Many services unaffected by strike

2012-03-07 18:14

Cosatu march

2012-03-07 15:20

Thousands of people wearing bright red and yellow attire turned out to support Cosatu’s nationwide protest against labour brokering and e-tolls. WATCH

Johannesburg - Health departments across the country were unaffected by Cosatu's nationwide strike and protest marches on Wednesday over toll fees and labour brokers, officials said.

"The reports we have received are that staff showed up for work across the province," KwaZulu-Natal health spokesperson Chris Maxon said.

Mpumalanga health spokesperson Dumisani Mlangeni said: "We have had some administrative staff not reporting for work but it is minimal and has no effect on our operations."

Democratic Alliance health spokesperson in Gauteng Jack Bloom said he had not had reports of any health facilities being affected.

Western Cape health department spokesperson Helen Rossouw said no reports of disruptions to services had been received.

Essential service

National health department spokesperson Fidel Hadebe said reports nationally indicated things were normal.

"Healthcare is an essential service and health care practitioners understand this. Things are running as usual and we have not heard any complaints," Hadebe said.

Eskom spokesperson Hilary Joffe said by early Wednesday afternoon the electricity utility had received no reports of being affected by the strike but would receive a full update later on Wednesday.

Mixed reports were coming from schools. In Limpopo, education spokesperson Pat Kgomo said most schools in the rural areas and townships had been affected by the strike.

In the Northern Cape schooling appeared to be mostly normal.

"Teachers and learners are at schools in most of the districts," the province's education spokesperson Ohentse Stander said.

Under 2% of teachers march in Western Cape

Western Cape education MEC Donald Grant said less than 2% of teachers participated in the strike and it seemed no pupils had marched.

The SABC reported that pupils from most schools in Khayelitsha and Gugulethu in Cape Town were told to go home by teachers, but in nearby Mitchells Plain schooling went ahead with teachers saying they would join protests later.

Mining company Gold Fields said about 85% of its workforce had not arrived for work on Wednesday.

"The majority, if not all our National Union of Mineworkers' members attended the strike, about 85 percent of our workforce," company spokesperson Sven Lunsche said.

However, most workers at Impala Platinum arrived for work. Implats spokesperson Johan Theron said this might be because the recent protracted stay-away over a bonus dispute at their Rustenburg operations left workers out of pocket and unable to afford another day off.

Flight delays

The SABC reported that traffic around South Africa's border with Zimbabwe was building up as customs and other border officials joined a protest in Musina, led by Cosatu's Limpopo provincial executive committee.

The Airports Company of SA earlier advised travellers at King Shaka International Airport in Durban of delays of around one-and-a-half hours as some staffers who refuelled aircraft had been unable to get to work.

Metrorail and Metrobus said there might be disruptions to their services. Interstate bus lines said it had been unable to operate on some shifts. Interstate asked employers to let staff planning to use this bus service in the evening leave early, to get an indication of numbers.

The SA Clothing and Textile Workers' Union claimed that 74% of all clothing, textile, footwear, and leather workers were participating in the protest.

Fedusa not opposed to job losses

Cosatu arranged the protest and strike over the planned introduction of toll fees on national roads in Gauteng, which would "milk" the public and leave the poor worse off. It also wanted labour brokers to be banned.

The Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) said it was opposed to tolls, but believed the matter should be settled within the labour market chamber at the National Economic Development and Labour Council.

Unlike Cosatu, Fedusa was not opposed to labour brokers, saying banning them would cause job losses.
Fedusa general secretary Dennis George said: "Tight-knit, well-constructed legislation will not only protect workers, but provide a clear line of legal recourse for those employers who fail to comply."

Members in unions affiliated to Cosatu were protected for Wednesday in terms of a notice issued to the unions in terms of section 77 of the Labour Relations Act. This was not the case for Fedusa members, who had been advised to take a day's leave if they wanted to participate.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts
Read more on:    cosatu  |  strikes  |  protests

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!


Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


There may be some tension that is caused through social conflicts -- personal interests versus obligations. You may feel more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.