Striking workers march in Cape Town

2011-08-15 12:41

Cape Town - Municipal workers shook shovels and held plastic bins above their heads as they protested for higher wages outside City of Cape Town offices on Monday.

The workers, who want an improvement on a 6% wage offer, left a trail of white paper as they marched to the city's offices.

"You can't sweep the paper easily," a man in a red SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) shirt said.

"You must bend to pick it up but it will be harder for them to pick up."

There was however little sign of the mass littering that characterised Samwu's previous protests for better wages.

A bin burned outside the City Hall while most other bins appeared to have been stored away by the city in anticipation of the protest.

Police in black riot gear stood watch in front of a wall of barbed wire outside the civic centre as the protesters sang and beat rubbish bins with sticks.

Traffic on most of Cape Town's streets was flowing freely by early Monday afternoon.

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  • Weisskopf - 2011-08-15 12:45

    SA Goverment please put out a travel advisory, ala the one for the UK last week - Postpone your travel to SA

      renaldogouws - 2011-08-15 13:00

      I really don't understand why they do this, They get an increase but then they actually do work for it as they have to go and clean up that mess. It also just shows how easily they vote ANC and then srike 3 months after the elections... SUFFER UNDER THE ANC!

      Shadoz - 2011-08-15 13:03

      Can anyone give me a date when there has not been any strikes or "mass action since the last elections. Seems that they have all jumped on the loafwagon.

      Shadoz - 2011-08-15 13:05

      I want a load speaker for when these idiots stike i can stand there and yell at them to stop being lazy

      Sizwe Mogale - 2011-08-15 13:21

      Sorry Renald isn't Cape town in the Western Cape? Which is run by the DA, or does the fact that it's in the Western Cape not matter regarding this issue is it still an ANC problem? This is an honest question so dont jump down my throat for asking

      nowinlondon - 2011-08-15 13:23

      Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking! And here in London the perpetrators are now in jail (or at least many of them). and the streets have been cleaned up. Happy to be here, in a civilised society!

      Wes - 2011-08-15 13:32

      Sizwe...I don't think you are following this. SALGA represents all the muncipalities. It is this body that the strikers are striking against. Not against the DA.

      Kerr - 2011-08-15 13:33

      @ Sizwe Mogale. Its a national strike. Therefore all municipal workers are striking. Therefore ANC (National) problem, not DA(Western Cape) problem.

      donkerhond - 2011-08-15 15:26

      Well judging by the front page pic these people should rather go on a hunger strike. There is no way that people who are that bad off can be that fat. Also, since when did striking become an annual occurrence for the same industries?

      TheWiseOne - 2011-08-15 17:57

      @donkerhond: they are too poor to afford healthy food, so instead they buy Kentucky FRIED Chicken (to sound more healthy/expensive also known as KFC). Strike is a culture instilled in them. That is just the way they do things. It will only change once the ANC and COSATU end their love triangle. The ANC used COSATU back in the day as a weapon against the previous government. Now they sit with the monster. Karma is a bitch!

  • letsee - 2011-08-15 12:52

    Bins on fire may not sound civilized or rather IT IS NOT CIVILIZED but compared to burning houses is not bad at all. Was it an improvement or an overlook? When my man Julius Malema is President you won't dare to strike.

      Janine - 2011-08-15 14:34

      When Julius is President nobody will have money to catch a train to get to the march - he will make sure that everyone, black and white, ends up poor except for himself and his cronies.

  • Christine - 2011-08-15 12:56

    So can I get tax rebates? It just seems fair to me since all the people whose salaries are paid with my taxes aren't delivering a service to me during the various strikes. And since I get so little for the taxes that I pay (as it's obviously not used for building of roads ect) I should at least be able to get a tax rebate if people aren't delivering a basic service I'm paying for right?

      DarkAngel - 2011-08-15 13:01

      I agree Christine, I PAY for refuse removal. Obviously it wont be removed today, so will I get a refund / discount the end of the month? Why do people always destroy or burn things when they strike? Cant they just be peaceful.....

      Weisskopf - 2011-08-15 13:02

      No ;)

      smallboy - 2011-08-15 13:14

      we want to be like u able to pay 4 ur services. Viva SAMWU ViVA

      Shadoz - 2011-08-15 16:06

      get a job smallboy

  • Anneleen - 2011-08-15 12:57

    ...okay march, but for goodness sake...please refrain from destroying and littering out beautiful cities...what possibly can marchers gain from the destruction? Don't make even more work for yourselves.

      Tolerant - 2011-08-15 13:27

      Maybe we should March too, for a Boks win.

      Anneleen - 2011-08-15 13:41

      @Tolerant...i didn't expect that quirk! Yes, why not?

  • ErrolNdevu - 2011-08-15 12:58

    Why always in cape town? Maybe becase of poor useless government there. Wake up DA you will never be as good as the ANC. Pay your peoples proper wages like the anc!

      Ulrich - 2011-08-15 13:01

      Eisshhhh, it's a National strike Mr brainless!

      Michi2 - 2011-08-15 13:02

      Please Errol, the only wages the ANC pay are to themselves! Their "people" strike up in Gauteng, or have your forgotten about that? Acting like absolute savages, urghh - no culture or class

      Gail - 2011-08-15 13:03

      This is just the first day....wait until later in the week, then ALL of SA will be a rubbish dump!

      Weisskopf - 2011-08-15 13:03

      You are Funny

      daaivark - 2011-08-15 13:07

      Cape Town is actually newsworthy, twit. In other centres it was expected.

      Mike or Mpho - 2011-08-15 13:12

      LOL, go climb a tree

      kingjinj - 2011-08-15 13:14

      ..go play in the traffic Errol. you sound like the type of person that believes in cartoons. try this , hold your breath for as long as you can until i tell you to stop! ..... no not yet, ...c'mon you can do it.... a little longer now ...yes almost there, .....cont.

      Nipcat - 2011-08-15 13:17

      Maybe you'll wake up and smell the coffee - its a nationwide strike! See headlines that they couldn't strike in KZN because it was too cold!

      Nipcat - 2011-08-15 13:19

      And at least the city of CT had the brains to remove the bins so as to lessen the mess.

      Tolerant - 2011-08-15 13:25

      It is too cold in KZN, the strikers are resting. Ha Ha.

      Michael - 2011-08-15 14:39

      You IDIOT, this is a national strike it has N-O-T-H-I-N-G to do with the DA, is your other name Ehrenreich?

  • elfi.frylinck - 2011-08-15 13:12

    It is very easy to strike and demand higher wages. I wonder if any of the striking workers have ever thougth how they can do their job better, more efficient and give better service to the community? If you do a great job, a strike might not be necessary in order to get a better salary.

      Nipcat - 2011-08-15 13:19

      That's not the way it goes in SA.

  • Christopher - 2011-08-15 13:15

    I can understand the need to strike, even if I don't agree with it. But why the necessity to TRASH the streets? Setting fire to bins and upending refuse is NOT the answer. Nearly 40% of South Africans DON'T have a job. Our rates just went up 12%, electricity 30%. Where do these "workers" think the extra money will come from? Time for the water cannons and rubber bullets?!!

      Michael - 2011-08-15 14:48

      Stupid is as stupid does...they have to go back and clean up the same mess that they created when the strike is over, go figure! It's almost as stupid as burning down classrooms and trains because of non delivery, where does that get you, you now end up walking and you stay stupid, eish!

  • smallboy - 2011-08-15 13:17

    Wage discrepancies must be done away with immediately. Everyone deserve a decent living...I'm waiting to see a white security guard, cleaner, etc. Are all whitties educated? All getting decent wages daars hoekoem they complain so much............

      Agent Bastad - 2011-08-15 13:38

      You are blind, ignorant and uninformed.

      edalsg - 2011-08-15 13:49

      Great Idea smallboy(brain). Lets all earn the same as the President . You are a Dipstick .

      Melanie Walsh - 2011-08-15 13:58

      Most white people earn a salary there is a difference. If we don't show up for work we don't get paid. If it happens to many times we get fired. If we don't work hard enough they replace us with someone who does. There are no strikes for white people we would be unemployed if we do that. Then you would n't be able to get a wage increase because the government would not have enough money to pay you form the taxes and rates we pay them.

  • Shorts1 - 2011-08-15 13:18

    Round them all up, ship them across to Robben Island and leave them to swim back to the mainland.

  • Man can do - 2011-08-15 13:18

    Littering the streets is job creation in progress. Who must clean it up? Building inferior roads and houses is job creation. Who must fix it? Leaving hospitals dirty and unkempt is job creation - it keeps people sick longer and somebody has to look after them. High taxes make people leave the country - opening up their positions for the population to fill - job creation! The government and unions are doing an excellent job. Please vote them in again and again ...

      Melanie Walsh - 2011-08-15 14:10

      If this is sarcastic I apologize for this post. Answer to you questions: Littering, who cleans it up? The municipal worker Inferior roads and houses, who fixes it? the municipal worker Dirty hospitals, who cleans it up? the cleaning staff (also on strike) And my favourite, High taxes. Government are creating jobs for lower wage and educated people, people who would not be able to pay the high taxes. Oh and I just thought of something. If all these striking workers across the country think that striking pays think again. One day your wage will be high enough so that you can also pay the taxes that everyone else has to pay.

      Man can do - 2011-08-15 17:04

      Apology accepted. Rhetorical questions and comments meant as sarcasm.

  • i.R.womble - 2011-08-15 13:20

    Was just in Vanderbijlpark CBD, what a disgrace. Cant understand why they throw all the rubbish around that you cant even drive in the streets and then they have to clean up after strike. Baffles me.

      Michael - 2011-08-15 14:53

      Stupid is as stupid does...

  • X-Ray - 2011-08-15 13:21

    What a barbaric act. Siss!!!

  • cgtours - 2011-08-15 13:21

    If they do not want their jobs why do they not leave and get other work- there are MANY that aare praying for their jobs!!yOU TAKE A JOB WITH ALL ITS CONDITIONS AND PAY- IT IS UOP TO YOU AND IN THESE TIMES YOU MUST BE GRATEFUL TO HAVE WORK! yOU CANNOT GET A JOB AND THEN WANT TO GO AND CHANGE THE JOB TO SUIT YOU! That does not exisst- change the job, resign, leave if it does not sujit you. However, the people see how the Giovernment lives and Malema and the others- now they think they must demand it also - it never existed before in this country !! Never, just since the ANC took over.HIGH TIME, they are told, if you do not like it leave! and ALSO destroy property/litter/ etc and you will be fired!! C hange the labour laws as well!!

  • zarin.thomson - 2011-08-15 13:28

    I saw the the strike action in Stellies: I don't understand why it was needed to overturn bins and drag them into the street, making a mess is all they have done. I fail to understand why they are on strike - hell, 40% unemployment - I've been unemployed for over 6 months.

  • RobertKay - 2011-08-15 13:29

    Now they want an improvement on th 6% that was agreed on a few years back. I have always said that the Unions would not adhere to a signed agreement. Bunch of two faced useless individuals.

      Michael - 2011-08-15 14:57

      The trade unions will ruin this country,(with a little help from the ANC), where is Margaret Thatcher we need her?

  • zs5zk - 2011-08-15 13:34

    It is in there Genes to be destructive and can only act like that when they are in a crowd,when alone,then as tame as a Lamb.Cowardly Race!!!

  • Kerr - 2011-08-15 13:36

    The irony to this is that the owrkers don't get paid for the days they are out striking (No work, no pay). Therefore, they actually will earn less this month even with an increase.... But, hey, who am I to comment, all I am is a simple tax paying citizen who is not getting the services I have paid for...

      Michael - 2011-08-15 14:58

      Stupid is as stupid does...

  • Agent Bastad - 2011-08-15 13:37

    SAMWU should start a soccer team. With all these strikers, they should be unbeatable.

  • enragedcitizen - 2011-08-15 13:41

    fire the lot of them. hire people willing to work for what is offered. us normal non-government employee's would get the sack for striking. outrageous.

  • Bankai - 2011-08-15 13:42

    I really dont condone what these people are doing but its their right to strike for a better wage. Just imagine yourself if you were to earn 3000 a month while there are people who get close to a million a month, is that fair to them these people are human being it would be nice if we would threat them with respect and dignity they derseve apart from the shenanigans they catchup on during these strives

      Ed - 2011-08-15 14:36

      and what of the other 40% of the population that is unemployed? or the 65% of 18-25year olds in limpopo and mpumulanga who are unemployed? dont you think that they deserve something? they would work for ANYTHING! having a job is not a right, you must work hard to keep it. work harder and progress...acting the way these employees are, is unacceptable, especially seeing as last years and the year befores strike agreements set the wage increase for the next couple of years. the unions agreed to the terms, yet are now striking??? dishonest can you get. i say fire them all...and when i mean 'fire' them all, i mean, NAPALM the buggers.

      The captain - 2011-08-15 16:22

      @ Bankai - I used to earn R3000 per month- well a lot less. But then I made a plan, got an education and worked my ass off. I did the jobs that no one else was willing to do. I worked and continue to work long hours. I am studying for my masters next year. So the guys earning R3000 per month problably dont deserve more- because they dont contribute more. the world owes no one nothing

  • Ettiene - 2011-08-15 13:45

    I haven't had a salary increase in 5 years... Lazy Bastards!!

      enragedcitizen - 2011-08-15 13:47

      same here, us private sector workers seem to manage just fine without these huge percentage increases in our salaries

      Zulu Whyte - 2011-08-15 15:34

      How much do you earn (R5) and where do you live (in cave)?

  • Tolerant - 2011-08-15 13:58

    Some companies are relocating to other African countries as labour is much cheaper in the rest of Africa. Kenia's labour is 25% of SA's. Carte Blanche 14082011.

      Zulu Whyte - 2011-08-15 15:33

      Are you proud of what you just wrote. Exploitation!

      RFreeThinker - 2011-08-16 00:17

      Zulu Whyte - it's not exploitation, it's a company putting its money where it wants to put it. Besides, Kenyan people will benefit, they're human too or did you think otherwise?

  • Ed - 2011-08-15 14:25

    with 20 (120 million days lost to strikes) times more strike days than ANY other country in the world, together with a vastly reduced amount of productivity, these strikers have no right to strike. maybe if they actually worked hard or did something, but how many municipal employees do we actually see working hard? not many... as far as i am concerned, they must be forced to clean their mess-up and then eat sh1t and die:) problem solved...

  • Garry - 2011-08-15 14:28

    So typical must allways burn and destroy, it is in the genes and culture.

      Zulu Whyte - 2011-08-15 15:32

      Really Garry. You have a roasted mind

  • Janine - 2011-08-15 14:32

    I have no problem with people striking if they really feel that they need to, however, the vandalism and disorder that goes along with it means that I lose all sympathy for them.

  • Zulu Whyte - 2011-08-15 15:27

    Most of the comments are biased and lack intellect. Dont municipality workers pay tax, not that I support the strikes anywhere. How do you compare the UK scenario to the SAMWU one. One thing in common though is that both are barbaric. Quite interesting though is how some commentators avoid answering genuine questions such as one raised by Sizwe. Why is it that white SA do not participate in mass demonstrations or strikes whatever one calls it? Is it because they are paid well and get decent raises, pride or they feel that all strikers are ANC? Mass demos happen all over the world and for those who care to follow international news will know that this is not isolated to black SA. The root cause of all these problems is not only ANC but beyond that.

      The captain - 2011-08-15 16:38

      Its quite simple mr Z whyte, most whites do not participate in strikes because if we are not happy with our jobs, we either leave or reskill. Most people are paid what they are worth and if their skills are valued then they will be paid more. If they contribute more to their employers and country then they are renumerated more. One cannot expect to be paid more in real terms for doing exactly the same job. There would be no motivation for people to better themselves. I do agree that it is not only an ANC problem but rather a problem with South Aficas collective work ethic. What the ANC can do is to set an example and educate their constituants on work eithic. Thats when they show up to work. The problem is that now that the masses were led to believe at the fall of apparthied there would be a better life for all. Even under appartheid most white families had to work hard to earn a living. Admittedly the whites advantage was access to education- which should give you a clue on what the way forward is. There comes a time in a mans life when he has to take responsiblity for himself, and do things that are not easy, like study again. To sum up we have a nation where most people believe that they are entiled to a certain lifestyle just because they are breathing. It simply does not work like that- work hard, work smart and reap the rewards. ( oh and have patience - not everythnig happens overnight!)

      RFreeThinker - 2011-08-16 00:19

      Zulu Whyte these workers are uneducated and anyone can do their job. They're also greedy. SA cannot afford to increase everyone's salaries as it drives inflation. Printing more money, won't do. For a good example, look at Zimbabwe.

  • Theo - 2011-08-15 22:42

    Sizwe is right that the strike was all over the country, but it was called by a NATIONAL trade union and as such I suppose they just followed "orders". The constitution gives people the right to strike for higher wages, but last time I looked it was a crime to damage government and municipal property (which is what tons of garbage getting dumped onto the streets and pavements is), so why are the police not doing their jobs and arresting those barbaric hooligans. You are not much better than your criminal pals in England, people!

  • keithboy1993 - 2011-08-16 13:12

    According to research south african government employees are actually among the best paid on the planet... these articles even say that... I am a BIG BIG fan of labour unions... but NOT in the public sector as they just become corrupt and make impossible demands... no private sector workers get 18% raises... this is ludicrous. I say FIRE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM WHO STRIKES... and replace them with a worker of the same pay as them who is NOT part of the Union... PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS SHOULD NOT BE UNIONISED!!!

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