‘Give workers what they want’

Were strikers justified in rejecting government’s latest offer of 7.5% and an R800 housing allowance?

Yes

  • Brenton Rygard (28), a self-employed salesperson from Eldorado Park, said workers were entitled to their share of the proceeds from hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup. “Give the workers the money they need to end the strike.”

  • Tumisang Moremane (29), a lawyer from Roodepoort, said government must pay the workers because it has promised to do so.

He said: “I support the workers because they were promised by the new ANC leadership that if they vote for them they will do things differently compared to the way Thabo Mbeki did things.”

  • Anita Novel (24), a street vendor from Freedom Park, said if she were in the strikers’ shoes, she would do the same. “I think the government must give the civil servants money because they need it to take care of their needs.”

  • Mandy Collier (56), an Afrikaans teacher at a private school in the city centre, is not on strike because teachers at her school don’t belong to a union.

She said the strike was affecting learning in private schools too as some learners did not come to school because they feared to be intimidated.

“I’m disappointed because some children at school are scared and haven’t been going to school.”

She hopes the government will accede to demands by striking public servants to bring the strike to an end soon.

Maybe

  • David Ntoyi (56), an administrative worker at Transnet in Johannesburg, sympathises with both the workers and the public. He said: “Lives are compromised and the education of our children is suffering.”

He, however, added that it was unfair for government managers to earn big salaries while workers earn little. “Costs of rent, electricity, services are always on the rise so the workers need to get a fair pay rise,” he said.

  • Morleen Manapa (36), an unemployed woman from Booysens, feels innocent lives have been lost unnecessarily due to government’s reluctance to heed the workers’ demands.

  • A Grade-12 learner at Multitech College, Sithembile Ncobo (18) from Malvern, is worried about her future since she is supposed to be sitting for her final exams in October.

“Teachers carry out a noble task of educating us so the government must pay them very well.”
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