DA wants laws changed after Lonmin

2012-08-23 16:27

Cape Town - The DA on Thursday proposed a slew of policy and legislative reforms to guard against more Marikana-type violence.

At a press briefing in Parliament, MPs Diane Kohler-Barnard, Sej Motau and James Lorimer said reform required urgent government action.

"To put an end to violent protests, we have to find the political will to adopt some of the proposed amendments to the Labour Relations Act currently before Parliament and consider further interventions to even out the playing field in terms of labour representations," Motau said.

This included amending section 64 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) to enable unionised workers to vote (by secret ballot) to approve a strike, before a union can go ahead with industrial action.

Motau called on the government to put an end to the Congress of SA Trade Unions's (Cosatu) monopoly on labour bargaining.

"It is time for the labour minister to shake the yoke of a labour dispensation dictated by Cosatu. The labour landscape is changing and the labour regime should remain relevant for present day realities," Motau said.

Kohler-Barnard blamed the militarisation of the police for the loss of life at Marikana.

"The military is there to combat the enemy. The militarisation of the police service has led to the police starting to behave like the military."

She said a lack of police training was also a contributing factor. This needed to be fixed urgently due to the growing number of protests across the country, and the complex nature of the demonstrations.

"The SAPS must interrogate the myriad challenges created by increased crowd violence in South Africa and work to create a new balance to public order policing," she said.

Lorimer called for a structural shift in the mining industry.

"Firstly, the government must recognise its culpability in creating a level of policy uncertainty that discourages investment, undermines profitability and ultimately erodes the capacity of the mining industry to create and sustain decent work."

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  • BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-23 16:56

    Sorry, amongst all that garbage, have any of you 'decision makers' ever thought of banning weapons at strikes and public demonstrations? Is that just too logical? And, if any weapon of any kind is seen then the person carrying such weapon is arrested immediately. Stop the yada yada and get down to practical safety to save lives.

      J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-23 17:28

      There are already laws against that

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-08-23 18:52

      @J.Stephen.Whitely - and there's the problem. We have so many laws, rules, regs, processes, procedures, policies, guidelines, memorandums of agreement. None of them work. Adding more bureaucracy to try and solve societal dysfunction is just more of the same. The definition of insanity etc. Some radical education, application and implementation is long overdue

      salee.sithwell - 2012-08-24 00:11

      Some radical education, application and implementation is long overdue - the laws work. People don't.

  • colin.dovey - 2012-08-23 17:42

    There is a helluva lot more that the mining industry can do about the amenities that are provided for the people that work there. It starts with housing, then schooling, sports facilities, productivity bonuses, company shares, hospitals, skills training and apprenticeships, bursaries. THEN you will have a loyal and productive work force. I get the impression that Lonmin, and others, whilst they may be investing in production facilities, seem have dropped the ball when dealing with OUR PEOPLE in SA. Just in case anybody thinks I am talking through my hat - I have many years of on-hands experience in this industry - which USED to pride itself as regards SAFETY....what has happened? Does anybody know what they are doing in the Marikana area?

      martin.melzer.988 - 2012-08-23 18:25

      What the mines could or couldn't do for their employees is a completely separate issue. No doubt the Government could also do a hell of a lot more for "their people" if they really gave a rats ass. All that doesn't justify murder of policemen and public violence.

      colin.dovey - 2012-08-23 18:52

      The difference is that this so-called "Government" does NOT care about the people they "represent" in Parliament - they are lining their pockets at OUR expense

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-08-23 18:19

    Did the DA see the weapons the strikers brought to the fight, and did they take note of the electronic warfare of unnoticability instilled by the muti man/men? And the fact that two policemen and two security guards had been killed beforehand plus six others. All gruesome and probably without legal consequances for the perpetrators.

  • james.otter.10 - 2012-08-23 18:58

    When several hundred people congregate with some sort of grievance real or imagined with weapons in hand, it becomes a mob and the mob mentality overcomes individual reason, particularly if the mob is well juiced. It is very difficult to deal with this kind of gathering, because its collective mentality becomes irrational and normally sane individuals can become collectively and dangerously insane. As an observer I see various stakeholders looking to blame someone or divert attention from the situation I have described for reasons of self-interest. Mr Zuma is sending out a stern warning to the mineowners concerning housing and living conditions provided, since he wants the mob's individual votes. Others are blaming the police for using live ammunition instead of rubber bullets. JUJU is blaming Mr Zuma and the Minister. One union is blaming the other and vice-versa. Misinformation abounds that the miners are receiving only R4000 per month when in fact they are receiving R11000 per month before deduction of tax and union dues. Put bluntly these unfortunate people are acting unofficially in a wildcat strike and can quickly turn into a violent mob. A way of dealing with this is to prevent the mob forming. However, this goes against the concept of freedom of association and the constitution. It is, however, still necessary to understand that the mob is dangerous and is the focus of the current problem rather than welfare issues that should be addressed in a different forum.

  • wehan.victor - 2012-08-23 19:09

    The DA should have stayed out of this one.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-08-23 19:35

      It is sickening to probably all of us (ex?) DA supporters. The FF+? One of the Mulders was shown on TV also criticizing the police. They were not correctly trained, blah blah blah. As if training could've protected the thin blue line against a co-ordinated attack of so-called warriors with the kind of (new?) weapons we saw they had and the confidence they derived from thinking would be invisible to the police. The facts are there and verifiable. Some of those wounded were interviewed in hospital and they confirmed how they thought the muti would protect them. Worse, when some were afterwards asked if they were rethinking the power of the muti they said the number of deaths would have been higher was it not for the muti man. Yet the politicians side against the police? Sies, julle klomp gemors!

  • visko.vandermerwe - 2012-08-23 23:35

    Every time when there's an incident, then they make another law. The law-books are bursting at the seams, while they just don't have the police to enforce all their babble. The government can't keep on making laws without police to enforce their scriptures. It's becoming harder and harder to respect the 10000000 commandments.

  • rvbrink - 2012-08-24 08:02

    And where do you lock up all these people?? Our jails are already bursting at the seams.

  • luca.delbianco.3 - 2012-08-24 09:21

    The average striker in an average country does not carry any type of weapon.Unions should be reformed. Cheers.

  • sandi.scholtz - 2012-08-24 11:40

    After reading this I have decided that voting for any party in SA will be a waste of time - I cannot seem to understand how the Police acted incorrectly in this situation - People who come armed with Panga's knobkirries and hidden weapons do not come to negotiate - they come looking for a fight, and when the police after being shot at first (see all the camera footage) they acted correctly - Everyone seems to have forgotten that a week before two policemen were killed by these miners - two security guards were forced into a vehicle which was set alight and burnt to death - where is the justice in this - no half mast flags, no Jacob Zuma or Julias Malema saying that they were saddened by this or that the miners were wrong. All it says is the Police cannot defend themselves anymore, The honest hardworking tax paying individual may not defend him or herself and that criminals have more rights than the honest person (no matter what the race or religion is). Human rights - it seems like it has become a Criminal rights not a human right. It's time the politicians get off this diplomatic stage they stand on, and start to speak a language that everyone understands...South Africa as in most other African countries has lost the true leader - its all come down to power and corruption and loss of leadership...Time for a change...a zero tolerence policy

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