Many services unaffected by strike

2012-03-07 18:14

Johannesburg - Health departments across the country were unaffected by Cosatu's nationwide strike and protest marches on Wednesday over toll fees and labour brokers, officials said.

"The reports we have received are that staff showed up for work across the province," KwaZulu-Natal health spokesperson Chris Maxon said.

Mpumalanga health spokesperson Dumisani Mlangeni said: "We have had some administrative staff not reporting for work but it is minimal and has no effect on our operations."

Democratic Alliance health spokesperson in Gauteng Jack Bloom said he had not had reports of any health facilities being affected.

Western Cape health department spokesperson Helen Rossouw said no reports of disruptions to services had been received.

Essential service

National health department spokesperson Fidel Hadebe said reports nationally indicated things were normal.

"Healthcare is an essential service and health care practitioners understand this. Things are running as usual and we have not heard any complaints," Hadebe said.

Eskom spokesperson Hilary Joffe said by early Wednesday afternoon the electricity utility had received no reports of being affected by the strike but would receive a full update later on Wednesday.

Mixed reports were coming from schools. In Limpopo, education spokesperson Pat Kgomo said most schools in the rural areas and townships had been affected by the strike.

In the Northern Cape schooling appeared to be mostly normal.

"Teachers and learners are at schools in most of the districts," the province's education spokesperson Ohentse Stander said.

Under 2% of teachers march in Western Cape

Western Cape education MEC Donald Grant said less than 2% of teachers participated in the strike and it seemed no pupils had marched.

The SABC reported that pupils from most schools in Khayelitsha and Gugulethu in Cape Town were told to go home by teachers, but in nearby Mitchells Plain schooling went ahead with teachers saying they would join protests later.

Mining company Gold Fields said about 85% of its workforce had not arrived for work on Wednesday.

"The majority, if not all our National Union of Mineworkers' members attended the strike, about 85 percent of our workforce," company spokesperson Sven Lunsche said.

However, most workers at Impala Platinum arrived for work. Implats spokesperson Johan Theron said this might be because the recent protracted stay-away over a bonus dispute at their Rustenburg operations left workers out of pocket and unable to afford another day off.

Flight delays

The SABC reported that traffic around South Africa's border with Zimbabwe was building up as customs and other border officials joined a protest in Musina, led by Cosatu's Limpopo provincial executive committee.

The Airports Company of SA earlier advised travellers at King Shaka International Airport in Durban of delays of around one-and-a-half hours as some staffers who refuelled aircraft had been unable to get to work.

Metrorail and Metrobus said there might be disruptions to their services. Interstate bus lines said it had been unable to operate on some shifts. Interstate asked employers to let staff planning to use this bus service in the evening leave early, to get an indication of numbers.

The SA Clothing and Textile Workers' Union claimed that 74% of all clothing, textile, footwear, and leather workers were participating in the protest.

Fedusa not opposed to job losses

Cosatu arranged the protest and strike over the planned introduction of toll fees on national roads in Gauteng, which would "milk" the public and leave the poor worse off. It also wanted labour brokers to be banned.

The Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) said it was opposed to tolls, but believed the matter should be settled within the labour market chamber at the National Economic Development and Labour Council.

Unlike Cosatu, Fedusa was not opposed to labour brokers, saying banning them would cause job losses.
Fedusa general secretary Dennis George said: "Tight-knit, well-constructed legislation will not only protect workers, but provide a clear line of legal recourse for those employers who fail to comply."

Members in unions affiliated to Cosatu were protected for Wednesday in terms of a notice issued to the unions in terms of section 77 of the Labour Relations Act. This was not the case for Fedusa members, who had been advised to take a day's leave if they wanted to participate.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts

  • Poloyatonki - 2012-03-07 18:30

    While they were striking I made some money by selling eleven shacks today in Nyanga and Langa. The shack business is booming in western cape because Madam wont uplift the poor since she grew up with a golden spoon in her mouth.

      Mzwandile - 2012-03-07 18:42

      This is irrevant to the article. It look like you just comment without reading, my brother please read. We are always accused of not reading, please my Chief. How much money you make and when do you make it and what kind of business is going in WC is none of our business and irrelevant to the main story.

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-07 19:21

      Eish I didn't read the article either, I just scrolled down to the comment section. That's what I always do.

      Poloyatonki - 2012-03-07 19:29

      Mzwandile... You are clearly a new comer on this forum, do you know how many people were posting here about how much money they are going to make today with out going to the march...

      Irene - 2012-03-07 21:05

      poloyadonki ~ You at it again boy? Haven't you got rid of that chip on your shoulder yet? Oh how I wish you would be intelligent, just for one hour so you could fully appreciate what a cretin you are.

  • Mzwandile - 2012-03-07 18:37

    Dennis George must wake up. His Federation (FEDUSA) is losing trade unions in its stable. No wonder their biggest trade union PSA decided to cancel its membership because FEDUSA don't have interest of members rather those of capital. FEDUSA must recall Chez Milani who did a sterling job as General Secretary in building that federation and made it relevant to SA labour politic after being on the side for years.

  • Rob - 2012-03-07 18:41

    Not sure if COSATU is smart or stupid combining these two issues. Same goes for News 24's voting questions. Surely they create a wierd situation. I wonder how many in the marches support both positions and how much support Cosatu lost from the people who are against the tolls but are not against labour brokers. All sorts of shades of meaning here!

      Rob - 2012-03-07 18:43

      Sorry, read marchers NOT marches

  • Neutra - 2012-03-07 18:50

    While uplifting the poor is the most logical thing to do it's not sensible to do it at the expense of the country's wealth. Those in power, especially the ANC leadership, must uplift their voters and bring them to where they are self-sustainable while at the same time ensuring that our country's reputation as an emerging market is protected. If they don't do it this way they will set the country back at least 50 years. I doubt what Helen Zille has to say can instantly solve the problem, considering she is the leader of the Western Cape only. The majority of the problem is in the mining provinces and Gauteng has the highest unemployment rate in the country. Both of those are ANC-led provinces.

      Mark - 2012-03-07 19:07

      Incisive comment, Neutra. ANC too busy dishing out bread-and-butter for votes to worry about investment in the country or the People.

      Mzwandile - 2012-03-07 19:11

      @Neutra it becoming so boring to people always telling us about textbook ecomonics whereas the reality doesn't support that. Its been said tiem and again that our strikes dent this coutries reputation and there won't be FDI. Strikes has been with us for many years even before 1994, instead the opposite happened. SA's reputation internationally is intact and FDI continues to triple in as a sign of confidence to SA

      Vegi - 2012-03-07 19:22

      Rustic The stupid idea that an entire population can be employed is an import from your evil countries. Africans resisted this notion that they must be employed and many wars were fought over this. It is only when you stole our land that our people were forced to seek employment in your unhygienic environs, dying prematurely and living generally wretched lives. This government has seemingly succumbed to your stupid ways of living and expects everybody to be employed. People should be given their land so that they can choose their own way of life.

      Rob - 2012-03-07 19:41

      Mzwandile: Your perspective on SA's international reputation is from where? You know even Bob's hell-hole is a source of business for some, and there are always counties/businesses/people who will bottom-feed for profit. I can tell you from personal experience speaking to many people in the UK in the past weeks, almost without exception SA is seen as a basket case in the making. Get real!

      Alex - 2012-03-07 20:12

      Mzwandile here is an article that just touches on our international reputation....

      Mzwandile - 2012-03-07 20:14

      @critcallyhonest. Unfortunately I cannot comment on your sideline baised discussion with your friends about our country. People who are serious investors do proper research of a country including treaties concluded between the respective countries protecting their investment. Areas of research include the legal framework and the rule of law, the socio economic outlook, future trends ecomonically and politically, the stability of the country amongst other things. I am not sure whether you and your friends have detailed understanding of these factors and if you do, definately your understanding and information is totally wrong. The British government as a first source of information for a serious investor is holding this govenment in esteem and they have not in the recent past past publish any information warning UK investors about SA which is the responsibilty of every country in terms Public International law. Please tell your friengs if they are serious investors to do a proper research about SA as an investment destination. @Johan1211 - I fully agree with your sentiments about the countries economic viability, however I don't think strikes are the sole problem on economic viability and uplifment of the country. Reduction of production costs cannot starting with human resource which is the important component of production, costs like electricity, transportation of goods should be considered first and the government can play a role in doing so. For example the etoll syst

      Mzwandile - 2012-03-07 20:16

      e.g etoll will raise production costs. That is why COSATU is against this as it will compromise workers when they want increases

      Mzwandile - 2012-03-07 20:42

      @Alex - I hope everyone have read your article. It actually missed the point raised here where SA reputation is linked to union strikes. That is the point I totally disagree with. Infact you article quote Vavi as someone fighting the same corruptiont that the article is raising. I totally agree with the content of the article however any serious investor does not look at one factor in exclusion of other factor. I don't think this artcle will scare any serious investor who knows that SA has a legal framework that is internationally recognised and respected, and there is rule of law. Actuall this was demonstrated by the KU Judge in the Dewaali case for extradition.

  • Vegi - 2012-03-07 18:52

    While many people are concerned about the strike, I am focusing my attention at the bickering kilkeny cats. If people can fight over meaningless shadow cabinets post, is there any hope that such people will any time in the near future be able to run the country.

      Mzwandile - 2012-03-07 19:14

      Stranger that this fight started once the position of parliamentary leader was occupied by Lindiwe, during Trollip's time there were no bickering taking place. If Lindiwe has any ambitions of being a leader of that pary she must ask Joe Seremane for advice

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-03-07 19:33

      Mzwandile you seem to be well informed, I agree with your facts and opinions. I doubt if she will be a leader of the party anytime soon, there are rumours that they are courting Mamphela which I do not have a problem with but why bring an outsider if Lindiwe.

      Mzwandile - 2012-03-07 19:51

      @paulmandlankosi - they must be careful they will end up being a party of academics who are not in touch with the masses and the graasroots. When Uncle Joe and Uncle Themba (another academic) could not deliver African votes they brough in Dr Wilmot James another academic who voeietoog (shame) is as useless is his brothers. So Mamphela will fall to the trap as well. I am not worried at all.

  • Vegi - 2012-03-07 18:54

    The endless bickering in the court of these impostors is proof that the ANC will rule this country until the end life.

      Mark - 2012-03-07 19:08

      Troll alert

      Vegi - 2012-03-07 19:12

      I know that anyone who does not flow with the current is a troll according to dimwits like you.

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-03-07 19:39

      Rustic, so anybody who who has a different point of view or write kindly of the ANC is a troll.

  • Kevin - 2012-03-07 18:59

    Looks like Cosatu can't organize a piss up in a brewery . Joburg ran as normal . I was waiting to see Cosatu rip down the toll stations.

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-07 19:43

      Lol and then we'll be made a laughing stock in this forum and be labelled "savages", "barbaric" etc...

  • Vegi - 2012-03-07 19:09

    Now coming to the issue of the of the tolls, I actually support the building of more toll roads and more toll plazas to collect revenue from the public. Taxis and buses should not pay because that is where the poor people are found. People like me should pay toll fees so that we can have world class roads. Opposition to toll roads is ill conceived because the government cannot afford to maintain the roads on its tight budget. Cosatu is stupid to suggest that the toll operator will milk the public after getting the amount equal to the one spent on upgrading the roads. The roads will be upgraded from time to time. No milking of the public is going to take place. The gullible public is swallowing the poison that is forced down their throats by the useless Cosatu. I cannot wait for the toll roads to be rolled out in the Eastern Cape's atrocious death strips called roads. Those who do not want to pay can simple switch to public transport and leave us to enjoy world class cruising on the well maintained roads. If you do not want to pay, you get nothing.

      Mzwandile - 2012-03-07 19:28

      Public roads are public roads and government is already getting money through petrol tax to maintain and build new roads. Please tell me how much money is the government collecting a year from petron and provide me a breakdown of how money is spent. If this money can be spent correctly (no corruption) Eastern Cape roads would have been in good standard. Bring tolls in the EC and how that money will be stolen and the roads still remain mot maintained. Building and maintaning of roads in SA is not an issue of money is about governance and prioritising which the EC lacks dismally.

      Rob - 2012-03-07 19:33 last, after months, I find something sensible in your comments. "That is the principle that you must pay for stuff......although you have left yourself space to manouver by suggesting that poor people maybe are not included. The principle is great, pay for what you get. That should be applied accross the board, even to poor people...but they may need some help. The point is that nothing should be for nothing! No more hand-outs, only earned outs!

      Mzwandile - 2012-03-07 19:40

      @criticallyhonest - road users are already paying through petrol price which has just been increased by .27 from 1 April by Pravin, why charge them twice. I am not al all suggesting a freebie.

      Alex - 2012-03-07 19:56

      The budget wouldn't be as tight if there wasn't so many hands in the cookie jar...

  • Tebogo Ngulube - 2012-03-07 19:36

    selling shacks news24 must kick u out like e.tolling en labour brokers this nt a issue of an individual u must protect the future nt u.

  • Tebogo Ngulube - 2012-03-07 20:05

    Pls find out wht Mr Vavi said before u comment. Extly wht i'vd said yestdy,wht wil u do wit R1.800 a month u hav kids,trasport etc. he made exp with Shoprite i ws there

      Irene - 2012-03-07 21:12

      Who knows what you're attempting to say. This isn't SMS speak. Go back to school and then maybe you'll earn a higher salary.

  • Sharon - 2012-03-08 07:21


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