Women demonstrating at the location of the killing of 34 South African platinum mineworkers by police on August 16, 2012. President Zuma has established a commission of inquiry., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
NUMSA calls on the PSL to use tonight’s games to mourn the thirty-four (34) Perished Marikana Workers!
22 August 2012
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) Hlanganani Region (North-West) calls on the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to use tonight’s crucial league matches involving Soweto and Pretoria giants, namely Kaizer Chiefs vs. Sundowns, and Supersport United vs. Orlando Pirates, to allow soccer players and the South African soccer fans to mourn the 34 workers killed in Marikana, by observing a moment of silence before the kick-off, in line with President Jacob Zuma’s declaration of a week of national mourning.
Football in our country and in the rest of the African continent is renowned for being a comforter, healer, reconciliator and pillar of strength for our people during sombre and most difficult moments. In moments like these, tonight’s matches can serve as a unifying tool.
We strongly believe that tonight’s matches provides an opportunity for the custodians of South African soccer, mainly workers to observe a moment of silent and mourning the perished 34 workers. The PSL as a caring League should join the rest of the country and the world in celebrating the lives of the perished workers who are leading supporters and producers of South African football.
Furthermore, we call on the PSL to donate the gate-takings of tonight’s League matches to the families of the victims for purposes of dignified burials this coming weekend, amidst the economic burden faced by our communities as a result of the high cost of living in post-apartheid and today’s capitalist South Africa.
The PSL should draw a leaf from its predecessors, the NPSL and NSL, by using football as a strategic site of popular power for people’s power to rally society around their immediate and long-term strategic goals geared towards a better life for all.
If the PSL adheres to this request it will be a continuation of its rich and longstanding contribution, dating back to the days of the Charity Cup, of being an agent for change.
Jerry Morulane, NUMSA Regional Secretary - 083 253 5216
COSATU NW calls on workers in Lonmin to mourn
21 August 2012
The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West has been observing with sadness the situation in Lonmin platinum mines.
The situation is really heartbreaking and painful and it is really a loss to human kind and the working class in particular.
COSATU is however calling for calm. All workers must be allowed to mourn for the whole week until after the memorial service and management must take responsibility for counselling of all the affected families and take the responsibility for the cost of the funerals that are going take place over the weekend.
The return to work must take place only after all consultations have been completed with all workers who are affected. Management must not implement its ultimatum until the end of the mourning week called by the president.
COSATU acknowledges the rising challenges that are facing the workers and their shrinking incomes caused by the rising cost of living confronting our country.
COSATU would like to send its deepest heartfelt condolence to the families who lost their loved ones and bread winners in this tragedy and may the souls of the departed rest in peace.
All workers are requested to report all incidents of intimidation to the leadership of NUM and COSATU in the province
Once more, let those who are killed rest in peace.
For more information contact Solly Phetoe COSATU North West Provincial Secretary at 082 304 4055
COSATU statement on Malema’s attack on the NUM
20 August 2012
The Congress of South African Trade Unions strongly condemns the outrageous attack by Julius Malema on the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
The former ANC Youth league leader is reported to have called on the striking mineworkers gathered at Wonderkop at the weekend to “form a militant union that would represent their interests”.
He claimed that NUM “was no longer a union that represented the interests of the workers but interested in making more money. NUM is not a union, it’s a company. They hold shares in mining companies, that is why when there are problems in the mines they are the first to sell out the workers.”
This is a scandalous insult to the mighty union of JB Marks, Moses Kotane, Leslie Massina, Elijah Barayi, JB Marks, Sam Ntambane and Selby Mayise, which for decades has been fearless and unflinching in its defence of the most exploited section of the South African working class.
As a result it has become and remains COSATU’s biggest affiliate, with over 300 000 members, and will continue to defend and improve the lives of mineworkers and play a leading role in the federation for years to come.
It was through the NUM that miners managed to regain their dignity as workers and are today regarded as human beings.
Malema’s attack is not only directed at the NUM but to COSATU and its entire trade union family. We appeal to workers to listen to its true leaders and refuse to be dictated to by self-appointed leaders like Malema.
The federation deplores Malema’s blatant opportunism in seeking to exploit the understandable concerns of the Marikana workers to score cheap political points, and to discredit those who are struggling to resolve the very difficult situation pertaining in the area.
COSATU meets provincial government on education, to avert strike action
22 August 2012
COSATU today met the Provincial Government around the closure of schools and need for equality in educational in the Western Cape. This meeting was convened under the auspices of NEDLAC at the Cape Town International airport.
This meeting was forced on the Provincial Government by NEDLAC in terms of the NEDLAC act and the Labour Relations Act, given that Zille has refused to meet COSATU on any matters related to the Province due to her hostility to the union’s movement and workers.
The meeting agreed on the following:
•That the Provincial Government would clarify the position that the closures of the schools are not a foregone conclusion and that the consultation process would continue in terms of the law. COSATU and the Dept of Education will meet in a subcommittee to evaluate the educational programme and its impact on the 27 schools and explore solutions in respect of the affected schools.
•The NEDLAC discussion further agreed that there was an urgent need to find the best way in which to achieve quality in education as well as equality amongst the rich and poor schools, so that all learners could have the same educational prospects.
•This was the first time the Western Cape government has ever agreed to the need for equality of education between black and white kids, and it is a significant move to undoing the old apartheid practices in this Province.
•A committee between COSATU and the Education Dept will discuss the details of this in principle area of agreement.
•These 2 sub Committees will report back to the NEDALC meeting within 3 weeks to consider the progress made. Should no progress be made then COSATU maintains its right to continue its strike action under NEDLAC.
•COSATU has however confirmed its view that there must be an end to the inequalities between black and white learners.
These were a constructive negotiation and we look forward to further progress in this regard.
For questions please call COSATU Western Cape Provincial Secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, at 082 7733 194
Statement of ANCYL on the eviction of students from TUT
17 August 2012
The management of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) is reckless, uncaring and irresponsible and institutions of higher education in South Africa are becoming a law unto themselves. Today, TUT management has decided, via a court order, to evict thousands of students from residences in all its campuses, leaving them stranded and desperate, wandering the streets of Tshwane. These students have been protesting the removal of some of them from the list of students approved to receive financial aid from the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NFSAS). They are also protesting eviction from residences for outstanding payments and the proposed cancellation of subsided transportation.
The African National Congress Youth League views the behaviour of TUT Management as a betrayal of the commitments by the ANC in the election manifesto of 2009, a binding and solemn commitment to our people. Once again, we have to raise our voice against uncaring, unprincipled people who haunt our institutions masquerading as servants of the people while in actual fact they are fundamentally opposed to the vision of a society we seek to build in this country. A society that the ANC has stated shall be a caring one defined by, amongst others, has universal access to free education. We are angered and in disbelief that today, institutions of higher learning, understanding the plight of the youth in particular and the desperate circumstance of families from which many of us come, would take a decision to throw out young people into the street without regard for their safety or wellbeing. This is management which is given responsibility, in loco parentis, to safeguard and nurture youth, the future, not to discard it to fend for itself. We can only conclude our government continues to fail young people and that there is no commitment to realise the demand of the Freedom Charter reinforced at the Polokwane Conference for free education.
We will meet urgently with the management of TUT and the student representatives. Our demand is that residences are reopened to all students with immediate effect. In the meantime, we have intervened to ensure that the discarded youth is accommodated in various halls and churches around the City Centre. We will never sit back and watch lawlessness in the name of law being meted out to defenceless young people.
Issued by the African National Congress Youth League
ANCYL Head of Communications
079 510 5408