.
There are also very few students attending lectures. A decision
has been taken, it has been decided to postpone all tests,
assignments and practicals until normality resumes.
3. PIETERMARITZBURG CAMPUS
3.1 A fire extinguisher was sprayed at one the lecture venues in
3.2 Lecture venues are being sprayed with pepper spray and classes
4. HOWARD COLLEGE CAMPUS
We have been informed that there are now violent disruptions on the
Howard College Campus. We are still trying to get more information.
We will keep you posted.
Campus turns into battlefield
Sinegugu Ndlovu and Jauhara Khan
INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS 31 March 2011
Protests at the University of KwaZulu-Natal continued as students marched through its Howard College campus, damaging property and intimidating other students. Photo: Doctor Ngcobo
The sounds of screaming students and rubber bullets being discharged echoed through the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus as students clashed with police on Wednesday.
The chaos resulted in scores of students being injured and in need of treatment - after police fired rubber bullets and threw tear gas at them - and in the disruption of lectures.
On Thursday, UKZN would finalise an interim interdict preventing the students from striking on any of the university’s five campuses.
The campus resembled a battlefield as police in riot gear maintained a tight grip on rioting students. Protesting students barricaded two of the three entrances to the campus, hurling rocks and glass bottles at the police, and torching fridges.
Students confined to their residences watched the action unfold through their windows. Vehicles seeking entry to the university were turned back by security personnel.
“We had to go through the bush because police shot at us (while we were walking on the road),” said student Sindisiwe Goqa.
“There are stones being hurled at police on this side and rubber bullets being shot at students on that side. It’s hectic. It’s a good thing that security is insisting that people leave their cars at the gate because once you get in, you can’t get out,” she said.
Police Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge said eight students were injured by rubber bullets and stones thrown by protesters.
Police arrested and charged 49 students with public violence. Nine police vans were damaged.
“Students damaged police cars and university property. Public-order police were called in as reinforcements. We were forced to use rubber bullets. We will deploy officers (at the campus) until the situation has normalised,” said Mdunge.
Financial aid is at the centre of the unrest. Central students’ representative council general secretary Thulisa Ndlela said UKZN had decided to discontinue the “gap loan” scheme, affecting more than 2 000 students who relied on it.
UKZN spokeswoman Nomonde Mbadi said money from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme was not sufficient to meet the demand and UKZN had supplemented these funds for several years. She said UKZN had committed R18.6 million to augment the financial aid scheme this year, bringing its total funding for student loans to R300m. Included in this were “gap loans” of approximately R125m, which helped students who received partial financial packages from the financial aid scheme.
“These debts are growing and are now affecting the financial standing of the university, to the extent that the financial aid scheme has been unsuccessful in recovering these loans timeously on behalf of the university,” said Mbadi.
A Mercury journalist and photographer were shot at by two policemen while making their way into the campus, and were barred by officers from taking pictures. The Mercury also saw about five policemen firing rubber bullets at students standing outside a residence.
The police also fired on students at the Oval Residence, shooting and injuring scores, with two men being shot and wounded in their genitals.
At Addington Hospital’s trauma unit last night, injured students lay in beds and several waited in an adjoining room to be treated. Policemen hovered in the corridors, waiting to arrest the students. - The Mercury
Bullets fired at protesters
Independent Newspapers 30 March 2011
Police fired rubber bullets at a group of protesting residents who had blocked off Beyers Naude drive near Honeydew on Wednesday morning, a spokesman said.
“The situation is tense and the road is blocked,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini.
He said no arrests had been made by 9am.
Residents of Zandspruit informal settlement blocked the busy road, in a protest related to service delivery.
The protest started shortly before 6am and the residents threw stones and burning tyres on Beyers Naude drive and Peter road, said the Johannesburg metro police
“Motorists are advised to avoid the area as there are officers present and the road had to be blocked off,” Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said. - Sapa
Protesters block off Joburg road
IOL News 30 March 2011
A group of protesting residents blocked off Beyers Naude drive near Honey in the north-west of Johannesburg on Wednesday morning, metro police said.
“Motorists are advised to avoid the area as there are officers present and the road had to be blocked off,” Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar told S.
The protest started shortly before 6am and the residents were throwing stones and burning tyres on Beyers Naude drive and Peter road.
Details about the protest were not yet available, but a large contingent of police were at the scene at about 6.30am. - Sapa
50 held for public violence in Limpopo
News24 31 April 2011
Burgersfort - Fifty protestors were arrested in Burgersfort after allegedly blocking a road and setting tyres and a car alight, Limpopo police said on Thursday.
They apparently began protesting on Thursday morning, demanding that they be employed at the Xstrata mine in the area, Lieutenant Colonel Ronel Otto said.
They blocked the main road between Stofberg and Burgersfort with stones and burning tyres.
A security vehicle belonging to the mine was set alight and totally burnt out. Two police members were slightly injured when they were stoned by the protestors.
Otto said the group was arrested for public violence.
No further outbreaks of violence had been reported.
UPDATE - WESTVILLE CAMPUS
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: CORPORATE RELATIONS 30 March 2011
Dear Staff and Students
This morning protesting students blocked two of the three entrances to campus and we have received reports that cars have been stoned and students intimidated. Risk management has closed off the access to parking areas adjacent to the Main administrative block and beyond.
The Police and RMS are trying their best to get the situation under control.
I appeal to colleagues to consult with your heads of departments and do what you think is best under these trying times.
Please be careful.
I will keep you updated.
Truck ploughs into Ladysmith protesters
TheMercury 29 March 2011
Four women were killed and a man was critically injured when a truck hit them during a protest at Ezakheni, Ladysmith, yesterday.
More than 50 protesters had blockaded Helpmekaar Road using rocks, said Road Traffic Inspectorate spokeswoman Zinhle Mngomezulu.
She said the truck driver had swerved to avoid stationary vehicles and, in reduced visibility because of mist, had ploughed into the protesters.
Police spokeswoman Phindile Radebe said the protesters had been involved in an illegal demonstration over service delivery problems.
All four women died at the scene, while the man was taken to Ladysmith Hospital for treatment.
News of the accident came as the Transport Department announced the introduction of the National Traffic Intervention Unit.
During the past nine months, 231 traffic officers, who form part of the first batch of recruits for the unit, underwent training in courses including first aid, defensive driving, corruption-fighting and ethics. The unit would also engage in joint operations with provincial traffic and metro police, the SA Police Service, military police and the SA Revenue Service.
Press Conference on Bridgestone – SA (PTY) LTD illegal lock-out of workers!
Numsa 29 March 2011
IRVIN JIM, the General Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) will be addressing members of the media tomorrow Wednesday 30 March 2011, Bimba Manqabashana House, 22 Pickering Street, Greenacres, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.
The General Secretary will be joined by the Regional leadership and all the locked-out Bridgestone workers. This Press Conference to be addressed by the General Secretary will serve a platform to respond to the irresponsible and provocative lock-out by Bridgestone – SA (PTY) LTD.
The details are as follows:
DATE: Wednesday 30 March 2011
VENUE: Bimba Manqabashana Hse, 22 Pickering Street, Greenacres, Port Elizabeth
Members of the media are hereby invited to attend and report.
For confirmations contact:
Ntobeko Castro Ngobese
Cell: 073 299 1595
www.facebook.com/ castro Ntobeko Ngobese
COSATU NW marches to the department of labour in Christiana
Cosatu 28 March 2011
The Congress of South African Trade Unions, together with its affiliates in the North West Province, will be marching to the department of labour in Christiana as a continuation of its campaign to fight corruption and provide decent work for the poor people of the province
One of COSATU’s demands is the release of the report of the investigations into the regional manager in the area and for the manager to stop victimising the workers. We will also demand that the department of labour should do inspections in all the workplaces we have requested them to inspect and they must close down those that are not complying with the safety laws and regulations
COSATU calls on all the members and the community in and around Christiana to come out in numbers to support our course
The march will take place as follows:
Date: 29 March 2011
Venue : Utlwanang Taxi rank
Time : 10H00
For more information call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary Solly Phetoe 0823044055.
DISRUPTION OF CLASSES ON THE WESTVILLE CAMPUS
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: CORPORATE RELATIONS 28 March 2011
Dear Staff and Students
“Protesting” students have again disrupted lectures at the Westville campus. The SAPS Order Policing are present on campus. The students have caused a disruption in E and F Block and at the entrance to the Optometry building.
The students then proceeded to the P-Block traffic circle. Risk management have confirmed reports that the students threw bottles at passing vehicles and have set up a blockade using refuse bins. The refuse bins have been removed by SAPS.
There are some classes that have been cancelled on the Westville Campus.
I will keep you updated.