||Bay councillors taken to court
Stuart Graham (IOL News)5 May 2011
Nelson Mandela Bay ratepayers, sick and tired of fruitless and wasteful spending and poor decisions by their municipality, are turning to the courts to force their councillors to improve services.
Chairman of the NM Bay Ratepayers Association Kobus Gerber says unlike other municipalities which are boycotting paying their rates, residents of Nelson Mandela Bay will start taking errant councillors to the High Court.
“We decided taking a wise approach,” he says.
“We are going to take councillors and make them accountable in their private capacity in the high court if they make poor decisions.” The ratepayer group succeeded earlier this year in preventing the municipality from using R10m to fund a voter education programme.
“I had a meeting with the mayor about this and in the end we succeeded by using the law,” says Gerber.
“There are so many problems in this metro, but the decision making is incredibly bad. For example we have 22 000 people in the poor communities still using the bucket system, yet we can have a jazz festival for R9-million.
“Then there are many sports that can't be played because the grass hasn't been cut.”
Gerber says ratepayers are supported by businesses, who are feeling the pinch of the cutbacks made by the cash-strapped municipality.
“We started getting all property owners behind us and then we started with the businesses. Every time we make a decision, we phone and ask them if they will support us.”
The next task for the NM Bay ratepayers is to fight a proposed 25,6 percent hike in electricity prices and 15 percent hike in water prices.
“We are not standing for it. So many business failures and job losses will come out of this. This is way above Treasury guidelines. We are being asked to repair the municipality's debt. It's not fair.”
Businesses have suffered from the ripple effect caused by the municipality's cost cutting. The municipality is one of the major financiers of the metro's economy.
“The poor decision making is causing financial difficulty for the whole economy around the metro. Satellite companies working for the municipality were the first to be affected. Many that were supplying vital services to the municipality are in danger of shutting down.
“You can see the ripple effect through the economy.”
The Democratic Alliance's caucus leader in Nelson Mandela Bay, Leon de Villiers, believes mayor Zanoxolo Wayile has failed the residents of the metro with the mismanagement of the municipality's finances.
“The current cash crisis has seen an amount of R790m being slashed from what was already a very depleted budget, as a result of the cost of hosting the World Cup,” he says.
“The ratepayers of this metro funded R878m of the total cost to host the World Cup, versus an original budget of R340m.
“That is an over expenditure of R538m and that is why we now have a serious cash crisis.”
De Villiers says replacing bucket toilets, resurfacing, tarring and rehabilitating gravel roads, constructing stormwater infrastructure and new clinics will all be hit by the slashed budget.
“We have had an acting municipal manager in the city for close on two years. We have numerous acting directors. It is extremely difficult to get things done without permanent appointees. It is also impossible for a city to do anything when it is bankrupt.”
The poor financial management and the infighting in the city will cause “a very close race” with the ANC for the metro in the May 18 local government election, says de Villiers.
“We do not believe we can win outright on our own, but with the help of some of the opposition parties, we believe we can lead a coalition,” he says.
Support for the ANC dropped from 69 percent of the city to 49.6 percent in the 2009 general election after the launch of the Congress of the People, which won 17 percent of the vote.
The DA won 25 percent of the vote in 2006, taking 30 out of 120 council seats.
Cope's Eastern Cape spokesman Rano Keyser says the party has the potential to unseat the ANC in the metro through a coalition.
“I think we have potential of unseating the ANC, not on our own but through a coalition.”
City spokesman Ongama Mtimka believes the criticism is unfair.
The metro's economy, which is fed by the auto industry, was hit hard during the financial crisis.
“We are heavily reliant on auto industry and lots of people lost jobs.”
Job losses in the city are one of the possible causes of a fall in rate collections.
“We did have a major cash flow challenge last year. Our ability to pay contractors was seriously compromised.
“But we have launched a revenue enhancement campaign to encourage residents to pay their debts. We are doing this coupled with debt relief for families who are not able to pay.”
Mtimka says the unqualified audit of the municipality's finances by the Auditor General “speaks volumes” about the city's accounting practises.
“Our good credit rating has allowed us access finance and to roll out projects faster.”
There is a “false notion” of massive corruption in the administration, he says, adding that NM Bay is one of the few municipalities to have started a municipal public accounts committee.
“Most of the corruption has been exposed. And this has been as a result of our own robust internal audit processes.” Port Elizabeth has had a few more achievements, he says.
In 2008 it won the cleanest city award, “a vote of confidence in terms of refuse collection”.
In 2007, a survey by Municipal IQ found the city was the biggest spender per capita among South Africa's metros.
Mtimka says 100 percent of formal houses in the city have access to water, while families living in informal settlements have access to water within 200 metres of where they stay.
ANC Eastern Cape spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane says the party is “highly confident” ahead of the election.
“Of course, we admit there are some challenges in some areas, particularly where there are communities living in informal settlements. But we are the only organisation that will address these things.”
One of the ANC-run municipality's biggest successes has been the 22,000 houses it has built since 2008 in NM Bay, he claims.
As long as areas are “not yet formalised” it will be difficult to put in solid infrastructure.
“People sometimes establish their own shack dwellings in areas where they stand to be removed. That makes it difficult to install infrastructure. The bucket system too is still a major problem in informal settlements.”
Political analysts say there is a strong likelihood many voters will abstain from the May 18 election.
“A lot of people are not happy about their candidates,” Mari Harris from research company Ipsos Markinor says.
“Many are saying they would rather not vote than vote for the opposition.”
Gerber however says ratepayers will continue to fight for their cause, no matter who comes into power after the election.
“We are not going to sit back,” he says.
“We will fight in the courts if we have to. We have to make sure that we get value for our rates.” - Sapa
Commuters torch buses in Rustenburg
IOL News 5 May 2011
Angry commuters set alight two buses in Rustenburg, North West. Photo: Independent Newspapers
Angry commuters set alight two buses in Rustenburg on Thursday, North West police said.
Captain Adele Myburgh said commuters were unhappy that there were not enough buses to take them home.
“Two buses were completely burnt down and one was stoned.
“The situation is tense. As we speak, the police are monitoring the situation,” she said.
Commuter Lebogang Pule said the last bus left for her home village of Manamela, in the Madikwe area, at 1pm.
“I bought a monthly ticket at R600 and a scholar ticket for R280. Now I cannot go home, because there are no buses,” she said.
“We are not fighting with the bus company. All we want is to be treated with respect.
“I do not know where will I sleep tonight,” she said, adding that she had no alternative transport.
Another commuter Itumeleng Modise, from De Brak, said they were angry at not being given alternative transport after the company's buses were pulled off of the road.
“Some of us have bought monthly tickets, and now we do not have transport to take us home,” he said.
He said the bus company had sold them tickets even though it knew its vehicles were not fit to be on the road.
Rustenburg municipal spokesman Butler Matlapeng said 49 buses belonging to Bojanala Bus Service were impounded for operating illegally after their permit expired.
The bus company operates in the greater Rustenburg area, transporting people to villages around the city.
Captain Myburgh said no arrest had been made. -
S.Africa's miners to protest over safety
Agnieszka Flak 3 May 2011
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's powerful National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will hold a one-day protest on Saturday over safety in the North-West province, which could affect some mining operations in the area.
The union said on Tuesday that similar protests will be held in other provinces in the coming months, although the extent of those will depend on the severity of local safety concerns.
The protests are scheduled to lead up to a national one-day protest in September or October.
North-West Province is home to many of the country's platinum mines and some gold operations.
"The National Executive Committee has noted with great concern the increased rise of mine fatalities in the mining industry, especially gold and platinum," Frans Baleni, the NUM's general secretary, told reporters.
He said mine fatalities had risen 27 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with last year, in line with government figures.
While some operations may be affected by the Saturday protest, he said, the impact during the nationwide event would be bigger. "It will be a total shutdown."
He also said the union, South Africa's main mining union, would call on other smaller labour groups to participate in the national action later this year.
COSATU supports NUM march on mine safety
Cosatu 6 May 2011
For decades workers have been injured on a daily basis yet employers have shied away from taking responsibility. It is disgusting that they are being allowed by government to continue with non-compliance, with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. It is supposed to protect workers from a dangerous and unhealthy working environment, but few employers comply.
COSATU therefore fully supports the NUM workers’ march on 7th May 2011 in Rustenburg, and COSATU will be mobilising all our members to be part of the programme towards the October health and safety month.
“We are sick, we are tired, of the attitude of the mining industry when it comes to safety,” says Erick Gcilitshana, the NUM’s National Secretary for Health and Safety. When it comes to production, they take full responsibility, but when it comes to safety they argue the responsibility lies with the workers. If the mining industry does not want to change, we will change it. Saturday is the beginning of their end”.
It is time for all workers to down tools and revolt against the employers and government who have become so lenient to bullying employers. The impact of occupational injuries and diseases on the victims and their families is immense, but the cost to our economy is also very high. So we cannot just ignore the importance of dealing with health and safety.
NOSA, a global supplier of occupational risk management services and solutions, has systems that are being used by the employers to help them to comply, but still you will see non-compliance. Are these programmes and systems used to protect workers or to lure international customers?
COSATU calls on government to stop being very lenient to the employers. The objective of the occupational health and safety laws is to protect workers from unhealthy and unsafe conditions, and it says that employers have the responsibility to inform workers about any dangerous condition within their workplace.
We believe therefore that if workers get injured and the employers knew about the dangers, the employer was negligent and the workers must be given the right to sue the employer.
We further believe that the penalties are in the act are a slap in the face of the workers and an indication that a life of a worker is seen as cheap. We urge the minister to review the Occupational Health and Safety Act as soon as possible.
COSATU calls on business to stop protecting their members when they do not comply with the legislation. We believe that business and labour must develop a joint programme to deal with this matter.
Health and safety at work is our right. We must fight to make it a reality.
Jacqueline Bodibe - Policy Coordinator Occupational Health, Safety, Environment, HIV and AIDS
Congress of South African Trade Unions
1-5 Cnr Leyds and Biccard streets
P.O. Box 1019
Tel: +27 11 339 4911/24
Fax: +27 11 339 5080
Mobile: +27 82 452 0804
Principal’s office ‘set alight’
Michelle Jones 6 May 2011
Police and security guards are patrolling the grounds of Masibambisane Secondary School in Delft after a fire was allegedly set in the principal’s office and pupils again disrupted classes.
The school was closed for a number of days last month after pupils disrupted classes, demanding that political activity be allowed at the school.
The school reopened on Tuesday and the same pupils again disrupted classes and intimidated others to join them. Later that night, a fire broke out in the principal’s office.
Provincial police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said on Wednesday afternoon it was quiet at the school but police would continue their patrols there.
On Tuesday night one of the rooms was burnt, in what police believe is an act of arson.
Education MEC Donald Grant said:
“Security guards… managed to interrupt the alleged arsonists before further damage was caused.
“It is not yet confirmed if this incident is related to the ongoing disruptions at the school, but it is clear that those involved will be strictly dealt with in terms of the law.”
Grant had said it appeared that a number of pupils, led by three ringleaders, vented their frustration with the school by stoning teachers’ cars and other property during disruptions there last month. - Cape Times
Worcester Municipality denies workers the right to march
SAMWU PRESS STATEMENT 5 May 2011
SAMWU was served with a notice by Breede Valley Municipality, withdrawing permission for its planned march against the Municipality, this after permission had been granted, in terms of the gatherings act.
We have been informed that on the instruction of the Municipal Manager, permission for the march was withdrawn.
We have called on the ANC Provincial Leadership to intervene in this matter as this is clearly an abuse of power by the ANC controlled council, in refusing the march.
We call on the ANC to rein in these rogue councillors and Municipal Managers, whose actions are clearly designed to undermine the ANC and SAMWU’s Local Government Election programme, by painting the ANC as an organisation that does not respect workers rights to protest.
We have instructed out attorneys in the meantime to launch an urgent court application, to overturn this unconstitutional decision of the Municipality.
For Further comment call Andre Adams, SAMWU W/Cape Provincial Secretary on 074 177 2344
South African Municipal Workers' Union of COSATU.
National Media and Publicity Officer.
Office: 011-331 0333.
Also visit SAMWU’s website; www.samwu.org.za and
UPM march to Housing Department
(UPM) 5 May 2011
The Rebellion of the Poor Continues in Grahamstown
March on the Housing Department in Joza, Grahamstown, Today at 12
On the 1st of May 2011 the people of Sun City barricaded the roads and set alight tires. Sun City is a shack settlement in Grahamstown. The land was occupied and the first shacks erected in 1982. Since 1982 the people on Sun City continue to use the bucket system to shit. There are no houses, no electricity and no roads. Sun City is a broken place. After 17 years in power the ANC have completely failed to develop it into a decent community fit for human beings.
The residents of Sun City are rebelling because:
• The Makana Municipality will be sending back R 53 Million to the Provincial government at the end of the current financial year because they failed to spend this money.
• The Makana municipality could not account for R 19 Million during the 2010/11 financial year
• The Makana Municipality could not account for R 24 million during the 2009/10 financial year
• The Mayor is indebted to Makana Municipality for an amount of R 60 000 for his person use
• The ruling party is recycling and imposing councillors on people
• There are high level of injustices at the hand of the ruling party
South Africa is the second most unequal country in the world after Namibia and Grahamstown remains one of the most unequal cities in South Africa. This is a disgrace. Inequality has got worse under the rule of the ANC.
The Sun City residents’ demands are for:
• Electricity: The majority of people including Sun City residents don’t have access to electricity and, especially with all the shack fires around the country, electricity is required urgently.
• Water: Water scarcity and crises continue without any meaningful interventions from the local authorities.
• Jobs: Unemployment continues to be hovering around 70% despite UPM’s call for labour absorbing programmes by the municipality.
• Housing: There is a general lack of housing. The RDP houses that have been built are a drop in the ocean and even the few RDP houses that have been built are crumbling down.
• Democracy and Freedom: People did not fight and dies for only the freedom to vote every few years but to govern themselves, control their destiny and restore their sovereignty every day.
• An end to economic oppression: Economic oppression is so rife and scary in South Africa. The economy needs to be democratised.
The residents of the Transit Camp in Grahamstown have decided to go to protest today, the 5th of May 2011. They will march on the Housing Department in Joza at 12.
The RDP houses that they are supposed to move into cannot be finished because the contractors have not received their money from the provincial government for over six months now. This means that the long awaited houses that people have been promised will not be finished once again. Because their houses are not ready they are still shitting in buckets and some of these buckets will be taken to the housing department.
This is not the first time that a housing project has stalled because the government has not paid the contractors. This has happened before in eLuxolweni. And in eVukani the houses were built but they were built so badly that they are falling down
U.P.M. Publicity Secretary
072 299 5253 – firstname.lastname@example.org
SAMWU TO MARCH ON BREEDE VALLEY (WORCESTER)
SAMWU PRESS STATEMENT 4 May 2011
As part of our National Campaign against corruption and the attacks on the union, all SAMWU shop stewards in Western Cape is to descend on Breede Valley Municipality tomorrow 5 May. The shop stewards will march to the Municipal Offices to hand over a memorandum to the Mayor, outlining the unions objections to the corrupt appointment of a disbarred lawyer to serve as initiator / Chairperson / Investigator in misconduct matters, as well as the subsequent attack on the union leadership as a result of the union opposition to this appointment.
The union received a request to comment on the shortlist for this alleged post on Thursday 9 Sept 2010. The union objected as this does not comply with the recruitment and selection policy of the Municipality. Despite the Unions objections, the interviews went ahead the following day, Friday 10 September 2010. A Mr. Allan Croutz was appointed and started work on Monday 13 September 2010. The Contract is on a month to month basis at a cost of R20 000-00 (Twenty Thousand Rand) per month.
“This is the fastest appointment in the History of local government, it took place within a space of three days, shortlist on Thursday start work on Monday.” Said Andre Adams, SAMWU Provincial Secretary in the Western Cape. Adams added further “ What makes matters worse is that according to the Cape Law Society the person appointed is a disgraced attorney who has been disbarred from practising as an attorney due to the misappropriation of trust funds.”
The union has corresponded on numerous occasions with the Municipality through the then acting Municipal Manager and the Mayor, requesting information surrounding the circumstances of the appointment as well as calling on the termination of the contract and an investigation into the appointment. Needless to say our correspondence went unanswered.
In response to the union taking up the issue of this dubious appointment, the Municipality responds by serving a notice on the union that it intends taking disciplinary steps against our Provincial Treasurer who was our Boland Branch Secretary at the time. The Municipality suspended the union Treasurer in November and served her with a charge sheet in January 2011.
“The appointment is in clear breach of council policy and is therefore unlawful. The post does not even exist on the staffing structure of the Municipality” said SAMWU Provincial Secretary, Andre Adams. “SAMWU is calling for the termination of this unlawful appointment, an investigation be done to determine who authorised and entered into this unlawful contract and steps be taken against the perpetrator/s of this act. That the Municipal Manager be suspended pending this investigation and that the sham disciplinary process against our Treasurer be dismissed immediately” added Adams.
SAMWU Shop stewards will gather after the march to consider further action to be taken against the municipality as well as a further programme of action for the Province to embark on, in relation to our National campaign against Corruption and attacks on the union in the Province as a whole.
For further comment contact SAMWU Western Cape Provincial Secretary, Andre Adams on 074 177 2344 or 021 696 2522 or SAMWU Provincial Chairperson, Jonathan Krakri on 083 559 2427
South African Municipal Workers' Union of COSATU.
National Media and Publicity Officer.
Office: 011-331 0333.
Also visit SAMWU’s website; www.samwu.org.za
COSATU NW supports NUM protest march
Cosatu 4 May 2011
The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West and all its affiliates support the protest march by one of its affiliates, the NUM, against the Chambers of Mines, the Department of Mines and the mine bosses who do not care about the lives of the poor mine workers who are killed every day, every week, every month due to the poor conditions of health and safety in the mining industry.
As COSATU we are losing members, we are losing union leaders, we are losing parents and we are losing community leaders due to the attitude of the mine bosses who care about production to make profit for their own capitalist program of self-enrichment.
The mine workers of this country are the lowest-paid workers after the farm workers and domestic workers and they are the second most exploited by both politicians who are in business and white capitalists.
Their conditions of service, from the mines to their accommodation, and racial discrimination are really uncalled for.
The mining industry is the backbone of our economy both in the country and internationally, but their employees are low paid workers and their lives are in danger every minute, every hour and every day.
Our workplaces must be safe at all times, not only when there are inspections, which are also manipulated by a white capitalist approach. The situation of the poor in the mines is the same as in the farm areas.
We are calling all members of COSATU affiliates in the North West province to give solidarity support to the mine workers who lost their lives due to the mine bosses’ attitude towards African black mine workers’ health and safety.
May is workers’ month. We have just celebrated workers’ day with a very successful attendance of our poor workers who continue to register their poor conditions of service while celebrating the history of our May Day since our new democracy
COSATU North West is calling the government to start prosecuting those who are implicated in non-compliance with the legislation of our country and government. The department of mines must release the investigation report on deaths in the mining industry, and those who are currently disabled due to mine accidents or poor conditions of safety in the mines.
Our government must make sure that all families who lost members and those who are disabled due to the poor conditions of safety in the mines are fully compensated and that the mine bosses take responsibility for their children to be at school, and make sure that the lives of the disabled workers are improved and are paid for all their needs for life.
COSATU NW is calling for provincial socio-economic protest action to protect our poor workers’ lives. This protest action will include the poor farm workers who are killed by farm owners, or killed as a result of poor conditions of service and poor health and safety.
It will also include the protection of poor farm workers, workers in the factories, and workers in the mines against the capitalist agenda which is led by some health inspectors in the mines and the department of labour inspectors.
We are calling all our members to attend the protest action which will take place at Rustenburg taxi rank on 7 May 2011 from 09h30 to 14h00.
Our safety at work must be first, our lives must be first, our protection must be first and the capitalist profit agenda must be last.
Our mine workers, our domestic workers, our farm workers must be protected!
For more information call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary, Solly Phetoe, on O823044055
UPDATE: COMSA AND UKSU STRIKE ACTION
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: CORPORATE RELATIONS 4 May 2011
Dear Staff and Students
UKSU and COMSA have resumed their strike action yesterday, Tuesday 3 May.
We have received reports from Risk Management that the protesting members
of staff marched to the Students’ Funding Centre, Students’ Health Clinic and
Finance at Westville Campus and forced their way into the offices singing,
chanting, and disrupting work. They proceeded to rip-off postcards and
pamphlets from the walls.
Staff in these departments were intimidated and vacated their offices as their
personal safety was compromised.
UKSU and COMSA are continuing with strike action today and have disrupted
lectures on the Howard College campus. SAPS and Risk Management are
present on the campus. The University regrets this inconvenience.
Corporate Relations Division
This statement is issued on behalf of Executive Management
Pics of service delivery protest in Zandspruit
IOL News 1 May 2011
Cops arrest for suspected rioters. Police fired rubber bullets at a group of protesting residents who had blocked off Beyers Naude drive near Honeydew. 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. Photo: Chris Collingridge, The Star
Service delivery protests underway in WC
Themba Boyi (Eyewitness News) 27 April 2011
Western Cape police are monitoring a service delivery protest at Sir Lowrys Pass Village in Helderberg on Wednesday afternoon.
Around 300 residents are taking part in the demonstration.
The police’s Andre Traut said this was one of several protests currently underway.
“There [are] also reports of approximately 300 people gathering in the Khayelitsha area…,” he said. “We are monitoring the situation and are yet to take action.
(Edited by Dennis Georgiannis)
ANC, DA clash in Mamelodi
IOL News 27 April 2011
Political intolerance reared its ugly head in Mamelodi on Tuesday when a group of ANC supporters tried to stop a DA Freedom Day rally at Solomon Mahlangu Freedom Square in the township.
The group was upset that the DA had held a rally at the venue where the statue of “our Struggle hero” was erected.
Tshwane Metro Police and SAPS officers had to intervene, preventing the group from getting close to where the stage had been erected on the western side of the square. The group taunted black DA supporters, saying “anyone who votes for a white party is insane and should be lynched”.
They claimed that Mahlangu had been murdered by the “apartheid National Party government” and that the DA was part of that system.
The group stated that the Mahlangu Square was their turf and that the DA had intruded.
They later “cleaned” Mahlangu’s statue to rid it of the “DA dirt”, using a T-shirt with President Jacob Zuma’s face on it.
Some members in the group claimed that the DA did not have permission from the Tshwane Metro Council to stage the Freedom Day rally on the square. They later changed their tune when the metro police produced proof that permission had indeed been granted to the party.
An unperturbed Zille – who was joined on stage by senior DA members, including Tshwane mayoral candidate Brandon Topham, Joburg mayoral candidate Mmusi Maimane and MPs Sej Motau, Stevens Mokgalapa and Natasha Michael – said apartheid was an “an often violent affront to the very notion of humanity”.
Zille said Mahlangu fought for a better South Africa and that his death had been unnecessary.
“His death came at the time when the country was at war with itself. This was an unnecessary war and we should say that never and never again will there be oppression in this country,” she said.
Zille said South Africa had a constitution and because of this, it was not necessary to remove people (government) by force.
“We have the vote… each one of us has a vote we can use to remove the government. We do not have to resort to violence or force to remove people,” she said.
“By degrading some of us, it degraded us all. Oppression is always driven by the worst instincts of human kind – greed, fear, hatred. It is sustained by a callous indifference to the suffering of others”.
Zille said whenever she paused for a moment and remembered, she could feel the atmosphere that had enveloped the country in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
“I remember the long shadow violence cast, hovering over the land like a funeral shroud, burying our hopes and our dreams for a better future. But today (Freedom Day) is also a day to remember those who resisted the inhumanity of oppression,” Zille said. - Pretoria News
Residents march to demand toilets
Zara Nicholson 28 April 2011
Residents of Khayelitsha simmer with discontent over unenclosed toilets or lack of them as they marched through the city centre to Cape Town City Council offices on Freedom Day. They demanded toilets and decent sanitation, 17 years after democracy, handing over a memorandum of demands signed by more than 10 000 people. Photo: Michael Walker
Instead of celebrating 17 years of freedom on Wednesday, about 2 000 Khayelitsha residents marched through the city centre demanding toilets and decent sanitation.
In recent months, the local government has come under attack in what has been dubbed the “toilet saga”, as thousands of Khayelitsha residents do not have proper toilet and sanitation services.
Residents say up to 15 families have to queue to use one toilet, which also exposes them to hygiene problems and crime.
On Wednesday, the Social Justice Coalition, based in Khayelitsha, held a protest march after a number of speakers addressed them at St George’s Cathedral.
“We call on the city to recognise as a matter of urgency the need for public maintenance and existence of sanitation services in Khayelitsha. The city must initiate a public consultation plan and implementation of the plan and a budget to ensure that every informal settlement in Khayelitsha has access to basic sanitation services,” Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said.
Marchers packed the church on Wednesday, many wearing T-shirts which said: “1994 queuing to vote, 2011 queuing for clean and safe sanitation”.
Vuyiseka Dubula, from the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), told the crowd: “It is the day we celebrate 17 years of liberation and we are discussing a basic right – sanitation – it is not a privilege. It is tragic so many years after our liberation that 10.5 million people across the country do not have access to water and basic sanitation – that goes against humanity. We want to remind the government that our constitution allows us the right to life, dignity and safety,” Dubula said.
TAC chairman Zackie Achmat started his speech by asking the crowd to stand and observe a moment of silence for Andries Tatane, who was killed by police during a service delivery protest in Ficksburg two weeks ago.
Achmat said: “We must celebrate this day, but we must also be angry but not violent. If we look at our mothers and fathers, we see the hope has gone out of their eyes. We cannot suffer the way they have, our anger must be translated to a peaceful call for change.”
Khayelitsha resident Mabel Somdle said: “Seventeen years after we voted for our rights, I am still queuing for basic services. This makes me feel like I no longer want to vote because not much has changed. We have waited long to use the toilet and we have to walk far. It is dangerous at night, there are reports of woman getting raped at those toilets.”
Residents marched to the civic centre to hand over a memorandum for mayor Dan Plato’s attention.
They held up posters asking for their dignity to be restored through adequate water and sanitation services. One protester held a bucket with “dignity in our lifetime” written on it. Dubula said it was “sad that people were still forced to use the bush or the bucket”.
When protesters arrived at the city council offices, they held a demonstration by forming a snake-like “queue for toilets”.
The memorandum was signed by more than 10 000 people calling on the city to improve the state of existing sanitation services and to put a time-frame in place to provide each household with basic sanitation and water. - Cape Times
NUMSA MEMBERS TO PROTEST OUTSIDE JAPANESE EMBASSY
NUMSA 25 April 2011
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) members working at the Japanese owned Bridgestone (PTY) LTD will be staging a protest outside the Japanese Embassy, tomorrow Tuesday 26 April 2011, 259, Cnr Baines and Frans Oerder Street, Groenkloof, Tshwane.
The protest march is a result of Bridgestone’s provocative, barbaric and unlawful decision to lock-out its employees with NO PAY in Brits and Port Elizabeth plants. The Bridgestone workers have not been working for more than two (2) months. The workers are NOW struggling to support they families with basic necessities.
These workers have been punished because of the Tsunami they did not invite to hit Japan which has stalled production in that country.
The leadership of NUMSA will hand-over a Memorandum of Demands to the Japanese Government and Bridgestone (PTY) LTD.
The details are as follows:
DATE: Tuesday 26 April 2011
VENUE: Japanese Embassy, 259 Cnr Baines and Oerder Streets, Groenkloof, Tshwane
Members of the media are hereby invited to attend and report.
Contact: Menchi Motsepe, Regional Secretary – 083 235 1282
Mob justice sees two dead
IOL News 26 April 2011
Two suspected stock thieves were beaten to death in Ceguwana village, Butterworth police said on Tuesday.
Captain Jackson Manatha said a woman alerted community members after seeing a man in her stock kraal in the early hours of the morning.
When questioned, the man admitted to being part of a group that had been involved in stock theft in the area. He identified his accomplices as brothers who lived in the same village.
Manatha said community members then went looking for the two brothers and all three men were then severely assaulted.
One man and a 22-year-old died at the scene and the third was taken to the Butterworth Hospital in a serious condition.
Manatha condemned the actions of the community, saying they should have contacted the police instead.
“Members of the community will be investigated and arrested as this type of brutality will not be tolerated.” - Sapa
Residents block road with burning tyres
IOL News 26 April 2011
Police were deployed to Zandspruit informal settlement, north-west of Johannesburg, after residents blocked Beyers Naude drive near Honeydew on Tuesday morning, police said.
“It happened at 3am and when we came to remove the burning tyres and apprehend the people, they ran back into the shacks,” Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.
He said the road was open again on Tuesday morning and that the police would monitor the situation. - Sapa