Unemployed threaten World Cup

2009-11-13 00:00

THE South African Unemployed People’s Movement (SAUPM) has threatened to bring the country to a grinding halt in 2010 if their demands are not met.

“If our demands are not addressed, South African chances of hosting the 2010 world cup tournament are very slim,” SAUPM general secretary Muzi Mkhize said.

In its memorandum SAUPM threatened to shut down schools in January. “We demand that all members of parliament, including KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize, sacrifice [their salaries for two months] as a contribution towards education for the poor or else there will be no schools next year.”

More than 800 unemployed protesters marched from Alexandra Road in Pietermaritzburg yesterday, bringing traffic to a standstill on Alan Paton Avenue in the city centre on their way to deliver a memorandum of grievances at the premier’s office in Langalibalele Street.

They chanted slogans and carried placards reading “An empty stomach knows no law”, “Hunger causes anger” as well as “No poverty, no crime, give basic income grant”.

Traffic was jammed on both Alan Paton Avenue and Langalibalele Street as the crowd swelled in the area near the market square.

Fewer than 15 police officers armed with rifles were monitoring the march, which continued peacefully.

SAUPM national organiser Lungani Khwela warned the police about their poor showing. “I am surprised that only a few police officers are here; next time you must bring more security forces.”

Before handing over the memorandum, candles were lit and incense burnt by one of the members who prayed to the ancestors.

Mkhize said the ruling party’s promises of “a better life for all” have not been fulfilled.

“Every five years … poor people are bombarded with promises that are never fulfilled. We say enough with empty and false promises and that is why we demand a basic income grant of R1 500, so that we [can] tackle our daily challenges. We want to know how many permanent jobs are available in the province”.

The movement also demands food provision for the festive season. “The MEC for Social Development [Meshack Radebe] recently announced that he has put aside an amount of R150 million towards poverty. We demand that the R150 million be changed into vouchers and be given to the poor people so that we can all enjoy Christmas. No ward councillors should be involved in that process.”

Other issues of concern include corruption in the awarding of tenders, crime and the distribution of houses.

Accepting the memorandum, the premier’s advisor, Cyril Xaba, assured the marchers that their grievances will be addressed.







The movement claims to represent unemployed people in all nine provinces of the country. In its previous protest march in Durban in July, members of the movement invaded supermarkets in Durban’s city centre. They were stealing and eating food from the stores.

About 100 members were arrested after branches of Shoprite and Pick n Pay were looted.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
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.