DA: True extent of strike anarchy shown

2010-10-10 18:00

Johannesburg - Comments by the SA Communist Party and the Congress of SA Trade Unions on the tabling of a private members bill in Parliament reveal the "true extent of the unlawful behaviour of union members during strike action", the DA said on Sunday.

Last week the Democratic Alliance submitted a law proposal to Parliament to protect the public from violence and intimidation during strike action by unions.

The law proposed that unions take steps to prevent, repair or remedy injury to a person and loss of damage to property caused by strikes, that unions be made responsible for damage, loss or injury as a result of strike actions and that union responsibility is presumed where there is a loss, damage or injury during strike action.

On Friday SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande and Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said the proposed bill would be "shot down" and was a sure route to destroy the trade union movement in South Africa.

DA MP Ian Ollis said in a statement "we believe it is right, on principle, to hold unions accountable in the way that other juristic entities organisations, companies, co-operatives, even football clubs are commonly held legally liable for the unlawful actions of persons that fall under their authority".


He said that the fact that a recent Western Cape High Court judgement provided precedent for this underscored the need for such provisions to be codified into the labour law.

"Our bill is a euphemism for accountability, for its purpose is to hold people who break the law to account and so one might fairly paraphrase the comments of Mr Vavi and Dr Nzimande as follows 'accountability will destroy and weaken the unions'. Enough said."

For the bill to be able to destroy or weaken a union, one of three conditions needed to be met, Ollis said.

Union members would need to breach the law so extensively and on a regular basis that the union would find it financially draining.

Secondly, the unions would need to believe that they had no hope of controlling their members' actions during strikes or, thirdly, union bosses could find that strike actions that degenerated into lawlessness helped their cause, he said.

Ollis said the law will not have effect on peaceful and lawful strikes and would only come into effect when union members acted outside the law.

Read more on:    sacp  |  cosatu  |  da  |  blade nzimande  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  strikes  |  politics  |  labour

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!


I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy 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


You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read 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 24.com 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.