Rein in your members, Samwu asked

2011-08-16 22:16

kalahari.com

  • The Da Vinci Method
    Break Out & Express Your Fire. Discover and master the fiery temperament shared by great leaders. Now R311.00
    buy now
Johannesburg - The municipal workers strike got off to a slow start this week but entered its second day on Tuesday with violence on the streets of Cape Town.

Workers looted from vendors, set plastic bins on fire and smashed the windows of vehicles as they protested for higher salaries in the Cape Town city centre.

Shortly after 14:00 the city's main shopping avenue, Adderley Street, was covered with litter and burned out bins. Shops on the street locked their doors as the workers, who were seen smashing the windows of vehicles, approached.

Parliament, near the top end of Adderley Street, was cordoned off by the police.

Thirteen protesters were arrested and would be charged with public violence, police said.

The SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) downed tools on Monday, demanding an 18% pay rise from the government. The employers, the SA Local Government Association, were offering a 6.08% increase.

The City of Cape Town warned striking workers that it would take "whatever action... necessary" to protect its property, and would seek an interdict against the continuation of the strike should the violence continue.

Weather blamed

Democratic Alliance KwaZulu-Natal leader Sizwe Mchunu called on the union to rein in its members after they left the streets of Pietermaritzburg littered with rubbish on Tuesday.

Samwu's national spokesperson Tahir Sema blamed the cold, wet weather and internal divisions for the slow start to the strike in other provinces and said the action may take a "few days" to gain momentum.

"In KwaZulu-Natal the response to the marches and picketing was slow because of the cold and rainy weather. In Gauteng it was partly due to the wet weather and partly to divisions within a union branch.

"It did not go as well as we anticipated in the province," he said.

Sema said the union's national leadership were meeting the branch in Gauteng to iron out the internal divisions. Samwu expected about 145 000 workers to take part in the strike.

Salga in Gauteng on Monday said it was pleasantly surprised by the number of union members who arrived for work. Operations chief Lance Joel said if Gauteng did not attract strikers, it would be difficult to do so in any other province.

The City of Johannesburg said around 90% of municipal workers reported for duty on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said the city's essential services were operating at full capacity.

Contingency plans

"We also want to use this opportunity to notify residents of the City of Johannesburg Municipality of a possibility of an unavoidable delay occurring in the performance of the services provided by the City and Municipal Owned Entities due to the current industrial action," he said.

The city would do "everything in its power" to deliver services and make contingency plans where required.

The City of Tshwane said the strike had also not had a huge impact on its ability to render services.

It said most workers were reporting for duty, and that bus services were operational with almost all the shifts running throughout Pretoria.

Samwu in the city disputed this, saying 97% of its 11 000 members in the capital have downed tools. Some departments within the metro embarked on a "go slow" with management threatening that strong action would be taken against them.

City of Tshwane spokesperson Pieter de Necker expressed disappointment at Samwu members who took to the streets earlier in the CBD as they did not have permission from the Tshwane metro police.

About 120 people took part in the illegal march and emptied dustbins in the streets.

Permit


Samwu in the Eastern Cape has meanwhile been denied a permit to march to the provincial government offices in Bisho.

"We were shocked and are convinced that the state institutions, in particular the police, are being used to crush the spirit of workers and demoralise our strike," Samwu Eastern Cape provincial secretary, Siphiwo Ndunyana, said.

The union would apply for another permit to march in Bisho on Friday.

Sema said there were no immediate talks scheduled and the union waited on the employer to revise their offer - the union would not settle for anything less than 10%.

"We are hoping to hear from them very soon. We are willing to call off the strike as soon as they table a reasonable offer, no less than 10%... we are willing to negotiate," he said.

Salga spokesperson Milisa Kentane could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday afternoon.

On Monday, she said the association's doors were open to talks and its offer stood at 6.08%.
                                
 
Read more on:    da  |  samwu  |  salga  |  tahir sema  |  sizwe mchunu  |  nthatisi modingoane  |  east london  |  cape town  |  pietermaritzburg  |  johannesburg  |  strikes  |  service delivery
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
14 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

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!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your ideas may feel like a sea of thoughts swimming around every which way, and now you need to find something to contain them in...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.