Sagekal closed for Cosatu’s protest

2013-10-08 00:00

SAGEKAL Logistics’ doors remained closed yesterday after the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) announced its intention to demonstrate at the premises.

The company owns the truck that killed 23 people on Field’s Hill last month.

The labour federation said they wanted to demonstrate against the exploitation of people from outside the country by various companies.

They were also hoping to confirm reports that the majority of employees at the company are from neighbouring countries.

Cosatu provincial deputy chairperson Beauty Zibula said they will continue to go to the premises until they get the answers they seek.

“We received reports that the majority of employees in this company are foreign nationals who can’t stand up against the employer when exploited. We also understand that there are other employers in the province who do the same thing — including a textile company in the area where foreign nationals are made to work at night and locals work short-time during the day. We are working towards getting all the facts and evidence we need on these reports,” said Zibula.

She said the purpose of yesterday’s planned demonstration at Sagekal Logistics was to speak to the employees to understand how the company operated.

“The owner was informed that we were coming today, so he decided to remain closed.

“We take exception to this, especially in the light of the accident involving one of its trucks that killed 23 people. Those people were one of us because they were returning from work.

“Are the drivers’ documents properly checked and validated? These are some of the questions that need to be answered,” she said.

Company spokesperson Lisa Sukdev said it was logical that when a company is threatened with a demonstration, the employer would close the doors, especially if the lives of the employees were at risk.

Asked how the employees’ lives were at risk and from whom, Sukdev requested to respond via

e-mail. By the time of going to press, no reply was received.

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