Cosatu march against brokers, tolls

2012-03-04 21:21

Cape Town - The Cosatu-led protest against labour broking and e-tolling appears set to cause major disruption on Wednesday in Cape Town's CBD.

Congress of SA Trade Unions Western Cape general secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, told reporters on Sunday afternoon that a planned march on Parliament across the city centre would likely attract 30 000 people on the day.

"It will be one of the biggest strikes that has happened in the Western Cape for a long, long time," he said during a media briefing at his organisation's Salt River headquarters.

The march is set to start at 10:30 on Wednesday and will proceed from Kaizergracht to the gates of Parliament where a memorandum will be handed over to the minister of labour.

"We think we'll have about 30 000 people," he said.

About 20 000 of these would be Cosatu members. A further 10 000 from civil society organisations and unions would also join in.

The Cape Town march is part a nationwide series of protests against, among other things, the controversial practice of labour broking and government's decision to push ahead with plans to levy e-tolls on Gauteng's freeways.

Traffic, police

Ehrenreich said permission for the march to go ahead had been obtained from the City of Cape Town and arrangements made with the local traffic department as well as the SA Police Service.

Present at Sunday's briefing were several civil society and non-governmental organisations as well as representatives from unions in the textile, nursing, education, mining and commercial sectors.

Responding to a question on whether teachers would be joining the march, Ehrenreich said: "There won't be a lot of education happening on the day of the strike."

He said Cosatu had drafted in extra marshals to help control the march, which would be "disciplined" and "safe".

Cosatu Western Cape chairperson Dan Melapi said the union federation and its partners were determined to put an end to labour broking.

"[it is] a practice which is nothing less than a form of human trafficking, reducing workers to commodities, hired out to companies like sacks of potatoes, usually with no benefits, poverty wages and no job security."

On e-tolling Molapi said roads were national assets, "not a commodity which can be used to make profits at our great expense".

Ehrenreich said the strike "born out of frustration."

He said the concession government had made on e-tolling including capping the maximum toll rate and reducing the price did not go far enough.

"A few companies are milking the public purse," he said.

  • Klaus - 2012-03-04 21:50

    Why are they marching in Cape Town, the tolls are in Gauteng!

      ReunionofIntelligentMinds - 2012-03-04 21:55

      Would be even better if the whole country is marching. That's what's called 'united we stand'.

      Georg - 2012-03-04 22:06

      Klaus 1. That's where pallement is. 2. Thats's where this clown Ehrenreich resides. 3. There's much more to break and loot in Cape Town. Do I hear a penny drop?

      Marion - 2012-03-05 07:27

      @Klaus, actually it is a nationwide protest because two protests are happening simultaneously. One is against labour broking and one is against eTolls. People countrywide visit Gauteng and will also have to pay those tolls when they come here so it is in their best interest. Also, if this tolling gets implemented successfully there is probably an excellent chance that tolling of this nature will be introduced in other provinces.

      Gert - 2012-03-05 09:19

      Yes the two aspects don't tie up also--you may not have objections with labour broking but tolls are the issue and the other way round. They want to do the same with tolls in CT though but they must split up the marches, tolls for this Wednesday and labour broking next Wednesday. The anc (our elected servants), must take the blame for loss of production for the toll protest march, because they are guilty of civil disobiedience not planning democratically as they should.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-03-04 22:02

    Oh yay, more vandalism and vowelence coming up. If you're frustrated take them to court/don't sign on with labour brokers/don't buy e-toll tags. There are many forms of civil disobedience - clogging the roads and destroying public and private property is so old school (circa 1980's)

  • Richard - 2012-03-04 22:39

    Labour brokers are amazing and help those who are prepared to show some initiative, so screw that COSATU but i fully support the march against the tolls!

  • Rory - 2012-03-04 22:54

    Cosatu is actually standing up for our rights. They are doing something for all of us over taxed suckers. Good luck tomorrow. Its time to remind the goverment of who they work for!

  • tiaan.laubscher - 2012-03-04 23:01

    Richard you say labor brokers are amazing. I agree and disagree. I have work for labour brokers and they where my biggest obstacle to obtaining a permanent position. I am still trying to get a permanent position. I am being paid half the salary what the permanent workers are getting. I am putting in more hours than the permanent workers. I have a B-Tech: Management degree, but yet the permanent guys only have matric. I am being treated like cheap labour and I have a higher education. I am doing better than most of them. My work is more accurate, but yet. I am seen as a temp. I don't even have medical or pension. this after two years of work. Guess what too. my contract is coming to an end. I wasted two years. Labour brokers should go.

      Richard - 2012-03-05 10:54

      I completely sympathize with you. But they are at least getting people Jobs. Unlike Cosatu who seem to just make a lot of noise. My suggestion would be for the two to try and work together not just undermine each other.

  • Renier - 2012-03-04 23:17

    Although I am anti toll I am anti march as well as marches normally brings damage to property and it is an inconvenience to others. Peaceful stay-a-ways (country wide)in this instance might have been better as long as emergency personnel and teachers would turn up for work. Unfortunately I do not think that the whole population appreciates the impact that all the toll roads are going to have on their pockets. The drive against labour brokers and the toll roads should not have been combined as not all have the same sentiments for both issues.

      Luzuko Tosh Plaatjie - 2012-03-05 06:29

      You are so self-absorbed renier

      Marion - 2012-03-05 07:31

      @Renier - the protests are taking place in different ways. Not just a march. For instance, there are lunchtime pickets. Go to the COSATU page and see what you can do to express your disenchantment about eToll. ALL South Africans need to stand together, even if you just put anti eToll posters on your car it will send a message. Anyone who choose to march against eToll and not labour brokers can, I'm sure, simply make themselves a poster that clearly states they are marching against eTolls.

      Renier - 2012-03-05 17:20

      @Luzuko: There is no justification for your remark. I take it that you (Like many others) are pro insulting others. You should rather give comments that can be useful or simply give you own opinion of the article. @Marion: Point taken - will do.

  • Ayanda Yaya Khumalo - 2012-03-05 03:32

    i wonder it will be like if all tax pay strike even police man Viva Cosatu Viva

  • brionyl.french - 2012-03-05 06:11

    Lets cause a standstill

  • Blip - 2012-03-05 07:28

    A third of all unskilled workers owe their jobs to labour brokers. Outlaw labour brokers are you effectively extinguish these jobs in a nation in which close to half of all able-bodied but unskilled people can't find a proper job. How dumb is Cosatu's selfish action?

  • Paddy - 2012-03-05 07:57

    Without Labour Brokers who is going to find work for these 1000's of people.Will they now have to apply personally and directly over the telephone? That will surely be a great success then............'ello, this is Philomon. I want wek.

  • Kevin - 2012-03-05 08:11

    E to lling has my support but labour broking is not understood by Cosatu. We need as many people employed as possible.

  • manakatg - 2012-03-05 08:18

    ripping-off labour broker , it shouldnt be a big this that govt must wait to be given a memorandum.It is pure exploitation.Govt could ripped it off long ago

  • Getafix - 2012-03-05 09:16

    As long as Cosatu Cleans up after...

  • smythem - 2012-03-05 10:45

    If this is all scheduled to take place on Wednesday, why on earth are they demonstrating and burning tyres today, is this a related protest or something completely different, it is playing havoc with work today.

  • Ephraim - 2012-03-06 15:56

    where to SA. Reference can be made to Zimbabwe on such strikes by unions against Government policies(taxes). In 1997, Zimbabwe Congress of Trde Unions(ZCTU) then led by the firebrand Morgan Tsvangirai and Gibson Sibanda organised several strikes/stayaways against Govnmt especially on taxes like the then proposed war veteran tax. This led to the formation of MDC when the Govnmt did not listen to the demands. The Zim economy started its downward trend falling to unimaginable levels of course due to Govnmt policies. Is this the way SA wants to take.There are no winners and losers on such strikes, but everybody will be a loser. I am not advocating for not proceeding with the strike but iam saying to both parties, you need to find each other. It has to be a win win for the better of the country.Both socially and mostly economically. Borrow a leaf from your neighbour Zimbabwe for classical lessons.

  • Yuliana - 2012-03-08 07:26

    I've got a GREAT suggestion! Everybody who are aganst E-tolling and Labour Brokers - Let's put a RED RIBON on our cars! Because not everybody joined the Cosatu March, but we are all united against Potential Economy Crises that E- tolling will cause! LET'S PUT A RED RIBON ON OUR CARS! The roads will become RED!

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