Category Archives: Politics

CALL FOR UNITY IN SOUTH AFRICA’S TRIPARTITTE ALLIANCE

JOHANNESBURG– Ace Magashuie, the Secretary-General of South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), has called for unity among the ANC, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), which is the county’s biggest labour federation, and the South African Communist Party Alliance (SACP), the three members of the Tripartite Alliance.

He was addressing thousands of workers who attended Cosatu’s march to steel producer Arcelor Mittal in Vanderbijlpark, south of Johannesburg, on Tuesday, which was Workers Day. The march began at the Bophelong Township in Vanderbijlpark and the throngs of Cosatu members then made their way over several kilometres towards the Arcelor Mittal steel plant.

Leading the march was Magashule, together with Energy Minister Jeff Radebe, Gauteng Province Premier David Makhura and Cosatu General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali.

On this important day of the celebration of the struggle of the working class, we convey our fraternal warm greetings from the leadership and the membership of the ANC across the length and breadth of the country. In our meeting of the Secretariat of the Alliance, we agreed that during this year, the year of the centenary of Nelson Mandela, Mama Sisulu, this year the alliance (is) in action, not in boardrooms and in meetings, Magashule said.

Meanwhile, Cosatu says workers’ exploitation is still rife in North West Province and both the private and public sector should do more to promote workers’ rights. The Workers’ Day rally took place in the capital of the beleaguered province, Mahikeng.

The premier of the province, Supra Mahumapelo, is under pressure and the Provincial Health Department has been placed under administration. Corruption was again highlighted as a concern, crippling the provincial government and consequently affecting workers.

Cosatu says workers’ rights must be addressed. There are issues that workers are facing here. You know in the North West that the Public Service workers, in particular in the Department of Health, workers have been on strike for almost two months now. It’s because they are being treated very badly,” said Cosatu Deputy General Secretary Solly Phetoe.

“We’ve got casual workers workers are paid according to what is expected, and there is a lot of corruption that has been raised by workers in that particular department. But also, there are private workers here. Security workers, domestic workers, retail workers are being exploited in this province.

Cosatu members marched from the local taxi rank to the nearby rugby stadium where a memorandum was handed to government and various retailers.

Among those attending were members of the National Executive Committee of the ANC, Obed Bapela and Malusi Gigaba. They are part of the national government task team investigating the North West Health Department.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Workers make South Africa a better place

In marking this year’s May Day rally, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday paid tribute to South Africa’s workers, thanking them for making the country what it is today.

In the end, you are the people who make South Africa work, you are the people who make South Africa move and you make SA move forward. We say to you that we respect and love you, said President Ramaphosa.

He was speaking at the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) main Worker’s Day rally at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth. The President said the entire nation needed to be grateful to workers as it is them who built the country to be what it is.

He said the progress the country had made over the decades was through the labour of workers.

This is the day when all of us in South Africa take off our hats to you as workers and say thank you for all the work that you do for this nation, the President said. He added that the day, which is commemorated annually around the world, has great significance for South Africa.

President Ramaphosa once again defended the national minimum wage, to be introduced in the next few months, saying this will be another new victory for workers.

This is a victory for the workers of our country, no matter what other people may say, he said.

Last month, the Department of Labour said the national minimum wage Bill and supporting Basic Conditions of Employment and Labour Relations Bills are currently before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Labour, for consideration.

The national minimum wage is meant to improve the lives of the workers in South Africa, according to the department.

The department said more than six million workers are expected to benefit from the minimum wage when it is introduced. It proposes, among other things, that the minimum wage level be set at R20 per hour and be reviewed annually.

On Tuesday, President Ramaphosa noted that out of 16 million working South Africans, 6.6 million in several industries earn less than R20 an hour or less than R3000 a month.

He said that the proposed minimum wage is however, not a living wage.

A living wage is much higher than this R20 an hour but we said we need to form a foundation. The struggle for a living wage must continue but we must start somewhere to lift the 6.6 million so that we move towards a living wage, he said.

President Ramaphosa also reminded workers that their right to strike is protected but that they should do so in a dignified manner.

He urged protesting workers and society to protest in a peaceful manner that does not degenerate to destroying infrastructure in the process.

Even when we protest, let us not damage assets that belong to all of us. When we protest let us do it in a dignified manner, he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

16 nabbed for taxi violence in KZN

16 nabbed for taxi violence in KZNKwaZulu-Natal police have been commended for the arrest of 16 people in connection with taxi violence and the recovery of a number of firearms.

A group of heavily armed men travelling in a Toyota Quantum minibus taxi stormed the taxi rank in Brook Street, Durban on Friday.

Police say they fired multiple gunshots and sped off. Three people were seriously injured and taken to hospital for medical attention and a 56-year-old later passed away.

The suspects fled towards Pinetown when a police officer from the Pinetown Task Team spotted the vehicle and gave chase. The suspects opened fire at him and he retaliated.

No injuries were sustained and the suspects abandoned their vehicle and ran into a building in Pinetown.

The National Intervention Unit was called in which led to the arrest of the 16 suspects and the recovery of 17 firearms which include nine rifles, a shotgun and seven pistols.

The firearms will be subjected to ballistic testing to ascertain if they were used in any other pending cases.

The KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa commended the swift response by police.

In this province, we will not tolerate any violence especially relating to taxi industry as members of the community are normally caught during the exchange of gunfire. We work diligently to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book, he said.

The suspects, who are due to appear in court soon, will be charged with murder and attempted murder, including the shooting of a police officer in Pinetown as well as for illegal possession of firearms.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Ministers call for negotiated settlement to end bus strike

The Ministers of Transport and Labour have called on parties involved in the ongoing bus strike to come to a negotiated settlement.

Transport Minister Dr Blade Nzimande and Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant met with representatives of organised labour and employers in the bus industry on Thursday, where they were briefed by both parties on their bargaining positions aimed at ending the protracted bus strike.

The Ministers noted progress in negotiations and appreciated the fact that both parties are determined to resolve the impasse swiftly, with concessions already made from the original positions held by both parties prior to the negotiations.

Both Ministers called on all parties involved to find a negotiated settlement under the allowable rules and regulations in the interest of all South Africans.

Now in its second week, the bus strike has left thousands of commuters stranded, with many being forced to use other modes of more expensive transport.

In their joint statement, the Ministers said while they are not party to the negotiations, the only reasonable outcome that they expect from the negotiations is the immediate resumption of bus operations, while labour and employers are finding a permanent solution to the impasse.

Both Ministers will continue to observe the negotiations with keen interest and wished all involved best regards in concluding the negotiations.

Bus drivers involved in the strike are demanding a 9.5% salary increase in the first year and 9% in the second year. They initially demanded 12%, with their employers offering 7%.

The South African Transport Workers and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) announced last week that they will be intensifying strike action this week. Last week, negotiations deadlocked with unions refusing to back down from their demands.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Social Development Committee Questions Legality of Department’s Organisational Structure

Parliament� Briefings by the Department of Social Development and its entities were cancelled on the basis that the department has no defined organisational structure.

Addressing the committee, Minister Susan Shabangu said that vacancies within the department have been frozen since the department appears to have three different organisational structures, which could not be validated with the Department of Public Service and Administration. She reported that 450 vacancies within the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) have also been placed on hold until its structures can be verified. The Minister is yet to meet and familiarise herself with other departmental entities.

Without an approved annual performance plan (APP), the department’s budget will not be approved during the upcoming budget vote debates. Noting the implications, the committee said that it cannot accept an annual report and approve a budget for a department that does not have a defined organisational structure.

Referring to the millions of social grant beneficiaries, committee member Ms Sibongile Tsoleli said: We cannot rubberstamp something that is wrong. We are in a situation right now. This will affect our people out there who are expecting so much from this department, referring to the millions of social grant beneficiaries.

The committee also raised concerns that the current Minister has to account for a departmental APP that was signed off by the former Minister, Ms Bathabile Dlamini, while Deputy Minister Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu appears not to have signed the APP. The committee is of the view that the current Minister, who will carry responsibility for this department, should be the one to sign off this APP.

The committee resolved to approach Parliament’s Programming Committee for an extension on the Extended Public Committees programme to deal with the issues in the department and its entities. Parliament’s legal services will also be asked to advise on legal aspects relating to the lack of a defined organisational structure.

The committee was yesterday, Wednesday 25 April 2018, supposed to consider the strategic plan, APP and budget of the Department of Social Development, the National Development Agency (NDA) and Sassa.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa