Does anybody still work in South Africa?

Youth league-members put ANC-headquarters under violent siege;  thousands of unemployable, homeless, highly-skilled Boers are slowly starving; R1.4-billion paid to unemployed workers from April to June;  school holidays get even longer; Pretoria High Court stenographers want to strike; Eskom workers want to strike;

ANTI ANC VIOLENCE BY BLACKS AT LUTHULI HOUSE JHB AUG302011 2011-08-30 Johannesburg – Picture by The Star, Johannesburg: Police fired rubber bullets at aggressive youth league protestors who tried to force their way into the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters on Tuesday where Julius Malema faced a disciplinary hearing. Police sprayed water and teargas at Malema supporters. They were running amok, throwing bottles at police and trying to break through the barriers.  In May 2010, Malema was made to apologise publicly following a controversial trip to Zimbabwe where he declared the ANC’s support for President Robert Mugabe at a time when Mr Zuma was mediating between the country’s coalition members. He was also chastised by the ANC central executive for throwing out a BBC journalist from a press conference and for defying party orders not to sing a racially divisive apartheid-era song, “Shoot the Boer [white farmer]”. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14709570  clips on http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/video_and_audio/

AFRIKAANS JOURNALIST MANHANDLED BY ANC PRIVATE GUARDS Heavy police contingent since previous day: blocking off all access to Luthuli House – Afrikaans journalist manhandled Aug 29:

 From yesterday, a heavy police contingent already started cordoninbg off the former Shell company headquarters building where the youth league leader and others faced charges of ‘bringing the ruling party into disrepute.’ Malema’s public behaviour – especially his open criticism of SA president Jacob Zuma – has split the ruling party right down to its usually so well-hidden tribal divisions. Malema is a Pongo from North-Limpopo; Zuma and his supporters are Nguni-tribal members from the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Many Malema supporters were reportedly being bused in from North-Limpopo. Tweets from the scene said violent clashes erupted between ANCYL supporters, police and the news media:  TV crews and photo-journalists had to run for their lives, with bricks, stones and bottles lobbed at them by screaming Malema-supporters. By 10am many hundreds of people had gathered and busloads more were being driven into the CBD, expected to add to the melee.
http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/Violence-erupts-outside-Luthuli-House-20110830

R1.4-billion paid to unemployed workers between April and June 2011:
The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) paid out over R1.4 billion to unemployed and retrenched workers between April and June 2011, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant reported in Parliament .
http://www.buanews.gov.za/news/11/11082916051001

School holidays get longer and longer…
While inland schools traditionally opened for the new year a week before those in coastal regions, the regime has decided that from 2012, all schools will open a week later: on 18 January 2012.  Coastal schools will reopen on 11 January. 
http://afrikaans.news24.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Desember-skoolvakansie-raak-langer-20110830

Pretoria High court might strike:  42 Stenographers at the Pretoria High Court threaten to bring court-proceedings to a halt over alleged ‘unfair treatment by supervisors’. This was confirmed by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) on Monday.
The 42 stenographers said they had to vacate their office to make way for a new supervisor. The Justice Department says it is totally unaware of the problems at the law court.
http://www.iol.co.za/business/business-news/high-court-staff-threaten-strike-1.1127209

Threats to black out the country after rejection of Eskom state-electricity utility 7% increase offer
Threats of a countrywide electricity network-strike were issued by the ruling ANC-alligned National Union of Metalworkers of SA  after they refused to sign a 7% wage increase deal with Eskom. The union wants 13%. NUM threatened afterwards:  “if it comes to the push, we will not hesitate to mobilise our members for an industrial action”.  The State-utility is also engaged in similar wage-talks with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
http://www.fin24.com/Companies/Industrial/Numsa-rejects-Eskom-wage-offer-20110829 and http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=151947  and http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=5372

‘Underground robots must replace people for safety reasons:’ NUM
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it would rather robots replaced people than that miners died underground.  The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has created a niche area in robotics and one target area is mining safety.  The first demonstrator of the CSIR-funded mining safety platform will be ready this year. Read more at Business Day
http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=151955

Platinum producer agrees to employ only local tribal blacks at Bapong mine:
An undertaking by platinum producer Lonmin to employ only local black workers at its Marikana mine in Bapong “promotes xenophobia,” the NUM’s general secretary Frans Baleni claimed. The company agreed to employ 643 local black people only — after the tribal community of Bapo ba Mogale accused Lonmin mine of ‘neglecting its social responsibility to develop the area.’ Local residents mounted violent protests before the agreement was reached, demanding that they be given the jobs over foreign miners (many miners traditionally are still imported from Lesotho and Mozambique). More than 25% of all South African mines now are owned by blacks.
http://www.fin24.com/Companies/Mining/Lonmins-locals-only-deal-condemned-20110829 and http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=5371

Black nickel miners on strike near Machadodorp:
Some 2,000 black workers at African Rainbow Minerals’ Nkomati nickel mine near Machadodorp went on strike on Monday morning.
They demand that the black African miners receive identical wages to the white workers and also demand a boost in their shift-allowances.
http://www.iol.co.za/business/business-news/workers-strike-at-nkomati-mine-1.1127208

Another illegal gold- miner dies inside abandoned Aurora-mine shaft, Springs:
An illegal gold-miner, a ‘zama-zama’ was killed in a rockfall  while he was hacking gold-ore from one of the abandoned Grootvlei mine shafts in Springs.
The police said he was killed while hacking away at the rockface 100 metres underground, dangling from a rope.
Miningmx
http://www.miningmx.com/news/energy/Illegal-miner-dies-at-Grootvlei.htm

Metrorail employee stole R8m, keeps his job. Unknown if money was ever recovered…
The Transport Minister admitted in parliament that a black employee at the parastatal Metrorail employee was given a six-month ‘suspension from work sentence” by an INTERNAL HEARING for stealing R8million; and then got his job back. Parliament asked a review of his ‘too lenient sentence’ from his employer Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa). It’s not known why the man was not charged in a criminal court of law; it’s also not known whether the money was ever recovered.
http://www.timeslive.co.za/news/2011/08/30/metrorail-employee-stole-r8m-but-keeps-job

Homeless, unemployable, highly-skilled Boers are slowly starving in streets of Pretoria: http://www.censorbugbear.org/agriculture/famine/skilled-boers-denied-work-starve-in-sa-streets

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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