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South African protest news 17 November - 5 December 2011 (2011) South African protest news 17 November - 5 December 2011.  : -.

Wastepickers given the cold shoulder outside ICC
Leanne Jansen (IOL News) 6 December 2011

An NGO which was prohibited from displaying placards that had not been pre-approved on the sidelines of the COP17 talks believe that their right to freedom of speech has been infringed.

UN security officers yesterday told members of the Global Alliance of Wastepickers, who wanted to hold a peaceful demonstration within the International Convention Centre precinct, that they were not allowed to hold aloft or disseminate any material because the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat had not given the demonstration the green light.

Nevertheless, they held their demonstration within a small square cordoned-off area, with some defiantly displaying posters.

The wastepickers, who say their livelihoods are being threatened, are calling for their working conditions to be improved, for Green Climate Fund resources to be channelled directly to them, and for them to be recognised as the “backbone” of the recycling industry.

The NGO said wastepickers would make more money if the “middle-men” were cut out.

It said wastepickers struggled to make ends meet because they sold the material they collected at ridiculously low prices to middle-men who then made a fortune.

Wastepickers mainly sell plastics, aluminium, paper and metals.

South Africa had many wastepickers, but only 30 000 were organised, said Mariel Villella, a climate policy campaigner who represented the NGO.

Villella said that, although they had signed a code of conduct when obtaining accreditation, it seemed the secretariat was not supportive of grassroots civil society voices and wanted to “limit and isolate” them. Villella said the NGO had not yet decided whether to take the matter further.

An American radio journalist who attempted to record the argument between representatives of the NGO and the security official was told he was not allowed to do so.

“I told him that in my country, if the police ordered me not to record something in public, they’d be violating the first amendment,” Brian Edwards-Tiekert told The Mercury. He said the security official had told him: “This is not a public space, this is the UN.”

The journalist said he understood that the UNFCCC had to set rules to maintain order, but said it was unreasonable for the secretariat to insist on pre-approving materials such as banners.

Elston Seppie, the director of the Freedom of Expression Institute, said it was “shameful” to prohibit the wastepickers from showing their messages on protest material. “It undermines the spirit of our country”, Seppie said.

Asked about the incident with the foreign journalist, Seppie said his treatment had been “completely out of order”.

The secretariat was unable to comment at the time of going to print.

Green bombers threat no city ploy
Colleen Dardagan (IOL News) 6 December 2011

GREEN bombers – volunteers wearing green eThekwini volunteer T-shirts and caps – were allegedly “paid by the city” to disrupt an otherwise peaceful climate change rally in Durban at the weekend.

Updating reporters yesterday on the arrest of seven Greenpeace International activists who were trying to occupy the World Business Council on Sustainable Development conference, Ferrial Adam, Africa’s Greenpeace head, said that the “green bombers” had admitted to being paid to disrupt the rally.

“When we questioned them on why they were at the march and who they were representing, they said they were paid by the city to be at the march and to be disruptive,” she said.

Adam said the situation at the start of the march “got ugly” and many participants felt threatened. “But the clashes were well controlled by the marshals and all the organisations represented at the rally worked together to make sure the march was able to proceed peacefully.”

ANC Youth League members employed as volunteers by the city clashed with the newly established political movement the Democratic Left Front, which carried posters saying “Ten more years of Zuma”, the Sunday Tribune reported.

The march was estimated to have drawn more than 5 000 people.

City manager Michael Sutcliffe confirmed that the group was employed as volunteers during the climate change conference and had asked to be allowed to attend the rally.

“It was a public march; anyone could be there. They wanted to go to the rally and we said ‘yes’. If we had wanted to infiltrate the marchers, we would have told them to take off their uniforms.”

Jomo Sibiya a KwaZulu-Natal ANC Youth League official, said the party would never pay anyone to disrupt or participate in a march. “We were employed as volunteers because we are activists and we want to advance the cause… of COP17.”

Clashes on Durban streets as COP17 gets serious
Mail & Guardian 5 December 2011

The COP17 climate talks enter their second week this week entangled in a thick mesh of issues with no guarantee that negotiators and their ministers will be able to sort them out, even as protests outside the official meetings turn ugly, with protesters complaining of violent harassment by official volunteers.

The 194-nation process is facing the prospect of a bust-up, even as scientists warn against the mounting threat of disaster-provoking storms, droughts, flood and rising seas made worse by global warming.

The 12-day Durban conference is eyeing a deal which secures the future of the Kyoto Protocol, set to be cast into limbo just a year from now.

It also would seek to coax China, the United States, India and Brazil into a new treaty on emissions curbs.

At the heart of the manoeuvring is the future of Kyoto, which stipulates legally-binding targeted curbs in greenhouse gases for rich countries.

Extending Kyoto pledges
The European Union (EU) -- nearly alone -- has offered to extend its Kyoto pledges after they expire at the end of 2012.

But it will do so, it says, only if major emitters -- including the United States and emerging giants such as China -- back plans for a new binding pact that would be completed by 2015 and take effect by 2020, when the current roster of voluntary pledges runs out.

After a week of mixed signals, China declared on Sunday that it could envisage post-2020 binding commitments -- provided a range of conditions, including the survival of Kyoto, were met.

For now, the United States has resisted the EU road map, saying it cannot sign up to a legal framework the contents of which have not been spelt out.

The other big question is whether India, and also Brazil, can be drawn into the roadmap-plus-Kyoto deal.

Trouble on the ground
Meanwhile, in Durban at the weekend, protesters who were attacked with water bottles and stones in a civil society march during COP17 in Durban say they intend opening a criminal case against their attackers.

The Civil Society Committee for COP17 and members of the Democratic Left Front (DLF) confirmed to the media on Sunday that they intended opening criminal cases against individuals dressed in COP17 volunteer overalls alleged to have set fire to DLF members' placards and to have attacked them with water bottles and stones.

The Civil Society Committee said the agent provocateurs were ANC members planted at the march by the local eThekwini Municipality so as to disrupt it. The green-suited group of about 300 people engaged in skirmishes and threw projectiles at members of civil society before the march had begun.

The DLF's Vishwas Satgar also confirmed that the organisation would approach the office of the public protector Thuli Madonsela, to "investigate what we endured, which appears to be the use of public funds by this government to attack us".

A complaint with the police's Internal Complaints Directorate would also be lodged, because of the "police's failure to act against what amounted to sustained and provocation and abuse", said Satgar.

Volunteers interviewed by the M&G said they were there "in support of COP17" and to "defend our president, Jacob Zuma". Many claimed to be either ANC supporters or members from areas like KwaMashu and Umlazi. Several carried Zuma kangas and placards stating "100% Zuma and 100% Cop" and "Fire Malema".

In a statement, the Civil Society Committee noted that "as volunteers {are] paid daily by the municipality of eThekwini, it is of grave concern that their intimidation of peaceful marchers was left unchallenged by those in authority. As such, the [Ethekwini municipal] manager [Mike Sutcliffe] and mayor [James Nxumalo], together with the UNFCCC, must answer to the involvement of this group and the failure of authorities to address this unnecessary violence."

Sutcliffe said on Sunday: "I thought the march went incredibly well. I know of no disruptions and certainly together with my team in monitoring the march saw nothing to suggest otherwise. I do know at the beginning there was a small issue and we took action to defuse things and as I say the march was pretty peaceful."

He later said: "I understand there were actually a number of incidents and am rather surprised that only one is highlighted. I also find it strange that the city is being challenged when my teams have done so much to make the civil society space work."

Sutcliffe refused to put a figure to, or detail, the incidents his monitoring team had picked up, calling the committee's claims "silly". -- Additional reporting by Sapa-AFP

COSATU protest for quality public transport Tuesday 6th December 2011
Cosatu 5 December 2011

COSATU Western Cape initiated a Section 77 process in 2008, against the poor and dangerous train service provided by Metrorail. During negotiations, at the time Metrorail committed finances to procure rolling stock and improve infrastructure and maintenance. In turn COSATU suspended all protest action.

Three years later, instead of improving, services have deteriorated alarmingly and the procurement of new rolling stock and infrastructure improvement is a distant target, seemingly moving further and further away.

This reactivated protest action is an expression of anger and the exertion of pressure towards Government and Business to ensure that finances, to improve public transport in general, but also Metrorail in particular are secured and spent where most needed, procuring rolling stock and improving infrastructure:

Details of protest action:
Date: Tuesday 6th December 2011
Time: 13h30 -15h30
Venue: Piazza Square, between Standard bank & Civic Centre (between Hertzog and Old Marine Drive) – Cape Town

Trains are free

For further comment contact COSATU W Cape Provincial Secretary, Tony Ehrenreich @ 0827733194

People gather for ANCYL march
IOL News 5 December 2011

A large crowd gathered in Phakamisa in the Eastern Cape on Monday ahead of a march by the ANC Youth League for “economic freedom”.

“By 10am, there were about 5 000 people there,” the league's regional chairman Ayanda Matiti said.

“We are still waiting for more members to arrive from the other regions.”

The march was expected to get underway at 1pm.

“It will take three hours and we will hand over a memorandum at the premier's office,” he said.

Their demands would be made public after handing the document over. – Sapa

Greenpeace activists to be deported after Durban arrest
Mail & Guardian 6 December 2011

Three Greenpeace activists will be deported after they were arrested for trespassing while trying to abseil from the roof of a Durban hotel.

Department of home affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said the three foreigners -- from Germany, Australia and Denmark -- had been granted visa-free entry into South Africa because of bilateral visa waiver agreements between South Africa and their countries.

Under this exemption, the three nationals could enter South Africa without visas for tourism or business purposes," he said.

They were arrested for trespassing on the roof of the Protea Edward Hotel on Durban's beachfront with the intention of abseiling from the hotel's roof.

"This contravened the conditions of their visa free entry into the republic," said Mamoepa.

He said they had appeared before a special court where they pleaded guilty to were found guilty of trespassing..

"Following this conviction, the three foreign nationals were taken to a place of detention awaiting arrangements to be finalised by the department of home affairs for their deportation to their countries of origin."

Greenpeace identified the three as Signe Andersen from Denmark, Paul Grajewski from Australia and Frank Simon from Germany.

They were among seven environmental activists arrested for trespassing. -- Sapa

Climate activists nabbed
IOL News 5 December 2011

Seven environmental activists have been arrested for trespassing after trying to put up a flag at a high-rise hotel in Durban on Monday.

“I can confirm that seven Greenpeace environmental activists have been arrested for trespassing,” Colonel Vish Naidoo said.

They allegedly entered the Marine Parade hotel on Durban's beachfront and attempted to put up a flag, he said.

“I don’t know what was written on the flag.”

Greenpeace activists are attending COP17 talks in the city. Greenpeace was not immediately available to comment. – Sapa

'Zuma, you’re a killer' – DRC protesters
IOL News 5 December 2011

Supporters of DRC opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi mobbed the President Street entrance of Luthuli House in Joburg on Tuesday morning.

The 200-odd protesters chanted: “Zuma, you are a killer” and displayed signs showing SA’s purported ties to President Joseph Kabila who is ahead after early counts in the country’s poll.

They were dispersed about two hours later, when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets.

With results from about half of polling stations counted on Sunday night, Kabila was leading with 4.94 million votes, or 48.8 percent of those counted so far.

Election commission chief Daniel Ngoy Mulunda released province by province tallies on Sunday that he said amounted to nearly 53 percent of all voting bureaus.

An Associated Press compilation of the early results showed that Tshisekedi was trailing with 3.4 million votes, or 33.6 percent.

The opposition has said that they reject the results and accuse Kabila of rigging the vote. The capital was on edge with many predicting violence after Tuesday's final proclamation of provisional results. - IOL

Limpopo mob attacks alleged robbers
IOL News 1 December 2011

A man was injured when he was attacked in Thohoyandou near Musina on Thursday by a mob accusing him of attempted robbery, Limpopo police said.

Police arrested the man after rescuing him from the mob, Major Mashudu Malelo said.

He and another man were trying to rob a supermarket at gunpoint, but shoppers alerted other community members who pounced on the pair.

“We have arrested one suspect with an unlicensed firearm, he was already injured. The community members beat him viciously after he started firing at them.”

The second man managed to escape.

Malelo said a man was shot in the leg when the two men fired randomly in a desperate attempt to get away from the mob.

Police thanked the community for their help, but warned they should not take law into their own hands.

The arrested man would appear in the Thohoyandou Magistrate's Court as soon as he was declared fit to stand trial by doctors, Malelo said. - Sapa

Protest against gag bill set to intensify
IOL News 1 December 2011

The decibels of protests against the secrecy bill will be amplified when civil society organisations, the media fraternity and Cosatu convene a summit next year.

The summit, aimed at raising the heat against some clauses in the controversial Protection of State Information Bill, is expected to take place before the opening of Parliament.

If MPs fail to hear, Cosatu boss Zwelinzima Vavi says they will organise a march to the Union Buildings to petition President Jacob Zuma against signing the bill into law.

The bill – whose broad definition of national security closes any room for whistleblowers, citizens and the media to expose corruption – was passed by an ANC-dominated National Assembly and has been referred to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

The passing of the bill in the National Assembly has intensified an 18-month public protest by journalists and civil society.

Vavi said he was reassured by some in the NCOP that all concerns against the bill would be considered.

“If all fails… and the NCOP passes it in its current form… What we are looking for is a march to the Union Buildings, to the president, and appeal to him not to sign it.”

If this failed they would devise a legal strategy to approach the Constitutional Court and avoid unco-ordinated legal challenges.

Vavi was speaking at a press conference in Joburg after meeting the SA National Editors’ Forum and the Right2Know Campaign. The union federation and the organisations have agreed to embark on awareness campaigns and to convene the summit.

Sanef chairman Mondli Makhanya cautioned that they were not anti-government but “we seek to protect and deepen our democracy.

“We want to say to the ANC and to the government, ‘you cannot be on the wrong side of the constitution, you cannot be on the wrong side of the Freedom Charter or public opinion’,” he said.

Dale McKinley, from the Right2Know Campaign, said the strategy was to “emphasise the voices of ordinary people.

“We appeal to those in the ANC and the alliance to also come on board,” he said. - The Star

ANCYL members march in Bloemfontein
IOL News 30 November 2011

A few hundred ANC Youth League members marched in Bloemfontein on Wednesday demanding better economic empowerment opportunities from the government.

“The youth is sick and tired of the situation in the Free State,” said provincial ANCYL chairman Kgotso Morapela.

The group accused the provincial government of failing to appreciate the reality that youth were the most affected by unemployment and economic exclusion.

The group demanded sustainable youth co-operatives linked to public expenditure in every municipality.

Free State ANCYL secretary general Lebogang Mogoera said these interventions had been proposed to the government for many years, but that little had happened so far.

An “exclusionist approach on procurement” followed by the Free State government should come to an end.

Mogoera said it appeared businesses linked to powerful officials and politicians got the most government business.

“It is a matter that requires attention because in its own nature it has a strong possibility to tarnish the integrity of what the ANC stands for.”

The group wanted to hand over the memorandum to Free State premier Ace Magashule, but he was unavailable. Several placards carried in the crowd displayed opposition to Magashule’s leadership.

Free State finance MEC Seiso Mohai received the memorandum. – Sapa

Irate unpaid census takers stage sit-in
Natash Prince (IOL News) 30 November 2011
Charles York and other census workers say they have not been paid. Photo: Melinda Stuurman

Irate field workers and supervisors say they have not been paid for the Census 2011 count they were contracted for.

On Tuesday, a number of people employed to conduct the census streamed in and out of the Statistics SA building demanding money owed to them since November 10 or November 23.

Many said they had been receiving SMSes apologising for the inconvenience.

Census 2011 project director Calvin Molongoana, said they were aware that about 3 000 supervisors and enumerators across the country had not been paid.

They had liaised with various Absa branches and they were dealing with the problem.

He hoped all would be paid by Friday.

Molongoana said that some people had experienced problems with their bank cards which had been deactivated because they had tried to make withdrawals before the money was paid.

Those who attempted to withdraw on more than three occasions had their cards “blocked”.

But angry workers were not convinced and tempers flared at the offices on Tuesday as the workers vented their frustrations.

Charles York, who worked as a supervisor for the month, said that hundreds were affected and lined up at the Stats SA building in the city centre since 6am on Tuesday – many of whom staged a sit-in at the offices.

Police were called in to monitor the situation.

The census field workers were to be paid about R5 000 and supervisors R7 000.

The workers were given bank cards to withdraw their money from Absa.

York said: “It was dangerous work – some of us were working in dangerous areas and a lot of people were hurt… they are exploiting the unemployment situation in our country.”

Some of the contracted employees who were paid said they had complications with money “mysteriously disappearing” from their cards.

Natasha Daries, who worked as a supervisor, was paid on November 23, but R700 had been withdrawn from her account – money she said she had not touched. - Cape Argus

Kliptown residents fuming after crackdown on illegal connections
IOL news 30 November 2011

“WE DON’T steal electricity. We’re taking it because our government has failed to deliver on its promises.”

This was said by Kliptown resident Sharon Swartz during a protest against the cutting off of illegal connections in one of the informal settlements in the area.

Swartz is one of the residents living in back-to-back shacks and a few dilapidated brick houses with no electricity or proper toilets.

Residents said they were still depending on communal taps for water and use portable toilets. The residents have for years embarked on service delivery protests, but said nothing had changed.

Yesterday’s protest was sparked by the arrival of City Power workers at about 10am. They had come to cut illegal electricity connections and remove wires running from high-mast light poles and through the informal settlement into shacks.

Residents took to the streets in protest and barricaded Boundary Road between Kliptown and Eldorado Park with rocks and burning tyres.

Swartz said many people in Kliptown, including babies, had HIV/Aids. Without electricity, their medication could not be refrigerated.

“People are getting sick from paraffin fumes and no one cares.”

Another resident, Theresa van Schalkwyk, said: “If they can install high-mast light in the area, why can’t they give us electricity in our shacks?”

Meanwhile, although there had been running battles between police and the protesters, and City Power spokesman Louis Pieterse confirmed that their workers had gone to cut illegal connections in Kliptown, police could not confirm the incident.

Cluster spokeswoman Captain Nondumiso Mpantsha referred The Star to the provincial police spokeswoman, Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale, who promised to “check for (The Star) when I get time to do so”.

He never did by the time of publication.

F State protesters arrested
IOL News 28 November 2011

Nine people were arrested on Monday during a service delivery protest in Petrusburg near Bloemfontein, police said on Monday.

Sergeant Thabo Litabe said the group faced charges of public violence.

Obstacles blocking the N8 road between Bloemfontein and Kimberley were cleared and the road was re-opened for traffic by lunch time.

About 300 Petrusburg residents embarked on a protest over water delivery by blocking the N8 road with stones and burning tyres on Monday morning.

Commuters were unable to travel between Kimberley and Bloemfontein, and two buses were forced off the road.

Residents wanted a response to a memorandum of demands over water and sanitation provision delivered to the Letsameng municipality two weeks ago.

Litabe said police officers were at the scene to keep watch.

The municipality was not immediately available for comment. - Sapa

Free State residents in delivery protest
IOL News 28 November 2011

About 300 residents of Petrusburg near Bloemfontein in the Free State embarked on a protest over service delivery on Monday morning, police said.

They barricaded the N8 between Bloemfontein and Kimberley with stones and burning tyres, Petrusburg police spokesman Warrant Officer Christo Carstens said.

“Commuters are unable to travel between Kimberley and Bloemfontein, and two buses were pulled off the road by protesters.”

Residents wanted a response to a memorandum of demands they had delivered to the Letsameng municipality two weeks ago. They wanted the municipality to provide water and sanitation.

“Police officers are at the scene to monitor the situation and no arrests have been made.”

The municipality was not immediately available for comment. - Sapa

Residents in march against gangsterism
IOL News 27 November 2011

Gangsters recruiting youngsters from school for a life of crime, and women living constantly in fear of violence, was the bleak picture painted of life in Delft.

This was part of the reason residents took to the streets yesterday to march against crime in the area and to also mark the start of the 16 Days of Activism for no Violence against Women and Children Campaign.

The 50-strong crowd, including DA ward councillors and concerned residents, walked through the main road of Delft to the local police station to hand over a petition to the police asking them to intensify visible policing in the area.

The residents of the area decided to take this action after growing concern for their safety.

Delft resident, MP Lennit Max, said: “There have been a lot of murders in the area recently. Just last week a man that I regularly used for odd jobs around the house was shot seven times. He is now recovering in hospital.”

Western Cape minister of Safety and Security Dan Plato agreed, telling marchers that they had to start taking a stand against gang violence, drugs and crime against women and children. He said the abuse of alcohol also needed to tackled in order to limit crime.

Another concern for Plato was the fact that gangs had begun recruiting members from schools and he felt that it was important for parents to step in.

He said: “Parents should take note of the changes in their children’s behaviour and help them overcome their problems. Their fathers should also be better examples for them.

“Parents must realise that to help their children, they must not cover up for them when they do wrong. They should be getting their children to the police to accept the consequences of their actions.” - Junior Bester

Abahlali march goes ahead
IOL News 24 November 2011

The heavy rainfall did not deter hundreds of members of the KZN branch of the landless people’s movement, Abahlali Basemjondolo, from taking to the city’s streets on Thursday, in protest against a lack of housing, among other issues.

The protest, which was due to start at 8am, was delayed by a few hours, as the organisation attempted to secure a march permit from the city. It was granted at about 10.30am.

The march was due to start at Botha’s Park and end at City Hall where a memorandum of demands was expected to be handed to a representative from the premier’s office.

Their call included a call for the removal of the municipality’s housing committee chairman, Nigel Gumede.

President of Abahlali, Mzwakhe Mdlalose, said they had made the mayor’s office aware of the march and they had been promised that a representative would collect the memorandum which would be given to the Mayor.

He said Gumede had disrespected their movement and the poor in Durban and had not made any attempts to sort out the housing debacle that shack dwellers are faced with.

“We met Mayor James Nxumalo, and he showed respect to us by agreeing to meet and give us a chance to talk to him,” he said. Mdlalose said at another meeting this year Gumede had told them they “could run to the media and tell them whatever they wanted to”.

“At another meeting he said some things I cannot disclose, but these things required us to go and report to the police,” he said. The Daily News had tried to organise an interview with Gumede but was told by the municipality’s communications team that Nxumalo wanted to be present to answer some of the questions.

Questions were mailed to the communications team two weeks ago and there has been no response and yesterday the municipality’s spokesman, Thabo Mofokeng, said Nxumalo would respond after Abahlali’s march. - Daily News

'This country is screwed up'
IOL News 22 November 2011

This was symbolic of what the government intended to do, he said at a picket outside the ANC's headquarters at Luthuli House, in Joburg.

“This country is screwed up completely and it will take a lot to fix it. The bill will just benefit corrupt politicians,” he said.

Glenda Daniels, a member of the Right2Know Campaign which organised the protest, said the bill had huge constitutional implications and should not be passed in its current form.

The media had already had a taste of what was to come should the bill be passed, she said.

She was referring to the recent charges brought against the Mail&Guardian and two journalists by presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj over a story.

“We will not stop fighting and no, we haven't lost hope.”

The National Assembly is schedule to vote on the bill on Tuesday afternoon.

Daniels said the next option would be to bring the matter to the Constitutional Court.

“It is totally anti-constitutional.... There are those within the ANC that were against. They share the same view with us that the exclusion on public interest defence stops the free flow of information and will hinder democracy.”

Her colleague Jayshree Pather criticised the ANC for taking chances with people's rights and said the bill affected ordinary people and not just the media .

“Citizens need information to access other basic rights like housing,” she said

If the National Assembly votes in favour of the bill, it will go to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) where opposition MPs hope they can convince the ANC to narrow down clauses criminalising possession and disclosure of classified information.

All opposition parties have made it clear that they will not support the draft law on the basis that it threatens media freedom and gives the state excessive power to keep information secret.

After the NCOP process, it will be referred back to the National Assembly before President Jacob Zuma is asked to sign it into law.

There were protests against the bill in Joburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town on Tuesday.

Some of the protesters outside Luthuli House stood on opposite sides of the road carrying placards which read: “Sine lungelo lokwazi” which translates as “We have the right to know”.

Other placards read: “We won't be silent”, “Let the truth be told” and “Don't think you are going to conceal fault by concealing evidence”.

Pamphlets were handed to motorists and pedestrians urging them to demand the right to know and force the government to scrap the secrecy bill.

The National Press Club asked people opposed to the bill to wear black clothes, a black ribbon or a black armband.

It named the campaign “Black Tuesday”, based on what became known as “Black Wednesday” – October 19 1977, when the apartheid government banned The World, the Sunday World and a Christian publication Pro Veritas, as well as almost 20 people and organisations associated with the black consciousness movement.

An hour into the protest, Johannesburg metro police began removing people from outside Luthuli House, saying they were not allowed to be there.

Journalists from several media houses including the Mail&Guardian, The Star and the SABC, started dispersing around 9.30am. – Sapa

NUM escalates strike at Mintek
NUM 23 November 2011

Members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) are out on strike at MINTEK as from last wednesday. The workers demand a wage increase of 10% whilst the employer offers a performance based increase of 4+3+3. The National Union of Mineworkers further demands that the company should implement both the 2009 and 2010 wage agreements. The strike began after negotiations between the company and the NUM failed to yield positive results culminating in the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) issuing a certificate of non-resolution to the dispute.

MINTEK is a provider of minerals processing and metallurgical engineering products and services to industries world-wide and is based in the NUM ‘s PWV region on number 200 Malibongwe Drive.

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

KZN protesters after mayoral dismissed
Sharika Regchand (IOL News) 23 November 2011

Pietermaritzburg residents who marched to the city hall on Tuesday to hand over a memorandum were incensed when the mayor did not turn up to receive it.

Their key demand was that 200kW of free basic electricity be given to households with prepaid electricity connections by the Msunduzi municipality.

Members of the Electricity Action Group, supported by Cosatu and the SACP, refused to hand over the memorandum to a member of the council’s executive committee, saying that mayor Chris Ndlela had agreed to receive it at 1.30pm.

Angered by his not turning up, the residents dispersed without leaving the memorandum.

Msunduzi municipal spokesman Brian Zuma said Ndlela had not said he would receive the document, but that “it would be received”.

Zuma added that Ndlela had had other commitments.

The memorandum states that residents were disgusted by the indifference of the municipality to the plight of the poor. “This indifference manifests itself in various ways, including the scrapping of municipal service subsidies for the poor (indigent policy) and the removal of thousands of people living in RDP houses from the list of beneficiaries of service subsidisation; the continued refusal to implement 200kW of free basic electricity…” it says.

A major concern was that there was no policy, nor were there sufficient resources, for subsidising municipal services for the poor properly.

The demands were that:

**200kW of free basic electricity be universally implemented.

**Continued discrimination against households with prepaid connections be stopped.

**The municipality substantially revise how it responded to the poor.

**Public representatives be accountable to citizens, and spaces for dialogue be opened up.

**The municipality substantially revise its indigent policy.

“For eight years we have waited… we will intensify our efforts to mobilise communities… we will not waver,” the memorandum said.- The Mercury

Clicks workers set to go on strike from 1st December
SACCAWU Press Release 23 November 2011

SACCAWU members at Clicks will embark on a protected strike from, the
1st of December 2011, in pursuance of the struggle for a living wage
and in support of their demand for decent wage increase. The workers
demand R397‑00 across the board, whilst management's offer stands at
R335‑00. While agreement was reached on all other issues during the
negotiations, the only outstanding issue is the wage increase.

The company had a good time over the last few years, so good that they
paid their ten directors a whopping amount of R67.743 million for 2010
alone. The company director saw his package increase from R3.5 million
for 2009 to R11.4 million in 2010, excluding share appreciation
rights. We believe that in a company that pays the Chairman of the
Board R27 500 per meeting, it is unacceptable that they cannot pay the
R42.00 difference, legitimately demanded by workers.

All indications points to the fact that the company performance has
been very good over the recent period, with the total income, market
share headline earnings and profits all increased in the double digit
range. At the same time, we have seen a further 32 outlets opened 31
ahead of schedule. Since 2005 Clicks pharmacy outlets increased from
60 to 251 by 2010.

Why this company refuses to give the R64 difference that workers
demand is mind boggling. The company, in its annual reports, claims
that in the context of current muted consumer spending, they expect to
experience pressures in the area of employment. And this intransigence
in the wage negotiations can only be seen as one way of cutting costs.

The Union members in response to the refusal by management to accede
to reasonable and justified demands have no choice but to embark on
legal and protected strike action from 1st of December 2011.

On the first day of the strike, workers will gather at the local Union
offices across the country for a briefing on strike and picket rules
before proceeding to picket at their workplaces. On the 2nd of
December workers in Cape Town will march to the company Head Office
and in Johannesburg march to a local store (in the Johannesburg CBD).
Workers will then picket again on the 3rd of December 2011, after
which an assessment will be conducted to decide on the way forward
regarding the dispute.

Mduduzi Mbongwe 0823365146
Lee Modiga 0823365327
Mike Abrahams 0823365363
Mike Abrahams

Hundreds gather outside Parly gates
IOL News 22 November 2011

Hundreds of people gathered outside Parliament's main gates in Cape Town to mark Black Tuesday, the passage of the controversial Protection of State Information Bill through the National Assembly.

Almost all those taking part in the Right2Know Campaign protest were dressed in black. Some had sealed their mouths closed with black tape. Many carried posters.

"Those who vote for the bill are criminals themselves", "We demand the right to know", "Black Tuesday" and "ANC Rule = Fascism" were among the messages held aloft.
protesters lowered flags to half mast on two of the four poles at the Plein Street entrance to the parliamentary complex before police intervened.

The police then sealed off the area below the poles with tape. - Sapa

R2K pickets
R2K 21 November 2011

This is an incredibly busy week! There are a number of important R2K pickets happening tomorrow. Please see below for details.

In terms of the SOS picket, please find all the details attached but in brief the following is important:

Date: 24 Nov 2011
Time: 1pm to 2pm
Venue: Outside the SABC, Henley Ave, Auckland Park; also outside Visitor's Centre, Parliament. (Video/ audio link-up betw Parliament and picket in Jhb. Memo to be handed over to the Chair of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, Eric Kholwane.)
Dress: Wear black and red

Details of R2K pickets

Stop the Secrecy Bill! Join 1 of 6 Right 2 Know Campaign pickets tomorrow:

Johannesburg 08h00 – 09h00
Chief Albert Luthuli House, 54 Sauer Street, Johannesburg
For more info, contact Dale McKinley on 072 429 4086

Vereeniging 10h00 – 11h00
The ANC Constituency Office in Vereeniging - 31 Senator Marks Avenue, Vereeniging.
For more info, contact Abram Moketsi on 0838787894

Soweto 09h00 – 10h00
Soweto, at the Hector Petersen Museum square, Soweto.
For more info contact Bongani Xezwi on 0710432221

Pretoria 08h00 – 09h00
In Pretoria, outside the ANC Constituency office in central Pretoria. Address: People's Bank Building, 200 Pretoria Street, Pretoria.
For more info contact Gaahele on 0796060654

Durban 18h00 – 20h00
Durban City Hall
For more info call Des D'Sa 083 982 6939

Cape Town
Monday 21 Nov 13h00 – 14h00
Tuesday 22 Nov 13h00 – 14h00
Wednesday 23 Nov 13h00 – 14h00
Outside Parliament, Plein Street
(Bring ID book or driver's license to gain access to Parliament.)

Coca -Cola Fortune Managers Should Refrain from Intimidating Strikers
FAWU 17 November 2011

It has come to our attention that some of the company’s managers are trying to intimidate our striking members, particularly those outside the bargaining unit by threatening them that they would have to face the consequences of their acts if they do not return to work. FAWU has since written letters to the various affected plants requesting managers to refrain from intimidation tactics since the strike action remains protected by law.

About 2000 FAWU members employed by Coca Cola Fortune, an independent bottling company, has been on a national protected strike since Friday, 11 November at 07h00 in Polokwane, Louis Trichardt, Bushbuck Ridge, Nelspruit, Tzaneen, Bloemfontein, Kuruman, Upington, Vryburg, Kimberley, Queenstown, Lakeside, Perseverance, George, East London, Port Shepstone and Umtata. With the union having the outright majority at all plants almost 97 percent of the total workforce is on strike at this stage and according to our members production is almost at a standstill.

FAWU has three demands :

1. The employer should not outsource the Sorting Department;
The employer wants to hand these services to a third party with radical proposed changes to employment conditions and performance benchmarks;
2. The employer should utilize the profit share to address wage disparities;
Wage disparities arose from Coca Cola Fortune’s acquisition of the Kilimanjaro Operation ( East London) and Coca Cola Bottling in Mpumalanga in the early 2000’s. During that time, these entities were already better off in terms of salaries and pension benefits. While the union and employer have been discussing the need to close these wage gaps, the employer is adamant that these gaps are legitimate and legal, whilst our members argue that it is a disincentive to do the same job with the same qualifications, service and experience, yet be underpaid compared to a colleague in the same grade;
3. The employer should retain the commission currently paid to drivers and crews;

Management wants to remove the above-mentioned commission that is based on the number of items/cases sold. Management supposedly wants to “standardize”. Despite consultations, the union and company could not reach an agreement as FAWU believes that this constitutes a proposal to reduce our member’s salaries without an adequate justification.

International trade union movements such as The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Coke Alliance of the International Union of Food Workers ( IUF) is fully behind our members’ strike action.

We will be mobilizing our members to participate in a marches on the 24th and the 29th of November 2011 in Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth if there is no positive outcome after current negotiations with the company.

Released by FAWU media officer, Dominique Swartz - 082 498 5631 .Kindly call the writer , the Deputy General Secretary Moleko Phakedi ( 082 492 5111) or the National Negotiator Thembinkosi Baca082 493 0794).

NUM strikes Mintek
NUM 17 November 2011

Members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) are out on strike at MINTEK beginning yesterday. The workers demand a wage increase of 10% whilst the employer offers a performance based increase of 4+3+3. The National Union of Mineworkers further demands that the company should implement both the 2009 and 2010 wage agreements. The strike began yesterday after negotiations between the company and the NUM failed to yield positive results culminating in the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) issuing a certificate of non-resolution to the dispute.

MINTEK is a provider of minerals processing and metallurgical engineering products and services to industries world-wide.

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

SOS Coalition 17 November 2011

The SOS Coalition has sent a series of letters including to the Chair of the SABC Board (25th October 2011) and to members of the SABC board (8 November 2011). To date we have not had any formal written replies - either from the Chair of the Board or from SABC Board members. SOS Coalition members have therefore decided to picket.

Date: Thursday 24 November 2011
Time: lunchtime – 1pm to 2pm
Place: SABC, Auckland Park, Henley Ave

Bring your placard and wear red and black!!

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