Largest strike to hit SA

2012-03-05 07:45

Cape Town – Cosatu says there will be a total of 32 marches on Wednesday as part of the national strike action by the trade union federation.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said the two largest strikes will be in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

“The other strikes will be just as important; these are simply the two biggest ones.”

Cosatu is striking agains the contionued use of labour brokers and the pending implementation of tolls on Gauteng highways.

“It’s not too late. We can still call off the strike,” Craven told Beeld yesterday.

“If the governement comes out today and tells us it's banning labour brokers and scrapping the etoll system, we’ll call off the strike.”

Cosatu Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich told the media yesterday that he expects around 30 000 people to march to parliament on Wednesday.

“Cosatu strikes that are by Cosatu alone, generally attract around 20 000 people. Along with the other parties, we expect a bigger turnup on Wednesday.”

Some of the organisations supporting Cosatu include the Black Sash, the TAC and PASSOP.

Ehrenreich confirmed that union-affiliated teachers will also strike.

“Kids and students are also welcome to march with. The matters we’re striking about also impact on the children,” Ehrenreich said.

Economist Mike Schüssler said yesterday he estimates a massive strike like the currently planned one could cost the economy up to R8.2bn.

“At present any strike would cost SA economy R8.2bn if everything closed down, as that is the value we add ever yday. As we do not close everything - eg hospitals, petrol and at least some shops will be open - the cost is likely to be a lot less. 

"The problem is that the toll fees they are striking against also adds costs. Those costs also increase the cost of doing business and that hurts wealth creation and jobs too. We are in a double whammy.”


  • Comrade - 2012-03-05 08:12

    I NEVER SUPPORT COSATU .... BUT NOW I DO !!! .... W E L L ... D O N E ... C O S A T U

      Andres - 2012-03-05 10:34

      I support COSATU in part. However, involving SADTU (Teachers) and telling learners that they're welcome to join? NEVER! That completely ruins the call for civil-disobedience against e-Tolling. Leave the educators and learners alone. They can strike when they're over 18 (an adult and therefore able to make their own decisions).

      wynand.meyering - 2012-03-05 12:32

      98 thumbs up vs. 30 - is COSATU manipulating Internet comments now? South Africa's own Chinese 50 cent party. Google 50 cent party

  • lindz.kok - 2012-03-05 08:21

    at last something worth while striking for, not just another cripeling show of ignorance, good on you cosatu im behind you on this one.

  • Piet - 2012-03-05 08:34

    As much as I am going to hate paying for the tolls, I do not want to get into your political game next week when you claim thousands marched against labour brokers.

  • Clive - 2012-03-05 08:49

    Either the tolls must go, or the fuel levy must be dropped, but to ban labour brokers is courting more unemployment, so on balance I cannot support this action, which will no doubt cause violence and intimidation in some towns. Also, asking schoolchildren and students to march is the last thing we need, given tha days already lost due to SADTU's intransigence and unprofessionalism.

  • Ian - 2012-03-05 08:57

    amazing, using a commie pom as there spokesperson, what a joke

  • Gerald - 2012-03-05 09:08

    Mr Ehrenreich, I hope your kids join you on that strike...I know mine won't...when will gov make teaching an essential service?

      daniel.strydom2 - 2012-03-06 09:08

      I concur with you on this Gerald. I am not big on politics but the little i know tells me that there is something wrong with this strike. How can we invite scholars and teachers to participate . This will add to the little they learn at schools already. Remember Allan Boesak , when he told people and schools to strike , while his kids were schooled outside the boarders of South Africa , and our brothers and sisters got killed and maimed. Is this also the case with your children and grand children

  • Hugh - 2012-03-05 09:43

    Time us whities showed face for a cause like this. We dont have it in our upbringing, but it seems its the only thing this government listens to. I'm in, Vavi, tea and cookies on Wednesday please.

      Clive - 2012-03-05 12:12

      So you want labour broking banned? If there are brokers who are doing things contrary to the law (such as the so-called "bakkie brigade", who are not registered to do this work), then there is sufficient legislation to take care of this. All it needs is for the Labour Dept to do its job properly, which they're clearly not up to, and prosecute offenders. Of course it's also likely that there are some labour inspectors who will turn a blind eye for a few bucks.

      Hugh - 2012-03-05 13:10

      Clive, Labour broking isn't recruitment agencies. Labour brokers provide no rights to labourers, they are the first to be laid off and they have no job security. You support that? Don't give me the crap that with out them they wouldn't be employed, because its not true. The people that use them, do so for the easy way out to mass layoffs. Not fair labour practice. Anyway my strife is with SANRAL, and anything the ANC has to offer.

      roberta.keeling - 2012-03-05 13:31

      The only reason why Cosatu wants labour brokers banned is because they have no control over the workers, and do not receive subscriptions from them. Before Hugh makes comments as he has done, why doesn't he consult the people that earn some income through labour brokers. Without those jobs there will be more employment, or do you really think Cosatu would find them work at the drop of a hat?

      Hugh - 2012-03-05 15:29

      @Roberta, sadly I do know plenty about labour brokers and the conditions they work under, too little space to dictate the pro's and cons, but the simple fact is that if a company needs full time staff, without the responsibility of their welfare, labour broking is the way to go. Many labour intensive employees use them but want a back door when things go wrong. No security; no pension; no insurance. That's the brokers responsibility, not the company using them. Anyway as I mentioned before, I dont care one way or the other about labour broking or the unions issues with it. My gripe is the tolls and if you want to debate that, I'm open to criticism regarding my stand against them.

  • Bishar - 2012-03-05 09:58

    i think cosat should be responsible for the action of their members.there is this habbit of destruction of properties.

  • Dean - 2012-03-05 10:12

    i dont ususally support striking actions, but striking against the (rip off) e-tolling system gets my vote! GO!

  • Hugh - 2012-03-05 10:25

    To those who want to sit back and just accept the new Tolls is an attitude of resigned acceptance, consider this.. “We need to know who benefits from these contracts and why such an exorbitant toll collection contract was signed with an overseas country,” provincial caucus leader Jack Bloom said yesterday. “It is hugely suspicious that half of the black economic empowerment stake in the Electronic Tolls Collection (ETC) consortium was sold for R60m shortly after the tender was awarded. Was there a pay-off of some kind?” he asked, adding that Vienna-based Kapsch TrafficCom now has 85% ownership of ETC. In essence, we will be paying and international company to use our own roads. Nice.

      bheki.dingiswayo - 2012-03-05 14:26

      I wonder where was President Malema when the were busy privatising our national roads. It is strange that some well educated economist think that this e-tolling will only affect the rich- this is not true. Guateng is the economic hub of this country and I understand that agricultural produce are distributed from JHB to other province who will carry the increased cost of transport -is it the rich or everybody in SA?

  • heinrich.crouse - 2012-03-05 11:06

    Help me out here. Do work seekers not go to labour brokers in order to secure employment? Surely labour brokers would die a natural death if COSATU could convince the unemployed to just not use them? And how on earth are the two issues related? Methinks it's a rather clumsy gambit to garner support for their labour broker issue by using the much greater antipathy to the toll issue on which to piggyback.

      David - 2012-03-05 12:13

      Labour brokers supply a lot of temporary/contract labour. Cosatu's stance on labour broking has nothing to do with employment or these workers' rights. It is all about these workers not being unionised. Temporary labour is crucial in many industries - some would not be viable if not able to employ on an "as needed" basis. Cosatu does not care that many businesses would be forced to close.

      Jasenta - 2012-03-05 13:15

      yes we go to labour broker because the companies employ via brokers and not the other way, e.g I've been working for Vodacom for the past 5 years under a broker and they are not employing straight.

  • Musa - 2012-03-05 11:25

    As much as we think think labour brokers are bad, truth is the government or any other organization simply does not have capacity and the capability to manage job placement. What will happen when we have paid off the sanral's debt? are they gonna stop the e-toll? where will the access money go?

  • Palesa - 2012-03-05 11:57

    Phantsi ngo mzabalazo and arrogance ka Sbu Ndebele phantsi!!! Forward nge COSATU forward!!! We did not vote to be treated little kids. Who does Sbu think he is to say if we are not happy we should use alternative means. When does the govt. of the people for the people get recognised? When it is convenient? The govt. gets money from the renewal of vehicle disks every year and this money goes up regardless of the fact that the vehicle is depreciating, they collect money from fines, they collect money from petrol levy, we pay tax, the list goes on. Yet to improve the infrasture the public also have to pay. Go pawn the e-toll structures before they become skeletons and get vandalised. That way you can get better value for money and repay the messy debt thay you and your big fat cats made. How you recover the balance you will make other plans to pick pocket us like you always do.

      stalin.rudolf - 2012-03-05 12:54

      palesa for president, i give you thumbs, you absolutely spot-on! there is absolutely no democracy the way these politicians are operating.

  • Deon - 2012-03-05 12:06

    Like the ANC that hates opposition, Cosatu follows trend.

  • John - 2012-03-05 12:08

    How can anyone support this strike. 1. They encouraging teachers to strike. This must be about the 3rd time in as many weeks that we've read about teachers striking 2. How can you encourage juveniles to strike. This is a political move and the kids do not know or understand the full consequences of their actions or of the strike. 3. Anyone who supports this strike has a very short memory, or is ignorant. Every time the unions call for mass action we end up damage to property, trashing of the streets and absolute hooliganism. The unions NEVER have control of their members and are not prepared to accept respectability for the damages.

      Dale - 2012-03-06 14:03

      John you have some very valid points there and they are all things to be taken into consideration about this whole situation. The thing is what would be your way of preventing this E-tolling thing from happening. This will affect the costs to use highways, the food prices will once again go up because of the fact that most of our foodstuffs are transported on the road and not on railway because that hasnt been utilized like it should. This goes along with the increasing of the petrol price on a monthly basis which in my opinion is the biggest money making scandal the SA government has got going on. Yes i agree with everything you say but how else do us as South Africans prevent the e-tolling system?

  • Zelda - 2012-03-05 12:10

    Definate support Cosatu on this issue - I persoannly know of individuals who earn R900 pm where the broker is receiving R3200

      David - 2012-03-05 12:39

      Yes, that does happen, and must be dealt with. But an outright ban on the industry will have dire consequences for many businesses, as well as those employed by the brokers. It not not simply a case that the industry can absorb the people employed by the brokers

      Clive - 2012-03-05 20:54

      I have my doubts as to whether that's entirely factual, but if it is, or is even close to the truth, then I agree it is disgusting and it only gives Cosatu ammunition.

  • nokwanda.ramncwana - 2012-03-05 13:14

    Viva Cosatu Viva

  • Christopher - 2012-03-05 13:23

    Time for the Tax Payer to strike! Dont pay tax for a month it will cripple the country so that we show who actually runs this country of ours.Screw the ANC government!

  • roberta.keeling - 2012-03-05 13:26

    At least it should be quieter on the roads!

      Nicole du Plessis - 2012-03-06 17:35

      That coming from someone who proberbly uses his own transport to get to work and back home again! Unlike us that has to rely on public transport! Think before you comment on something!!!!!!!!

  • igsaan.salie - 2012-03-05 13:52


  • Winsome - 2012-03-05 15:27

    Judging from past marches - there will be property damage and wanton destruction - hope both CT & JHB are ready for that.

  • Leonie - 2012-03-05 15:34

    Im in......we should do something about this money stealing goverment

  • Carol - 2012-03-05 17:03

    I don't normally stand by COSATU but I will stand by them with regard to the E-Tolling System. The whole of SA should down tools and join in. The only ones working that day should be the idiots in Government, but then, do they ever work?? They are too busy finding ways to steal money from us.

  • jason.joao - 2012-03-05 20:16

    I'm behind this one 100% and I wish the private sector would back them for this day.

  • Lesley - 2012-03-05 20:34

    Amazing that workers can afford to lose a day's pay but they do not seem to realise that the unions still get paid for the day. I cannot afford to lose a day's pay.

  • Thabo - 2012-03-05 20:57

    Cosatu show them! This is exactly what the government should get for being arrogant and stubborn!

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