Cosatu threatens protest over water crisis

2011-05-19 23:48

Cape Town - Cosatu warned on Thursday that it would mobilise its members for protest action if the government did not address the looming water crisis soon.

Spokesperson Patrick Craven said the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) had joined other organisations in the campaign to highlight the water crisis.

Cosatu had submitted a notice setting out the problems and challenges and demanding urgent measures to resolve the crisis, he said, noting that the Federation of Unions of SA had also filed a Section 77 notice on water.

"Should there be no progress in addressing the challenges raised in this application, Cosatu will have no option but to mobilise its members for a protest which will take the form of marches, demonstrations, pickets and stayaways," said Craven.

Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act gives workers the right to take part in protest action to promote or defend their socio-economic interests.

In terms of the Labour Relations Act, the National Economic Development and Labour Council must bring the parties to a section 77 notice together, to attempt to resolve the reasons for the contemplated protest action.

Craven said that while the number of people with access to water had increased since 1994, the quality of water available to South Africans was not acceptable.

An increasing number of water service users had serious complaints about the quality.

While in 76% of water users were satisfied with the quality in 2005 and 72% in 2007, only 58.8% were satisfied in 2009.

People complained that the water they received was "not clean, clear, good in taste or free from bad smells.

"These complaints represent the microcosm of the water challenges the country is facing: pollution, poor quality and scarcity," said Craven.

Among other things, there was poor sanitation and water service delivery, eutrophication (excessive nutrients) in dams and rivers, failing waste water treatment infrastructure and acid mine drainage.

Craven said an enhanced exploration of ground water, which should not only be relied upon during droughts, was one of the measures that could be adopted to address the water challenge.

Other measures included desalination, rainwater harvesting, conservation and water reuse.

Cosatu had called for policies that included punitive incentives against those who waste and pollute water, especially large water users.

  • Sedick - 2011-05-20 00:18

    Now explain to me why COSATU endorsed the ANC for the local elections, who is actually the government? Surely the vote is more powerful than any protest? Now they are calling for a strike where the ordinary workers lose their pay, while the leadership get union pay!!! The COSATU leadership (Tony included) should be ashamed of themselves.....

      Angel - 2011-05-20 05:56

      Loyalty to colour, don't use their savvy!

      Whistleblower - 2011-05-20 06:03

      I thought the ANC was the only party that could deliver, therefore there surely is no need for protests Mr. Craven … Don’t complain about infrastructure Mr. Craven when you endorsed it 7 days ago.

      The Unknown - 2011-05-20 06:30

      It's because they are stupid fools

      Creeky - 2011-05-20 06:57

      Same SH!T.... Different TERM! Todays Coasatu related headline is NO DIFFERENT to one two weeks ago! One Step Forward.... Three Steps Backward...

      anned - 2011-05-20 07:26

      So so true, and that union pay is quite sizable. If the leaders had to go payless every time they incited the mushrooms into strike action I am sure we would see much less of it.

      Johan - 2011-05-20 07:58

      It must be the previous regime thats to blame. Oh, sorry, the previous regime was/is the ANC and their ANC-estors.

      Sybil Alexander - 2011-05-20 08:13

      Elections are over, now it time to strike again.

      BigMoose - 2011-05-20 09:15

      Patrick, save water and share a shower with Jacob.

  • renaldogouws - 2011-05-20 00:34

    No no no... YOU wanted the ANC now SUFFER under the ANC. You want to strike but in the same breath you shout VOTE ANC VOTE ANC! WHAT A BUNCH OF IDIOTIC RACISTS!

      Creeky - 2011-05-20 06:54


      mixit - 2011-05-20 06:56

      I thought it was in Cape Town, isn't cape town one of the DA world? I stand to be corrected

      Pigmalion - 2011-05-20 10:09

      Mixit. Did you know who is Cosatu's Western Cape secretary? Yep the ANC's Ehrenreich.

      Niki - 2011-05-20 13:38

      mixit - You see, when they put Cape Town before the article followed by a dash it means that is where they are reporting from, not where the problem is... so to answer your question, no the problem is not in Cape Town.

  • Matthew Healing - 2011-05-20 00:58

    the hypocrisy of our democracy

      LBS - 2011-05-20 15:39

      That's why Casatu is happy that the ANC is in power - because - the ANC keeps their pockets lined by giving them reasons to organise strikes! Are people so STUPID that they cannot see this? No service deliveries - strike, no houses - strike - no unrealistic pay hikes - strike!

  • Wishbone - 2011-05-20 01:09

    By Cosatu supporting the ANC irrespective of the ANC's performance they are actually perpetuating the situation (of poor service delivery). By implication Cosatu are partially responsible for the water crisis!

  • Wishbone - 2011-05-20 01:11

    By Cosatu supporting the ANC irrespective of the ANC's performance they are actually perpetuating the situation (of poor service delivery). By implication Cosatu are partially responsible for the water crisis!

  • Marcell - 2011-05-20 03:15

    Send a e-mail to He would love to hear your opinion.

  • Zupta - 2011-05-20 04:44

    All cosatu members should be publicly hanged. You morons have basically sentenced the people of south Africa to 5 years of hell. Particularly children who have the lowest immunity to poor water quality. Why I say this, because you have endorsed a party to subject your members and other south Africans to 3 years of non delivery. Only because you can now sit on ur fat backsides and ride on the ANC handouts and member contributions. How do u guys sleep at night?

  • Frans - 2011-05-20 05:18

    Lol... two days after voting for the same idiots they want to strike. I am sorry Mr Craven, you lost your right to strike about service delivery when you declared your unconditional support for a bunch of corrupt incompetents...

  • JWW - 2011-05-20 05:27

    Affirmative Action got rid of the expertise and replaced it with cadre incompetency - Don't complain if you were part of the structures that created the problem.

  • Blip - 2011-05-20 05:39

    Any excuse for yet another stop-work strike, hey?

  • BigMoose - 2011-05-20 06:01

    Vote yesterday, strike tomorrow.

  • Victor Paul - 2011-05-20 06:19

    Threaten yourself for something you brought over yourself! LOL...Bunch of idiotic sheep!!! Too late now Cosatu, you had your chance to change the situation, now suffer the consequences!Morons!!!

  • Hux - 2011-05-20 06:45

    Craven, you dumb moron. You have just voted the problem back into power.You do not deserve any water at all.

  • Madoqua - 2011-05-20 06:56

    The Cosatu intentions are good, the information they working from and the methods of redress less so. Where Cosatu can have the greatest influence is at the clichéd grassroots level. South Africa’s water use and pollution patterns need to change. Education of the Cosatu members should be the first stop if they don't want to come across as hypocrites. With the large number of Cosatu members employed in industry they have a direct influence and insight into areas of water wastage and water pollution. This is surely where their social responsibility with regards water conservation starts. After this they will gain considerable more credibility when asking for policy change and government compliance with existing regulations. Only then should mass action even be considered and not at the outset where it comes across as political point scoring.

      Horza - 2011-05-20 10:17

      A good argument Madoqua. Can it be that Cosatu be that deep? Why don't Cosatu communicate these thoughts to their members so that all and sundry can see they are not just sheep?

  • Nico - 2011-05-20 07:04

    here we go again...................

  • Peter - 2011-05-20 07:14

    In this country the masses a good at talking about a problem but, because nobody is prepared to take responsibility, nothing can get done about implementing a solution.

  • phillip.havenga - 2011-05-20 07:23

    So the idiots endorse the ANC and then just after the elections want to protest because they aren't delivering. Can you get any less intelligent.

  • Zion - 2011-05-20 07:26

    The Expression. "You Get what you voted for" Will be booming around this country for the next few years. And removal of facial egg will become a full time job. And the world laughs at you, you poor idiots.

      Whistleblower - 2011-05-20 07:55

      The good news is that we can create jobs will removing egg.

  • mursebul - 2011-05-20 07:29

    Patric Craven is as dumb as the people belonging to Cosatu, and to topit all off, he endorsed the right to SCREW things up, now it's time for him to shut that crazy ass mouth and live with it.

  • johan - 2011-05-20 07:32


  • Zion - 2011-05-20 07:32

    With out being smug, Yesterday while the votes were being counted I made a prediction that given 4 days our friends in the pound seats will be up to their usual tricks: Back to the Strike. Nothing changes

  • sefeddt - 2011-05-20 07:32

    "While in 76% of water users were satisfied with the quality in 2005 and 72% in 2007, only 58.8% were satisfied in 2009." Satisfaction gets worse every year and the ANC tell us under their (mis)leadership things are improving ??

  • JJVB - 2011-05-20 07:43

    In Kimberley the same story. Saw in a paper this morning the Mun workers are going on strike in protest against the high salary of the Mayor of Sol Plaatjies Mun. Unexplainable...

      Whistleblower - 2011-05-20 07:57

      The whole election the ANC has been taking about engaging and talking, yet their own alliance partners have strike because the ANC is not … listing

      Whistleblower - 2011-05-20 07:59

      What exactly are they not listing Whistle? I meant listening … LOL

  • dollypeg - 2011-05-20 07:54

    And NOW they are going to protest? They keep the idiots in power then they start destroying the country with protests????

  • demonsofhate - 2011-05-20 08:11

    "a protest which will take the form of marches, demonstrations, pickets and stayaways," said Craven. As well as tyre-burning, vandalism, maybe some lootin' on the way, good ol' violence, and all-round black monkey business...

  • Daan - 2011-05-20 08:19

    I suppose if the anc can walk on water, they might also be able to make it?

  • Stephan Janse van Vuuren - 2011-05-20 08:43

    Suck it up morons. You vote for it, you live with it.

  • Other Justin - 2011-05-20 08:45

    Cry the beloved country. Blindly endorse the cANCer that is responsible for the crisis in the first place with the crumbling infrastructure and the talking instead of doing about acid mine water drainage, then go on strike about the problem. Typical ID10T HYPOCRISY!!! VIVA AMAUSELESS VIVA!!!!!

  • Audi - 2011-05-20 08:47

    Daar is iewers n groot drol in die drink water!!! Het COSATU nie gedurende die verkiesing die ANC ondersteun nie? So, nou dat hulle kry wat hulle verdien wil hulle staak?

  • Yasr - 2011-05-20 08:57

    You guys are funny.

  • george - 2011-05-20 09:11

    Always amazes me how the buck gets diverted. COSATU looks at the ANC as being the managers. Voted for them yesterday, but all is fair in love & war - blame them today. And then there are the workers that work the water plants. How responsible are they for the poor state of water? Are they actually going to protest against their incompetence and poor performance? They place much pressure on the govt to promote poorly trained or incompetent people. Do they not expect some negative consequences for these decisions? A drop in standards perhaps. Amazing! One sees it at schools and hospitals. The same people that are helping destroy these institutions are the ones that are expecting service from them. Brother against brother. Unionist against unionist, in effect. Amazing that they can't see that they are the major contributors to the problems. For Craven, well he's got to rouse the masses otherwise he does not have a job. Was he actually imported from the UK to show us how th organise our unions?

  • vandermerwe.martin - 2011-05-20 09:30

    NO NO NO, don't protest, keep on voting for the most hopeless party on the planet the ANC...................the mental capacity of all ANC votes equals to the same iq of a lamppost.

      johan - 2011-05-20 11:39


  • Pigmalion - 2011-05-20 10:01

    It should be illegal for ANC voters to go on strike. If you keep voting for them then you deserve what you get. Morons - all of them.

  • Wishbone - 2011-05-20 12:28

    By Cosatu supporting the ANC irrespective of the ANC's performance they are actually perpetuating the situation (of poor service delivery). By implication Cosatu are partially responsible for the water crisis!

  • Vaal Donkie - 2011-05-20 14:11

    I wish the taxi drivers would strike again. I had such a pleasant drive to work and back without those fools on the road.

      MrTruth - 2011-05-20 17:24

      Time will come Vaal Donkie when the taxis have killed all their passengers and will no longer be needed. VIVA the taxi driver U R Doing a fine job.

  • simon - 2011-05-23 18:58

    The alliance is at the root of this crisis, so unless cosatu voted against the ANC at the recent election, they should just shut up. Cosatu, you have had your chance, now shut the face!

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