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South African Protest News 4- 17 July 2011 (2011) South African Protest News 4- 17 July 2011.  : -.

Ficksburg relives Tatane pain
IOL News 15 July 2011

The dozen or so policemen came walking up the road, casually clutching their shotguns. The crowd in front of the Ficksburg court pointed threateningly at them.

A banner baring the image of a dying Andries Tatane and that of a weeping Molefi Nonyane was held aloft, like a standard into battle.

Moments earlier, seven of the eight policemen accused of Tatane’s killing had stood in the dock.

Nicodemus Israel Moiloa, Mothusi Magano, Mphonyana Ntaje, Olebogeng Mphirime, Jonas Skosana, Kanathasen Musamay and Isaac Finger stood with their hands clasped behind their backs and at attention as the case was postponed for trial in November.

The eighth accused, Solomon Moeketsi, who has been admitted to a psychiatric clinic in Pretoria, diagnosed with stress-related problems, was not present on Thursday.

After being denied bail in the Ficksburg Regional Court in May, the eight appealed to the Bloemfontein High Court, where they were released during the same month on R1 000 bail each.

Not one glanced at Tatane’s widow Rose, who sat in the front row of the gallery, accompanied by family members.

As Rose emerged from the court, a crowd of about 50 members of the Meqheleng community were waiting to hear news of the court proceedings.

“This is an illegal gathering and if we start arresting people, there will more trouble,” one senior police officer was heard telling a community leader.

The order to disperse saw the crowd, whose buoyant singing could be heard from the court during proceedings, turned angry.

“Andries Tatane: Your death shall not be in vain”, read the bouncing banner as the crowd started singing and dancing again.

Some in the crowd started pelting police with orange peels, while others turned away motorists trying to pass on a side road. Rose moved swiftly past the situation, which threatened to deteriorate.

“Nothing has changed,” she said as she made her way to a waiting car.

Police withdrew to their vehicles, including an armoured Nyala, returning with shotguns and teargas, as they lined up across from the crowd, who hurled abuse at them.

“I was here. I saw what happened. We don’t need this,” said community leader Molefi Nonyane.

On April 13, barely 50m from a confrontation that was taking place with the police, Nonyane sat next to a Nyala, cradling his dying friend.

His words seemed to have the desired effect as both parties backed off and the crowd eventually dispersed.

“It was like it was happening all over again. I could feel my heart beating fast.

“I could not let it happen again. It still tears at my heart,” said Nonyane afterwards.

Tatane’s killing, broadcast on national television, brought the concerns of the Meqheleng community to the fore, with top government officials dispatched to quell the series of violent protests that followed.

The results of an investigation into allegations of mismanagement, maladministration and corruption are still to be made public.

Free State MEC for co-operative governance Mamiki Qabathe is expected in Meqheleng today to inform the community of the report’s findings.

The pressing issue for many residents has been access to water, with many forced to walk long distances to collect it.

In the last few months, standpipes have been erected at numerous plots, including that of Maphello Sephiri.

In April, The Star walked the 1 841 steps she, seven-month-old Mpho and three-year-old Tsepang have to take twice daily to ensure water for washing and cooking.

“It’s much better now. There’s water in the morning from five to nine and then again from four to seven in the evening,” said her brother Mojalefa, who was doing the family’s washing. - The Star

Protest at Tshwane taxi rank
IOL News 15 July 2011

Taxi drivers and owners staged an impromptu protest in Pretoria on Friday against a police demand that they park for less than five minutes at a taxi rank.

Tshwane metro spokeswoman Alta Fourie said the stand-off between the drivers and the police on Prinsloo Street was apparently as a result of police separating two groups of fighting taxi drivers.

However, Menlyn Taxi Association finance committee member Zondani Mthimunye said armed police had simply arrived in the morning and ordered taxis to move after five minutes.

“We are parked legally. This is our rank and the licence says nothing about how long we can park here. We have offices and associations. Why don't they approach us first before harassing us?” he asked.

He said no-one had informed the association that the rules of its rank had changed and said it would be unprofitable for taxis to leave the rank empty.

Fourie said there were no arrests. The protesters had dispersed by mid-morning. – Sapa

Worcester Rainbow Workers Hand Over Memorandums To Company, Police and Newspaper
Food & Allied Workers Union 14 July 2011

More than a 1000 Rainbow employees from the processing and broiler plants in Worcester will be staging a march tomorrow, Friday, the 15 July 2011 at 11h00 to the company, the local police station and the community newspaper, the Worcester Standard to hand over memorandums containing their demands.

Workers and the company are engaged in an eight week long strike in demand for better wages. FAWU has since revised its initial demands from 14.9 percent for farming workers and 11.4 percent for processing workers to 8 % and 7.5% respectively and has dropped the demand for the reduction of working hours at this stage. Meanwhile the company has not moved an inch since the start of the strike and is refusing backpay to strikers whilst they have already awarded this to non-striking workers. Fawu feels that this is outright discrimination and workers refuse to accept any offer which does not include backpay.

Strikers will be gathering opposite the company at 11h00 tomorrow from where they will proceed to the Worcester Standard and the police station. The memorandums to the Worcester Standard and police station will request that they stop their bias towards the company and act in a neutral manner when approaching workers. The handover of these memorandums will start at 11h30 at the company gates in McAllister Road, 12h00 at the community newspaper and 12h30 at the local police station.

Released by FAWU media office, Dominique Swartz on 082 498 5631.

SA hit by strike fever
Mail & Guardian 15 July 2011

As the country reels from twin strikes by the metal and chemical worker unions, a further strike is looming by nearly a million members of the Congress of South African Trade Union-affiliated public service unions.

M&G photographer Oupa Nkosi arrived in the industrial area of Alrode in Alberton to a sea of disgruntled workers. He approached the volatile situation with patience and, several hours later, emerged with the shot.
More slideshowsThe public service unions affiliated to the labour federation are contemplating striking following the government's failure to meet their wage demands.

The Mail & Guardian has established that Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi recently met union leaders to explain why the government would not go beyond its final offer of a 6.8% wage increase. Unions have since reduced their initial demand for a 10% wage increase to 8%.

The looming public sector strike comes as Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says the current strikes by the metal and engineering union [Numsa] and the chemical and energy union [Ceppawu] threatens investor confidence in the country.

The metal workers' strike has been marred by violence, while Ceppawu's strike in the petroleum sector has resulted in a fuel shortage at petrol stations in Gauteng and Durban. Hospitals fear a possible shortage of medicines.

Numsa members, who went on strike last Monday, are demanding a 13% increase, while employer body, the Steel and Engineering Industries' Federation of South Africa is offering 7%.

Ceppawu's strike started this Monday and workers are demanding an increase of between 11% and 15% and a minimum wage of R6 000. Employers in the chemical industry are offering between 6% and 7%.

Last year more than 1.3-million public servants, mostly from Cosatu-affiliated unions, embarked on a massive strike in a move that was interpreted by political observers as a tactic by Cosatu leaders to influence the outcome of the ANC national general council last October.

'Nothing less'
The strike, in particular by the South African Democratic Teachers' Union, severely disrupted teaching in the lead-up to the matric exams. Sadtu president Thobile Ntola said his union was unhappy with government's final offer in current negotiations.

"Our position is that we want nothing less than 7.5%. Can you believe we started wage negotiations in October last year? There hasn't been any movement on the issue of housing, medical aid and OSD [occupation specific dispensation].

"We are not happy with how government deals with public service workers. It [government] is a disgrace. It is not exemplary," Ntola said.

Sadtu is polling its members and will know by next week whether it will go on strike.

National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said his union was waiting for consolidated reports from members regarding the government's last offer.

Pamla said the union was not prepared to compromise on its demands, which include filling all vacant posts in government, the equalisation of medical aid, review of the government's remuneration policy and the provision of a finance scheme for housing.

If the public sector strike goes ahead it is likely to put Cosatu and the ANC on a collision course as leaders in the alliance continue to fight to influence the party's policy direction.

Cosatu's Patrick Craven said this week that wage negotiations should not be viewed in isolation, but treated as one of the tools to be used to address the triple crises of poverty, unemployment and inequality in the country. "South Africa is the most unequal country in the world in terms of income and the most concrete way to address this inequality is to close the wage gap.

"Wage negotiations are the most powerful tool we have in acting decisively on this question," he said.

Alleged rapist’s lucky rescue
Mpumi Kiva 15 July 2011

A man was nearly necklaced with a burning tyre after he allegedly tried to rape a woman.

Makhaya residents say they caught the unnamed man red-handed while he attacked the woman in her house on Tuesday. He tried to run away from the mob armed with sticks, but was cornered and caught.

Residents marched him to an open field where they stripped the man, believed to be in his 30s, naked.

He was beaten with sticks and stoned with bricks and concrete pieces.

The mob was getting a tyre ready to necklace him when he was saved by Metro police patrolling the area.

Cops used rubber bullets to disperse the angry crowd.

The man was taken to Harare Day Hospital with serious injuries.

Harare police spokeswoman Nosiphiwo Mtengwana says the woman did not lay a charge against her alleged rapist.

She says the police are investigating the man’s assault butno one has been arrested yet.

This article was published on P7 of the Daily Voice.

Sasko Grain Embarks On Nationwide Strike
Food & Allied Workers Union 15 July 2011

2000 FAWU members, all employees of Sasko Grain, a division of Pioneer Foods have embarked on a nationwide strike on Wednesday, 13 July 2011 and members in Paarl and Malmesbury will be picketing in front of the company’s headquarters in Paarl tomorrow, Friday 15 July at 11h00 during which they will hand over a memorandum to management listing their demands.

The strike action comes in response to the parties dispute on wage increases, wage disparities, BEE –shares, labour brokers and a revolving fund.

The workers are demanding a 9% wage increase across the board while the company is offering 7.25 percent across the Board. The company refuses to discuss the differences in income between their mills and depots claiming that closing the wage gaps would have a negative impact on them.

The workers form part of a broad-based employee share scheme in which they have full voting rights and 30 percent dividend rights. Our members demand payout of their BEE shares which are overdue although management claim they have no mandate to talk about it .Workers also demand that the share-scheme structure should be more representative and more consultative so that workers feel that they are participating and are aware of developments in the scheme. The company is offering two thousand rand with regard to a revolving fund while the union is demanding three thousand rand.

Sasko Grain workers also demand that Labour brokers be banned and that long term casuals ‘s positions needed to be converted into permanent employment.

The company produces grain based staple foods and trades in rice, beans ,lentils.

Released by FAWU media officer, Dominique Swartz - 082 498 5631

Paper sector workers join fuel strike
Business Report 14 July 2011

Workers at South African paper makers Mondi and Sappi joined a fuel strike on Thursday, further escalating wage protests in Africa's biggest economy, a union official said.

“As of today all Mondi and Sappi (workers) ... have gone out. So as we talk right now they are on strike,” Simon Mofokeng, general secretary of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (CEPPWAWU) told Reuters.

He also said that talks to end a strike in the chemicals and fuel sector would take place on Friday and Monday, respectively. - Reuters

15 held for Nyanga protests
The Mercury 14 July 2011

A protester is arrested by metro police officers after a group of about 40 people burned tyres and barricaded a section of the N2 early this morning.

The N2 was closed for several hours this morning after a housing protest resulted in three accidents.

Cape Town police said 15 people had been arrested after barricading the N2 towards Cape Town, just before the Borcherds Quarry exit, with burning tyres.

“At this stage, I can confirm the arrest of 15 people for public violence,” Warrant Officer November Filander said.

About 60 people gathered at 5.30am to protest against poor service delivery and housing.

They were believed to have been from the Crossroads informal settlement near Cape Town International Airport. By about 8am the group had dispersed. Police were monitoring the area.

Cape Town traffic’s Merle Lourens said that because of the barricades, traffic had been diverted on to the R300. There had been three minor accidents. – Cape Argus

COSATIU and NUM to march for health and safety
COSATU and NUM in Gauteng Press Release
13 July 2011
COSATU and the National Union of Mineworkers in Gauteng will be marching to highlight the problems of health and safety in the mines, including the impact of the acid mine drainage. The march will be lead by COSATU Provincial Office Bearers and NUM NOBs. The details of the march are as follows:

Date : Saturday 16 July 2011
Venue : Workers Library, Newtown.
Time : 10h00

For further information contact CODATU Gauteng Provincial Secretary, Dumisani Dakile, at 0827271422

Sdcea 13 July 2011

Join the KZN Subsistence Fishermen, who will be protesting on Friday the 29 July 2011

· The protest is due to Transnet and metro rail, stopping the train to the West Station

· The EThekwini and Metro Police stopping fishermen from fishing off the beachfront piers and the beach

· And the Izimvelo Wildlife harassing and arresting the fishermen.

Venue: Botha’s statue, opposite Christian Centre bottom of West Warwick Avenue
Time: 08h30
Date: 29 July 2011

Contact for more information:
K.Sewsunker: 0787330641
Wahab: 0824303177
Desmond D’Sa: 0839826939

Impala Platinum enters the red zone as NUM declares a wage dispute
NUM 13 July 2011

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has this morning formally declared an internal wage dispute with the world‘s second largest platinum miner Impala Platinum. The NUM demands a wage increment of 14% for lowest categories and a 13,5% for highest categories whilst the employer offers 6,5% for the lowest categories and 6% for the highest categories on a three year deal. The NUM demands a one year deal. Impala has not been able to make movements on other issues. “We are heading for a strike once again. It is a direction we do not want to go to but the employers seem determined that they need one and we will deliver” says Eddie Majadibodu, the NUM ‘s Chief Negotiator at Impala Platinum.

The NUM further demands that the company should phase out the A3 grade with immediate effect whilst the company argues it can only do that as of 1st July 2012. The NUM is steadfast this year that it has to get a living wage or nothing.

In the platinum sector, the NUM has now formally declared a dispute with both Impala and Northam and has approached members at Angloplatinum for a mandate to shake the biggest platinum company in the world.

Lesiba Seshoka – (NUM National Spokesman)- 082 803 6719

Noooo petrol as strike begins to bite
Mail & Guardian 13 July 2011

South African motorists are starting to struggle to find fuel as effects of the national chemical workers' strike takes hold.

Fuel Retailers' Association CEO Reggie Sibiya told the Mail & Guardian on Wednesday that petrol stations were now beginning to feel the effects of the strike.

"We are starting to experience severe shortages countrywide, particularly in Gauteng. The major effects of the strike are certainly being felt and it will only get worse," Sibiya said.

Engen stations in Gauteng were running out of petrol because oil tankers are unable to leave some depots, the Engen Refinery said on Wednesday.

"Gauteng is the hotspot. Three of the depots can't release oil tankers because truck drivers are on strike, and there has been a bit of intimidation," said spokesperson Tania Landsberg.

"There are people picketing outside the gates of the depots and the most important aspect for us is ensuring the safety of our workers."

The depots affected were Langlaagte, Alrode, and Waltloo.

Landsberg said although contingency plans were in place, there would be challenges.

"We are planning around that to keep our sites wet, but some are already going dry."

Landsberg said she had received updates about fuel shortages in the coastal areas.

Sasol spokesperson Nothemba Noruwana said contingency plans were in place, and that major complexes in Secunda and Sasolburg were operating with minimal disruptions.

"Operations at Sasol service stations have not been affected by the strike," she said.

BP spokesperson Glenda Zeenyika said fuel deliveries were increased before the strike to ensure all its petrol stations were topped up.

About 70 000 fuel workers from the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood, and Allied Workers' Union and the General Industries' Workers Union of South Africa downed tools on Monday, demanding a minimum salary of R6 000 a month and a 40-hour work week.

"Negotiators must come to the table already, our businesses are bleeding," Sibiya said.

'Where can I go?'
South African motorists have begun venting their frustrations on Twitter.

The social network was abuzz with comments from frustrated motorists who were visiting service stations without fuel.

"Where can I go -- There is noooo petrol!," wrote Nyasha Chigwadere in Johannesburg, while Wayne Renkim in Nelspruit questioned the perils of getting fuel.

"Hoe moelik is dit om petrol te vind? [How difficult is it to find petrol?]," Renkin asked.

Vernon Harvey in Cape Town was seemingly prevented from going to work as a result of the shortage.

"No petrol anywhere -- is it a good enough excuse not to go to work," Harvey asked.

The Fuel Retailers' Association Sibiya called on motorists to remain calm.

"It's unavoidable but the public can help by not panic buying -- if they do, stocks will be depleted sooner and lead to further problems," Sibiya said.

Criminals lurking amongst protesters
IOL News 12 July 2011

Criminals are operating under the guise of service delivery protesters, the Gauteng department of community safety said on Tuesday.

“Criminal elements are involved with the planning of these protests...including undermining and attacking elected public representatives and their property,” it said in a statement.

This came after the department held talks with security clusters over violent protests that occurred in the province in the last few weeks. They agreed that firm action had be taken.

Although people had a constitutional right to gather government could not sit back when this right was being abused, the department said.

Last week Soweto residents were protesting against alleged higher electricity bills in their area when two houses, one belonging to a ward councillor, were set on fire. Five people were arrested.

The provincial government said it would not tolerate this behaviour and called on community organisations to defend public representatives.

“Those found responsible must also face the might of our criminal justice system in the province,” the department said.

This was necessary to ensure that protests were driven by genuine community concerns, it said. -

Chemstof miners on strike
NUM 12 July 2011

Over 200 mineworkers downed tools at Chemstof Mine, a mine situated at Boksfontein outside Brits. The workers downed tools yesterday demanding a wage increment of 15%, a living out allowance of R1000 as well as a transport allowance of R800 amongst others. The employer responded with a little 4%. The matter has been to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and a certificate of non-resolution to the dispute has been issued to the parties paving the way for the strike that began yesterday.

Meanwhile, the company has urgently applied for an interdict at the Labour Court which would be heard at the Labour Court in Braamfontein this afternoon at 14H00.

“Our strike is legal and protected, they can jump as high as possible our strike will continue. We will definitely win the court case” says Sello Mfikoe, the NUM Regional Organiser in Rustenburg.

Chemstof (Pty) Ltd. owns and operates chrome ore beneficiation plant producing a chromite concentrate for the chrome industry while continuing to deposit PGE-bearing chrome ore tailings onto the current surface stockpile.

Sello Mfikoe- (Regional Organiser) 071 681 9321

Lesiba Seshoka- (NUM National Spokesman) – 082 803 6719

Hundreds gather in support of Mpisane
IOL News 7 July 2011

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Durban Magistrate's Court on Monday to support controversial Durban tycoon, Shawn Mpisane, as she appeared on tax evasion and fraud charges.

About 600 people from Umlazi and employees of the Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance and Transport company turned up to back Mpisane, the wife of former metro policeman Sbu Mpisane.

Thandinkosi Sosibo, a community member from Umlazi organised busses to transport members of the community to court because he believed Mpisane was innocent.

"When I look at the situation I realise that Shawn is being accused of a crime she did not commit. We do not know her as a criminal," he said.

He described Mpisane as a good person who helped in the community by supporting schools and families that were struggling financially

"We believe she is being targeted because she is black."

Sosibo reiterated that they knew where Mpisane came from and what she had done to achieve her success.

"If the charges against Mpisane are not dropped we will have to find plan B to resolve this but we will not use violence."

Mpisane handed herself over to the police in June after the SA Revenue Services and Hawks raided her posh Durban home.

She came under scrutiny when it emerged that her husband was spotted driving expensive cars. He was still a police officer when the story broke.

It was widely reported that the couple was super-rich with a fleet of luxury cars including a Rolls Royce Phantom and Lamborghinis.

They also owned a R15 million mansion.

In 2009, it was reported that the couple received R219 million from the eThekwini municipality to build low-income houses on 4500 sites in Umlazi.

However, the National Home Builders' Registration Council found defects in more than 1000 of 3000 houses built by Zikhulise Cleaning and Transport, owned by the Mpisanes.

Of the defects, 30 percent were serious and required major renovations.

The Mpisanes were known for their lavish parties, which are attended by politicians and celebrities. - Sapa

Tonight we sleep outside Parliament
Come and support Equal Education at 7pm

Equal Education 12 July 2011

On Tuesday, 12 July at 7pm, one hundred Equal Education members will begin a sleep‑in outside Parliament until at least Thursday 14 July to reiterate our call for the adoption of Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure.

If you?re in Cape Town, come to the entrance of Parliament, corner of Roeland and Hatfield streets tonight at 7pm for a candlelight vigil that will begin the sleep‑in.

It has been three months since the deadline set out by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, in the National Policy on an Equitable Provision of an Enabling School Physical Teaching and Learning Environment (NPEP), for the adoption of regulations providing for National Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure was missed. That deadline was the end of the 2011/2012 financial year on 31 March 2011.

These Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure are called for in Section 5A of the SA Schools Act. They would provide the first ever legally binding standard for school infrastructure. They would provide the strongest tool for communities to ensure that their school infrastructure is improved. Equalisers have therefore decided to take this new step.

This follows years of patient letters, meetings, arguments, pickets, marches and respectful engagement. On 21 March 2011, more than 20 000 learners from the Western Cape marched with Equal Education demanding Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure. We were disappointed when the Minister of Basic Education did not adopt these Norms and Standards as promised in terms of the NPEP.

School infrastructure is only one of many systemic issues that underpin poor quality and unequal education, but in many instances it is one of the most urgent. According to the National Education Infrastructure Management System (NEIMS) 2009, produced by the government, of the 24 460 public ordinary schools:

? 3600 have no electricity supply;
? 2444 have no water supply, while a further 2563 have unreliable supply;
? Only 7 847 have municipal flush toilets, while 970 still do not have any ablution facilities; and 11 231 still use pit‑latrine toilets;
? Only 10% of public ordinary schools have stocked computer centres;
? Only 5% of public ordinary schools have stocked laboratories;
? Only 8% (1 837 schools) of public ordinary schools have functioning libraries; 13% (3 384 schools) have an un‑stocked library space, but the vast majority, 79% (19 239 schools), have no physical library space, nor a book collection. Most of the 8% of schools with libraries are schools which charge fees and pay for the libraries themselves.

The Minister of Basic Education has stated that she needs the approval of the provincial MECs of Education in order to adopt these Norms and Standards as regulations. Howerver, to the best of our understanding, the law is clear. Section 5A of the South African Schools Act provides that the Minister of Basic Education simply needs to consult with the MECs, something that has already taken place; their permission or agreement is not necessary.

We believe that the Minister should set the highest standards for public ordinary schools, and MECs should implement the policies and laws and be held accountable when the need arises. Communities, learners, parents and activists will be partners for the Minister in ensuring that provinces deliver on the Norms and Standards. The passing of these regulations will be a small step towards providing every child in this country with quality education, and addressing school infrastructure and imbalances in education as part of this obligation.

For more information, please contact:
Brad Brockman
072 267 8489

For comment please contact:
Yoliswa Dwane (Head of Policy at EE)
072 342 7747 or 082 444 6674

For comment from an Equaliser please contact:
Phathiswa Shushwana 084 960 9852
Ntsiki Dlulani 073 469 8750

Unions set to march in Durban, Joburg
The Mercury 12 July 2011

Numsa members marched to MEIBC offices demanding a 13% wage increase, in Johannesburg, Gauteng. Photo: Leon Nicholas.

Two unions involved in key sector strikes countrywide will step up their action on Tuesday, with mass marches planned for Durban and Johannesburg.

Congress of SA Trade Unions General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is expected to lead a National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) march in Durban from 9am.

Thousands of workers in the engineering sector were expected to gather at the King Dinizulu statue, opposite Durban Christian Centre at 9am.

Workers would then hand over a memorandum to Seifsa at the Durban City Hall.

More than 120,000 engineering workers are demanding pay rises ranging from 10 to 13 percent, and a ban on labour brokers.

The strike in the engineering industry - which began last week - is being led by Numsa, the Metal and Electrical Workers' Union (Mewusa), and the SA Equity Workers' Association (Saewa).

About 70,000 fuel and other workers joined them on Monday, pushing for a minimum salary of R6000 per month and a 40-hour work week.

This strike could see supplies of medicine and petrol interrupted.

Those involved in the second strike are expected to gather at 10am in Johannesburg to march to the Chamber of Mines in the city centre.

Unions involved in the Johannesburg march included the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood, and Allied Workers' Union (Ceppwawu), the General Industries Workers' Union of SA (Giwusa) and the South African Chemical Workers' Union (Sacwu).

Metro police said traffic would be diverted in the CBD. The march was expected to start at the Workers' Library in Newtown and proceed down Miriam Makeba, Market, Simmonds and Marshall and Holland streets.

Last week, violence during the strike resulted in one death and six injuries. - Sapa

NUMSA march in Durban
NUMSA 12 July 2011

COSATU General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, will be marching with KZN NUMSA workers tomorrow and the media are invited to attend and report. The details are:

DATE: Tuesday 12 July 2011
TIME: 09h00
VENUE: Botha’s Gardens/Dinizulu Park, Durban

Case opened against Reitz protesters
IOL News 11 July 2011

A case of malicious damage to property and trespassing was opened after Reitz residents protested at the Nketoana municipality's offices, Free State police said.

Sergeant Majang Mosupa said protesters removed a name tag from the door of the municipal building.

No one had been arrested. Police were keeping a watch on the area.

SABC news reported earlier that locals wanted municipal manager Sipho Thomas to resign. They were accusing him and another senior official of corruption and nepotism.

Mosupa could not confirm this. -

5 freed, but no end to RDP row
IOL News 12 July 2011

A group of residents from Silahliwe informal settlement in Mamelodi protest outside the Mamelodi Magistrates Court. Picture: Sarah Makoe

Five residents from the Silahliwe informal settlement, east of Mamelodi, who were arrested at the weekend, have been released with a warning.

The residents were part of a group that tried illegally to occupy RDP houses in the area on Saturday. Police were called in after the residents allegedly damaged some of the houses.

The residents face charges of public violence and malicious damage to property.

They were expected to appear in the Mamelodi Magistrate’s Court on Monday, but were released by the police before being brought to court. They are expected to appear in court on July 20.

One house was burnt by the protesters and 69 were damaged.

Community leader Anna Mangwane said residents were “sick and tired” of the promises made by some councillors and council officials about the allocation of the RDP homes.

Mangwane said RDP houses had been occupied “by strangers”.

According to Mangwane, residents were moved from Pienaarspoort South to Silahliwe in 1998 with promises that they would be relocated to Mamelodi East Ext 18, where they would be allocated permanent stands.

“There are people who have never squatted and they are occupying the houses that don’t even belong to them,” Manganye said.

She said residents sent memorandums to the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Shiceka, in May last year and to President Jacob Zuma in November. A memorandum was also sent to the Tshwane Metro Council.

“We are still waiting for the responses,” said Mangwane.

In the memorandum to Shiceka, the residents said that the area had been in existence since 1997, “long before the City of Tshwane was established”.

“Elections after elections have come and gone, councillors after councillors have made promises, but none have materialised,” the memorandum said.

“The (member of the mayoral committee) for housing and the (Gauteng) MEC (for housing) don’t want to tell us about our informal settlement status.

“The land mafias, councillors and ward committee members allocate and sell land with impunity without any deterrent or fear.”

In the memorandum to Zuma, the residents said some of them had been squatting for 16 years, and that a number of them were old and could no longer walk long distances.

They said their area did not have proper roads, and the people who were occupying the RDP houses were foreigners.

Ward councillors from the area met residents on Monday to discuss the matter.

According to Joel Masilela, secretary of the ward committee, the crowd did not understand the processes that had to be followed in allocating houses.

“The mob is from an informal settlement and was moved from here when the construction began,” he said.

“It appears they were not told that they will be allocated houses only if they meet the requirements.”

Masilela said 89 houses had been built and 24 had been allocated to people, but this did not go down well with the people who used to live in the informal settlement.

Certain residents told the people who were allocated houses that they were occupying houses that did not belong to them.

“Out of the people who were removed the squatter camp, only two people qualified for RDP houses,” said Masilela.

“Others were allocated houses in Nelmapius.

“We explained that not everybody can get a house.”

Masilela said that the allocation process had been stopped until all the problems in the area had been sorted out. - Pretoria News

SAMWU Midrand Mass meeting to discuss fate of 280 workers

A mass meeting will be held on Sunday 17th July 2011 for all the 280 workers from the former Midrand Town Council who had been dismissed and did not accept the selective reemployment offer.

SAMWU is calling on all these unfairly dismissed Midrand SAMWU members to be present on the 17th July at the Makhulong Play Ground in Tembisa.

At the mass meeting the Union would brief the workers on the political intervention SAMWU has initiated and the way forward in terms of resolving this long standing issue that has affected so many.

The 280 disgruntled Midrand workers from the former Midrand Town Council who were unfairly dismissed in 1994 are still fighting to be reinstated by the Johannesburg City Council. These workers want to be reinstated and are willing to do all that it takes to resolve this long standing issue

The Media are also invited to attend and report on the mass meeting.

Details for the mass meeting;
Venue: Makhulong Play Ground in Tembisa
Time: 9 am
Date: Sunday 17th July 2011

For further details contact Stanley Molepo (former Midrand Town Council worker) on 0762419767.

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

Also visit SAMWU’s

Chemical workers join strike
Mail & Guardian 11 July 2011

Chemical workers are set to join the engineering strike on Monday.

The Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood, and Allied Workers' Union (Ceppwawu) and General Industries Workers' Union of South Africa (Giwusa) last week indicated that their members would embark on the strike from Monday.

The unions were joining the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the Metal and Electrical Workers' Union (Mewusa), United Association of South Africa (Uasa), Solidarity and the South African Equity Workers' Association (Saewa)

Ceppwawu and Giwusa are demanding a minimum salary of R6 000 a month and a 40-hour working week.

Strike action by these unions could see supplies of medicine and fuel interrupted.

Members of the unions, which represent about 170 000 workers, started a countrywide engineering strike on June 4.

National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim said on Sunday that the negotiating parties had begun to take one another seriously.

Claim of 'psychological violence'
"It's a process that is under way, [and] we will report back to members about it. At an appropriate time we will be able to know what is the status of that process," Jim said after the union's national executive committee meeting on Sunday.

He said the employers should be moving with speed to resolve the dispute instead of embarking on "psychological violence".

"Employers have bombarded unions with the view of labour-output ratio comparisons between South Africa and China. They claim that South African workers are paid four times higher and are two to five times less productive than their Chinese counterparts."

Jim said employers should not use skills training as leverage to justify underpaying workers, and challenged the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation to ensure that workers obtained the necessary skills to make them as competitive as their international counterparts.

Also of concern to the union were reports that directors received 23% salary increases this year and bonus hikes of up to 56%, while workers struggled with lower salaries and the high cost of living. - Sapa

Numsa hardens heart, holds out for 13% increase
Mail & Guardian 11 July 2011

The strike in the engineering sector would be intensified until employers met what unions said were "reasonable" demands.

National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim said on Sunday that the negotiating parties had begun to take one another seriously.

"It's a process that is under way, [and] we will report back to members about it. At an appropriate time we will be able to know what is the status of that process," Jim said after the union's national executive committee meeting on Sunday.

He said the employers should be moving with speed to resolve the dispute instead of embarking on "psychological violence".

"Employers have bombarded unions with the view of labour-output ratio comparisons between South Africa and China. They claim that South African workers are paid four times higher and are two to five times less productive than their Chinese counterparts."

Jim said employers should not use skills training as leverage to justify underpaying workers, and challenged the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation to ensure that workers obtained the necessary skills to make them as competitive as their international counterparts.

Also of concern to the union were reports that directors received 23% salary increases this year and bonus hikes of up to 56%, while workers struggled with lower salaries and the high cost of living.

The strike in the engineering sector entered its second week on Sunday.

The union is demanding a 13% salary increase. while employers are offering 7%. - Sapa

Strikers' use of violence 'deplorable'
Mail & Guardian 11 July 2011

As the engineering sector strike entered its fifth day, several acts of violence and intimidation were allegedly committed by striking workers, the Steel and Engineering Industries' Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) said on Friday.

"It is reprehensible that the strikers find it necessary to use these types of intimidatory and illegal tactics to gain support and maintain momentum for their strike and that the union leadership appears to remain silent in its condemnation of this deplorable behaviour," Seifsa executive director David Carson said in a statement.

Incidents reported included trespassing on private property in search of non-striking workers, malicious damage to company premises and private property, stone throwing, breaking down of company gates and unlawfully blocking access to factory premises.

Leaders from Seifsa and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) were meeting on Friday afternoon to discuss the acts of violence and to consider a way forward, Carson said.

"A possible outcome of today's meeting may be that Seifsa and all the trade unions currently in dispute meet this weekend to explore available options to bring the current dispute to an end."

Ekurhuleni metro police said nine Numsa members were arrested for public violence in Germiston on Thursday.

Constable Mashudu Phatela said they were allegedly burning tyres and throwing stones at passing motorists.

'Drastic action'
Numsa said these reports were an attempt by "some elements" to sabotage the industrial action.

Four Numsa members were injured after police fired rubber bullets during a strike in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg on Thursday, national Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese said.

The four were admitted in hospital and a case had been opened at a local police station.

The union also claimed that there were incidents where police had intimidated, harassed, shot at and arrested strikers in Bellville and in Germiston.

Numsa was calling for "drastic action" to be taken against the police, Ngobese said.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions' (Cosatu) on Friday condemned the shooting of the four strikers, allegedly by police.

"We demand that the SAPS [South African Police Service] apply the same standards and condemn the growing trend by some trigger-happy officers to resort to the use of teargas, rubber bullets and even live ammunition in the course of demonstrations," national spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.

Craven said before unions embarked on strikes and protests there had to be consultation between police and union leaders to reach an agreement on ground rules, and these had to then be adhered to by both sides.

Wage demands
This would enable the law to be enforced without attacking workers' constitutional right to march and picket.

Several trade unions, representing about 170 000 workers, started a countrywide strike in the engineering sector on Monday to press for better wages.

Workers gave their employers until the end of Thursday to respond to their wage demands. Union leaders would meet with employees over the weekend, Ngobese said.

Numsa was joined by five other trade unions: the Chemical Energy Paper Printing Wood and Allied Workers' Union (Ceppwawu), and the Metal and Electrical Workers' Union (Mewusa), United Association of SA (Uasa), Solidarity and the SA Equity Workers' Association (Saewa).

The trade unions are demanding wage increases ranging from 10% to 13%.

Ngobese said no negotiations or talks had taken place since Monday.

Seifsa said it could not afford the wage increases the unions wanted. Employers in the sector have offered 7%. -- Sapa

Blackout looms for Durban
By YOGAS NAIR (IOL News) 7 July 2011

Threats of a total blackout in the city in the next 24 hours by striking workers at the eThekwini municipality’s main electricity depot in Springfield are being taken very seriously. That’s according to Mayor James Nxumalo.

Samwu secretary-general Nanhlanhla Nyandeni confirmed that disgruntled workers had vowed to “make electricity ungovernable” if city officials fail to urgently address their grievances.

“The Springfield depot services all the main sub-stations in the municipality. Any electrical fault or power outage could go unattended if the sit-in continues. This could eventually result in a total electricity shutdown in the city.”

“There is speculation that the other departments in the municipality could join the strike. If this happens, it could cripple the city.”

Nxumalo has called for calm and time to discuss the issue with city manager Michael Sutcliffe.

“I am expected to meet with the city manager on Thursday. This issue needs serious intervention so the people of our municipality do not suffer. The threats of a blackout are being taken seriously.”

Workers had been on an illegal strike at the depot since Monday.

Nyandeni said they were unhappy with the appointment of strategic executive Raj Dhrochand, which they found to be “irregular”.

They are also calling for the dismissal of the head of electricity Sandile Maphumulo, and senior human resource officer Vincent Mthembu. They are accused of hiring Dhrochand without following procedure, Nyandeni said.

In 2008, Dhrochand resigned from his position as deputy head in the electricity department to go abroad. He subsequently returned in 2009, and approached the city for a job.

In September 2009 he was re-employed to oversee all strategic projects in the electricity department.

An arbitration hearing on Saturday found in Dhrochand’s favour. The award found that his appointment was in accordance with municipal procedures for the appointment of a supernumerary – a position that is created for a specific purpose.

Nyandeni said after the news of Dhrochand’s victory, workers had downed tools.

When the Daily News visited the depot on Tuesday, angry workers brandishing axes, pangas and sticks were toy-toying inside the depot yard. No vehicles were allowed onto the premises.

They appeared aggressive and even refused to allow Metro police inside.

Dhrochand said he was not intimidated by the workers.

“I am a qualified electrical engineer with a masters degree in business leadership. I also have a government certificate of competency. I am more than qualified for the job.”

He said he was being targeted because in the past 21 months he had chaired disciplinary enquiries and had the unfortunate task of dismissing Samwu members. This had made him unpopular with the union and workers, he said.

Attempts to contact Maphumulo and Mthembu for comment were unsuccessful. – Daily News

2 killed in witchcraft attack
IOL News 5 July 2011

Two people were killed and four others were injured when a mob descended on two homes in Slovo Park where they believed witchcraft was being practised, Eastern Cape police said on Tuesday.

“No arrests have been made yet but it's a promise that we are going to arrest before sunset,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela.

Fatyela said a 67-year-old woman sustained severe burns and died when the group set alight her flat in the first incident at 11.30pm on Monday.

Her 16-year-old grandson was stabbed, but survived. A six-year-old girl escaped unhurt.

A shack belonging to the woman's 26-year-old son was also set alight. He was not there at the time.

About 30 minutes later, the home of a 62-year-old woman was set alight.

She was stabbed and sustained burns and was in a critical condition in hospital, said Fatyela.

Her 35-year-old son was hacked to death. Another son and daughter, aged 25 and 30, were in hospital. One had sustained stab wounds and the other burns.

Five grandchildren escaped unhurt. Their ages were not immediately known.

“Police are at the scene and we will check on the victims in hospital,” said Fatyela. “We believe both cases are linked,” he said.

Cases of murder, attempted murder and arson had been opened. – Sapa

Eskom workers attacked
IOL News7 July 2011

Dozens of villagers in Tzaneen pelted Eskom workers with stones when they tried to remove illegal electricity connections, Limpopo police said on Thursday.

Residents from several villages had mobilised and attacked the Eskom workers on Wednesday, Lt-Col Ronel Otto said.

“They also pelted Eskom security guards who were keeping a watch on the workers. Police were called in and order was restored,” she said.

No arrests were made but an Eskom vehicle was damaged.

Otto said police were monitoring the situation.

Eskom spokeswoman Hilary Joffe said there were no reports of injuries.

She said the parastatal had started a program of removing illegal connections after several fatalities were reported.

“Last year, 10 members of the public were killed by illegal connections and this year there were six. We will engage with the community on the matter.”

Otto said Eskom had not opened a criminal case. - Sapa

Muldersdrift calm - police
IOL News 7 July 2011

Protesters in Muldersdrift dispersed on Thursday morning after burning tyres and barricading the N14 highway, police said.

“It's calm. No-one has regrouped since police arrived. There were no injuries or arrests,” said Captain Jacob Raboroko.

It was believed that the protesters were residents of a nearby informal settlement.

They were protesting about poor service delivery.

Raboroko said firefighters were called in to extinguish the burning tyres. Rocks placed on the highway were also removed.

Police would remain on high alert throughout the day, he said. - Sapa

Against Hate Crimes Pickets 7/7/11 in Johannesburg
DLF 6 July 2011

The pickets will take place on the 7th July and in August a BIG MARCH which will not only comprise of the LGBTI organisation but also the broader civil society organisations who support the call against hate crimes. The campaign will be carried through to the community Prides that always take place annually in KwaThema ad Soweto. This struggle will be taken forward and reach its momentum as the members of the community will engage in different actions that will draw the attention of the powers that be in dealing with the matter. Information on the pickets:

Date: 7th July 2011
Time: 10am -12pm

The following are the details of the areas where the picket will be staged together with the contact details of the convenors:

Alexandra Police Station: Maureen - 083 3176 253, email

Katlehong Police Station: Deekay- 076 5123 874, email

Johannesburg Jeppe Police Station: Kwezilomso- 078 323 9031, email

Wits: Noma – 078 323 9031, email

Soweto Meadowlands Police Station: Virginia-082 082 3059, email

Kwathema Tsakane Police Station: Ayanda- 071 617 2215 email / Ntsupe- 0732263287, email

NUMSA 6 July 2011

MBUSO NGUBANE, NUMSA Regional Secretary and BASIL CELE, COSATU Acting Provincial Chairperson, will jointly lead a march today Wednesday 06 July 2011, against police brutality and the failure by the Department of Labour through its inspectors to respond effectively to the appalling conditions faced by the workers at the workplace in KwaZulu-Natal province.

The workers will converge at Lahee Park (Behind SANLAM CENTRE), Pinetown, starting at 10H00am, and they will march to the PINETOWN POLICE STATION, Old Main Road, to hand-over a Memorandum of Demands to both the SAPS and the Department of Labour.

The details are as follows:

DATE: Wednesday 6 July 2011
TIME: 10H00am
VENUE: Lahee Park (Behind Sanlam Centre), Pinetown, Durban

Members of the media are hereby invited to attend and report.

Contact: Mbuso Ngubane, Regional Secretary – 079 502 3242

SA protesters enter the fray on Libya
IOL News 6 July 2011

More than 1 000 South Africans have rallied at the US Embassy to call for an end to Nato strikes on Libya.

Wednesday's union-organized rally ended with the handing over of a memorandum to US officials saying bombings are undermining African efforts to negotiate a solution.

South African President Jacob Zuma is leading stalled African Union mediation efforts. He has faced criticism at home for supporting a U.N. resolution calling for protecting civilians in Libya.

Zuma blames Nato for overstepping the resolution. The fiery leader of the governing African National Congress Youth League, Julius Malema, said at the rally that South Africa should have foreseen how the resolution would be used, and should not have voted for it. -

NUMSA 6 July 2011

The members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) will hold a demonstration outside the United States of America (USA) Embassy in Pretoria today Wednesday 6 July 2011, starting at 10am.

The members of NUMSA will converge at 10am, Corner Leyds and Church Streets, and they will proceed to the US Embassy to hand-over a Memorandum of Demands to put an end to the bombing of Libya by US and its NATO allies.

We call on the South African public to join the demonstration in solidarity with the people of Libya.

The demonstration will be addressed by the following national leaders:

BONGANI MASUKU – COSATU International Affairs Secretary
KARL CLOETE – NUMSA Deputy General Secretary
The details are as follows:

DATE: Wednesday 6 July 2011
TIME: 10H00am
VENUE: US Embassy, Cnr Pretorius and Eastwood Streets, Pretoria

Members of the media are hereby invited to attend and report.

Contact: Hlokoza Motau, NUMSA International Affairs Officer – 078 347 9398

Activists refuse to back down
Sharika Regchand (The Mercury) 6 July 2011

DEFIANT ANC activists who were released on R100 bail each yesterday on condition that they did not enter the ANC’s regional offices in Pietermaritzburg have now taken their sit-in to their cars.

The activists had been staging a sit-in at the offices since May 30, refusing to vacate until the party’s regional executive committee was disbanded.

But on Friday the ANC leadership brought an urgent application in the high court for an eviction order which was granted.

The activists failed to budge, prompting police to arrest and charge 29 of them with being in contempt of court on Monday.

As the 18 men and 11 women appeared briefly in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday, a large contingent of police was present inside and outside to control their supporters. However, there were no incidents.

Once the courtroom was packed to its capacity, police prevented more people from entering.

When the accused, many draped in thick winter blankets, emerged from the holding cells into the courtroom there was no space for all of them in the dock. Those unable to squeeze themselves into the dock stood in front.

The crowd erupted in song and dance until the magistrate entered. The State was unopposed to bail and the case was adjourned to July 19.

The activists had set up house at the offices where they had cooked and slept. On cold winter nights, they huddled together around a two-plate stove.

They had refused to vacate the offices, saying they had every right to be there as they were also ANC members.

After the court hearing, a spokeswoman for the activists, Sibongile Mkhize, said their arrest would not hinder nor silence them.

“Our demands still stand,” she said.

Aside from wanting the regional executive disbanded, they were also calling for the removal of its members from plum municipal positions.

Mkhize said that they would now sit in cars that would be parked outside the offices.

“At any given time, there will be about three or four cars parked here,” she said.

Msunduzi municipality spokesman Brian Zuma said that if the activists were parking in public parking bays they were not transgressing any city by-laws and would not be removed.

Kennedy Road residents attack subcontractor
ANELISA KUBHEKA (The Mercury) 5 July 2011

Kennedy Road residents took to the streets again on Monday, setting fire
to rubbish bags and portable toilets they had used to barricade the road
the previous day.

At about 9.30am, the sub‑contractor hired by the eThekwini municipality
arrived at the informal settlement outside Durban to cut off the illegal
connections for the second time since Sunday.

Once residents realised what was happening, they began attacking the
subcontractors, who fled.

The police were called to stabilise the situation and later used teargas
to disperse people who refused to leave.

On Monday, the Daily News reported that community members and a private
security company which came with the subcontractors clashed on Sunday
when residents blockaded the road preventing the municipality's team
from disconnecting illegal connections.

During this confrontation a 19‑year‑old man was hit on the cheek by a
rubber pellet.

Their barricade was later cleared, but on Monday they torched the
rubbish bags and toilets that they had moved to the side of the road to
prevent the subcontractor getting through.

Musa Sangweni, a member of the Kennedy Road Development Committee, said
they were under the impression that the subcontractors would not return
in accordance with an agreement made between the subcontractors and the
area councillor on Sunday.

He said what the municipality was doing was right in principle, but
pointed out that the residents had applied for electricity to be
connected. However, but their applications were declined as the council
wanted to put in housing before electricity.

Sangweni said that sub‑urban residents living across the road had
reported them to the council.

"Some people had begun connecting to the poles coming from the suburbs,
and as tax‑payers they complained," he said.

He believed that the situation had now spiralled out of control and that
the subcontractor should at least stop coming until a temporary solution
was found at a meeting between residents and the municipality this
coming Sunday. ‑‑ Daily News

Chiawelo residents stick to demands
Beauregard Tromp 7 July 2011

Five people were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the stoning and arson attack on two councillors’ homes after residents blockaded some streets, including parts of the busy Chris Hani Road.

Late in the afternoon, nearly 200 residents marched to the Moroka police station to demand the release of the five.

A convoy of dignitaries, including dual Minister of Police and Local Government and Traditional Affairs Nathi Mthethwa, national police commissioner General Bheki Cele, provincial police commissioner General Mzwandile Petros and Joburg mayor Parks Tau were united in condemning the violent actions which saw police rescuing families from both houses after protesters set fire to the cars parked inside the respective garages.

As Chiawelo residents demonstrated outside the Moroka police station on Wednesday, police came out in force, some dressed in riot gear and others carrying shotguns. One policeman pleaded with protest leaders to form a delegation to talk to the police, berating them for coming en masse and protesting.

“We have realised that if you want to be heard in this country, you have to come as a crowd,” said one of the leaders.

Minutes later, a burly plain-clothed officer frog-marched the unidentified leader into the station, infuriating the crowd. The police refused to comment on this apparent detention.

“It’s not right. There are lots of poor people in Chiawelo and the electricity runs like a stopwatch. I have an eight-month-old baby, but we have no power,” said Emmanuel Michisi, who added he was reluctant to use the dangerous paraffin heater.

The crowd grudgingly dispersed in the late afternoon, with police and Joburg metro police vehicles saturating the area.

Earlier in the day, residents sparred verbally with Mthethwa and other politicians, complaining that only Chiawelo residents had to suffer high electricity prices, with many households paying more than R1 400 a month.

“People come here in their flashy cars and don’t have answers. The money for that one car can pay electricity for all the people of Chiawelo,” he said. The dignitaries arrived in an assortment of Audis, Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs.

The man refused to divulge his name, claiming to fear “the hooligan that is the ANC”.

Mthethwa denounced the attack on councillors’ homes, adding that was also culpable as it had been tipped off about the mob’s intentions.

Many other residents in the street where councillor Johannes Nemaungani’s house was torched seemed to share this sentiment, questioning why the government was not sending people who could solve the problem.

A number seemed to speculate that the dignitaries were publicity-seekers.

Four years ago, Chiawelo, allegedly with the consent of residents, became part of a pilot scheme to implement “split meters”, which are claimed to be tamper-proof. This has seen more than 90 percent of residents pay for their electricity, compared to their neighbours in the rest of Soweto, which has a poor payment record.

Recently, 115 of the 4 000 installed meters were vandalised, with Eskom technicians repeatedly being chased out of the area. Protesters blamed local councillors for allowing Eskom to install the “green boxes”.

Eskom spokeswoman Hillary Joffe said the complaints sounded like “winter grievance”, with electricity usage spiking. – The Star

Eskom restores power in Soweto
The Mercury 6 July 2011

Eskom technicians have started repairing the Soweto substations damaged
by residents protesting against high electricity costs.

Johannesburg ‑ Eskom technicians will work throughout the night to
restore power to parts of Soweto after locals damaged substations in
protest against high electricity prices, Johannesburg's mayor said on

"Unfortunately, some of the damage, according to Eskom, is extensive and
it may take some time to be repaired," Parks Tau was quoted saying in a
statement issued by his office.

A "very small minority" was responsible for the damage. He said more
than 90 percent of Chiawelo residents paid for their electricity.

Technicians from the power utility would be escorted by metro police and
SAPS officers.

Tau said he intended to meet with senior police officers and the
National Prosecuting Authority to discuss the problem.

A councillor and a former councillor's house were set alight during
protests by about 300 Soweto residents earlier on Tuesday. A car parked
in front of the garage of one of the houses was also damaged, police
spokesperson Warrant Officer Mpho Kgaswana said. The garage was partly

Chiawelo residents barricaded parts of Chris Hani Road (previously Old
Potchefstroom Road) with stones.

"They are alleging that they are paying higher electricity bills in
their area. They said their rates are not the same as other areas,"
Kgaswana said.

"We don't know what they used to set the house alight. The fire has
since been extinguished." No arrests were made and no one was injured. A
case of arson and malicious damage to property would be investigated.

The ANC in Gauteng condemned the crimes. It identified the councillor as
Joe Nemayngane and the former councillor as Mirriam Ramafola.

"The ANC Gauteng cannot tolerate anarchy and vandalism of councillors'
houses by rogue elements," it said in a statement.

"No amount of frustration and anger should license protesters to take
the law into their own hands." The two had nothing to hide. When
electricity transformers failed because of overload due to illegal
connections, which locals had been warned about, they blamed the

"We can conclude that the burning of houses is purely motivated by
criminal inclination and hatred of the ANC." The City of Johannesburg
said going on the rampage, damaging property and endangering lives would
not be tolerated.

It had previously told residents about plans to install prepaid
electricity meters, spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said in a statement.

"The city does encourage open consultation with the residents when
implementing capital projects and residents are urged to utilise this
process to raise their concerns." ‑ Sapa

Angry mob torch councillor’s house
Poloko Tau and Staff Reporter 6 July 2011

Young Wanga Nemaungani is rescued by police officers from her home after it was set alight by angry Chiawelo residents protesting against prepaid meters and ongoing power outages. Picture: Itumeleng English

Journalists helped police and residents to rescue six people trapped in a burning Chiawelo councillor’s house on Tuesday.

Ward 12 councillor Johannes Nemaungani’s house was torched during protests against Eskom’s prepaid electricity meters.

Nemaungani’s daughter Jennifer and five grandchildren, aged between five and 16, had locked themselves in the main house, scared that they could run into the angry mob of protesters, as the flames roared.

The fire was spreading through the ceiling from the garage, where the councillor’s Toyota Corolla had been set on fire. Those locked in the house could smell the smoke as the flames raged through the ceiling, down to their father’s car inside the garage, until the roof collapsed onto it.

Police knocked on the door of the burning house and evacuated Jennifer and the children as well as two dogs before the ceiling collapsed.

“I feared for our safety and called the police. I asked them to be nearby just in case something happens. Later, the crowd were in front of our house,” said a traumatised Jennifer shortly after she was rescued from the house.

Nemaungani’s car was torched while police were removing rocks and burning tyres used to barricade the busy Chris Hani Road nearby.

Firemen arrived and took over from residents, who were using buckets and a hosepipe to try to extinguish the blaze.

Traffic had been disrupted after residents blocked Chris Hani Road, prompting police to fire rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

The police were pelted with rocks as running battles took place between them and the mob. At one point, a group of protesters fought with metro police officers to free a man who had just been arrested.

Overpowered and under siege, the two officers fled the scene.

Residents told The Star that councillors had been targeted because they supported the installation of the meters.

The violence started after Eskom employees arrived in Chiawelo at about 9am under police escort to fix electricity boxes that had been forced open.

Residents said they were against the “split electricity metering system” installed there five years ago as a pilot project for Soweto.

Illegal connections have become rife as residents complain that they cannot afford Eskom’s “fast-running metering system”.

“Residents can’t be blamed for taking to the streets when they have been forced to use paraffin and coal because they cannot afford Eskom’s prepaid electricity. At the moment R50 worth of electricity does not last more than two days,” said resident Isaac Makaraba.

Police spokesman Mpande Khoza said they were monitoring the situation.

Eskom spokeswoman Lesego Motshwane said last night that managers were still in a meeting discussing the situation in Chiawelo. She said she would issue a statement afterwards. - The Star

Cosatu 5 July 2011

KARL CLOETE, NUMSA General Secretary and SAM MASHININI, COSATU Provincial Secretary, will jointly lead a march of the engineering and other related sectors workers as organised by NUMSA, tomorrow Tuesday 05 July 2011, Welkom, Free State province.

The workers will converge at Phillip Smith Hall, Constantia Road, Welkom, starting at 10h00am, and they will march to Steeldale Company, 10th Street, Welkom to hand-over a memorandum of demands to the engineering employer body SEIFSA.

The details are as follows:
DATE: Tuesday 05 July 2011
TIME: 10H00am
VENUE: Phillip Smith Hall, Welkom, Free State province

Members of the media are hereby invited to attend and report.

Contact: Andile Zitho, Regional Secretary – 084 795 0548 / 083 253 8561

4 held at ANC’s Umlazi rally
IOL News 4 July 2011

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Mdungewhile said while police officers were removing barricades from the roads, shots had been fired and the police had fired rubber bullets in order to disperse the crowd.

Four people were arrested for public violence in Umlazi, Durban, yesterday, after the ANC staged a celebratory rally in the former IFP stronghold.

Provincial police spokes-man Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Mdunge said people believed to be IFP supporters had attempted to stop buses and vehicles ferrying ANC members to the area.

“They were also stoning cars that had arrived at the rally and caused a lot of commotion. Because of the intensity of the situation, a strong police presence had to be called to try and resolve the issue.”

Mdunge said that while police officers were removing barricades from the roads, shots had been fired and the police had fired rubber bullets in order to disperse the crowd.

“No one was injured, but four suspects were arrested and were formally charged with public violence,” he said.

They are expected to appear at the Umlazi Magistrate’s Court today.

Gunshots rang out in Umlazi’s unit 17 hostels , causing panic among ANC members attending the rally.

People believed to be IFP supporters attempted to stop vehicles carrying ANC members but police prevented the rally being disrupted.

The ANC won the former IFP ward during the May local government elections.

Mdunge said those trying to stop the rally threw stones, damaging police and private vehicles.

One person had hand injuries and was attended to by paramedics.

IFP deputy national spokesman Joshua Mazibuko said yesterday his party was not aware of what had happened at Unit 17. “We will, however, institute a full investigation into these allegations,” he said.

Speaker after speaker at the rally said the time for no-go areas was gone.

“The IFP should understand that things have changed now. It cannot be that 17 years after freedom some people are still trying to create no-go areas for the ANC,” said eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo.

A similar sentiment was expressed by Gauteng premier Nomvula Nonkonyana. “We have a right to talk to people, even in the so-called IFP areas. We refuse to be threatened by a dead snake,” she said. – Daily News

10 held for public violence
IOL News 4 July 2011

Ten people have been arrested for public violence in Boitekong near Rustenburg, North West police said on Monday.

Constable Provin Tseke said residents of Yiz-Yizo informal settlement and Extension 13 barricaded roads in the area with burning objects at 5am.

They were reported to be unhappy about the councillor elected in the May 18 municipal election.

The SABC reported that protesters complained about a lack of water and a sewage spill which had gone unattended.

Further information on the arrests and comment from a community spokesperson was not immediately available.

Tseke said the police were monitoring the situation. – Sapa

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