Return to work now, Zuma tells strikers

2012-10-17 16:11

Pretoria - Workers engaged in rampant wildcat unprotected strikes across the country should return to work immediately, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.

Emerging from a meeting with representatives of government, business and civic society at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Zuma said the parties had agreed that spontaneous acts of intimidation and violence were affecting the economy.

"We call on workers who are engaged in unprotected strikes to return to work as soon as possible, and for production in the mining industry to normalise," he said.

"We agreed that violence and intimidation must come to an end. These have no role in our system and simply have a negative effect," said Zuma.

He said the Constitutionally enshrined right to protest must be exercised peacefully.

"We will not compromise on this. The parties fully support all lawful action by the justice, crime prevention and security cluster to stabilise communities and normalise daily lives across all communities," he said.

The frustrations and challenges of workers had been taken note of, said Zuma. He said legitimate grievances would be addressed.

Wednesday's meeting was a follow-up, following the initial summit held on Friday. The meetings are aimed at discussing problems facing the South African economy.

The closed-door meeting was attended by several government and other officials, including Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, and Joseph Mathunjwa, president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

The summit coincides with the annual International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

The day, officially recognised by the United Nations, is aimed at raising awareness of the need to eradicate poverty across the world.

A statement on the presidency's website said the conference would discuss problems bedevilling South Africa emanating from slowing global economic growth, the industrial relations environment in the country, and the need to speed up the fight against poverty, inequality, and unemployment.

  • matshobana.siziba - 2012-10-17 16:15

    Only sees this now

      KennySven - 2012-10-17 17:11


  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-10-17 16:16

    The Boss speaks….at last and about itme too.

      dewalds3 - 2012-10-17 16:24

      Yes, the Boss speaks from his R300M (and counting)private palace. Why should they listen to him?

      mark.schulz.796 - 2012-10-17 16:37

      He got drunk and put on BJ Vorster's old fedora that was lying around De Tuynhuys's store rooms and did a bit of 'cosplay' with his latest wife. The opportunistic media is just latching onto these words out of context, since we know Msholozi would never seriously tell his people to go back to work in such an unAfrican manner befitting only former dictators and people who want to see the economy improve!

      junaid.vanderwalt - 2012-10-17 16:38

      Shower head must practice what he preaches, give them some money too!

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-17 16:51

      The striking workers and dependents lost millions, no X mas presents this year.

      phillip.phogole - 2012-10-17 16:51

      Zuma is stupid

      desertratbkf - 2012-10-17 17:04

      WHOS's, boss????

  • louis.postma - 2012-10-17 16:17

    thanks zuma

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-10-17 16:19

    Hahahahaha....FATBOY...told you to say this....and MAGABS is backing him....why ONLY NOW...ZUUM ZOOM?

  • Erna - 2012-10-17 16:19

    I can just hear the strikers saying - 'yes boss, sure boss, three bags full boss' and quietly, note quietly, go back to work - not.

  • tumisang.kolobe - 2012-10-17 16:19

    Who listens to Zuma?.....He is been on strike for the past 3 years....He must go and work for once

  • lydonmcg - 2012-10-17 16:20

    Oh wow. Finally stating the obvious. What...two months too late?

  • ross.macdonald.311 - 2012-10-17 16:21

    "We agreed that violence and intimidation must come to an end. These have no role in our system and simply have a negative effect," said Zuma. But corruption and theft is OK as long as you are all right JACK, so why should anyone listen to you.

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-17 16:22

    Thank you. To stop poverty you must earn money, to earn money you need to pitch up for work. Protect those that want to work and discipline those that breaks the law.

  • khathu.rasi - 2012-10-17 16:23

    Lol it sounds funny from the President. LOL IS he tired or myb He is not geting sum more cash from the mine to build Nkandla? Lol

  • gniemandt - 2012-10-17 16:24

    Our stores are empty, my parents have to drive from petrol station to petrol station to put petrol in their car. Scared they might run out of petrol. How is this a functioning country?

  • gaius.longinus.9 - 2012-10-17 16:27 very own prezzie has opened his own mouth for a change .....hahahahahahahaha

  • miyelani.patience - 2012-10-17 16:31

    Ok boss we must work for your wifes while they enjoy our taxes @ nkandla? Dont u have enough to add 1 more wife.

  • native.rsa - 2012-10-17 16:35

    Zuma Nationalise reduce wage gaps between employees and you shall here no more of these strikes

  • hjkavdkah - 2012-10-17 16:37

    YOU heard your PRESIDENT - Go back to work bhahbahbahbahbahahahbahbhb

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-10-17 16:39

    You can't say that from where you standing Zuma you have to physically go and tell them!!!

  • peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-10-17 16:41

    Welcome JZ only took a few months you almost missed the whole thing!!

  • braamc - 2012-10-17 16:41

    Applied your mind? Did you read this off a script?

  • Jakkals Venter - 2012-10-17 16:42

    It is about time u speak Mr President!

  • butch.poulter - 2012-10-17 16:43

    And if thay dont go back?????? You gonna set our police force on them and critisize them when they try inforce the law. Surely you jest.

  • derk.woldendorp - 2012-10-17 16:46

    Zoomhead when are you going back to work?

  • pieriewaaier.zooms - 2012-10-17 16:46

    At long last he opens his mouth and says something!! Wow! We are relieved! It took him a month to make up his mind and to get his speech writers to put it to paper and then to practise it until he was ready to say something. We are ever so grateful! - Sigh!...sigh....sigh!

  • phillip.phogole - 2012-10-17 16:48

    Zuma is mad Miners must carry on with theirs strike untill they get what they want

  • Sedeshan Naidoo - 2012-10-17 16:51

    speaking now because the strikes are finally having an impact on your money Zuma?

  • Brad - 2012-10-17 16:53

    The Nkosi of Mzansi has spoken. Will the peasants listen? Doubtful. They are laughing at his invisible clothes.

  • shawn.swiegers - 2012-10-17 16:54

    Thank you Mr President. It might have been useful about a billion Rand ago before we lost that to non production. It is further nice to see that you care enough about your alliance with the trade unions to tell their renegade members to get back in-line before the workers realise they dont need the trade unions or you.

  • david.lebethe - 2012-10-17 16:54

    I wonder who were unions representing? Mineworkers have made it clear that they no longer want unions to negotiate on their behalf and are resigning from NUM en mass. Amcu's members are since back at work and are contend with the outcome of wage negotiations. In the light of the above, it is clear that Mathunjwa didn't have mineworkers' mandate. It wouldn't be legally soun also for Zuma to consult Amcu on Marikana when there is a judicial commission looking into the very issues they consulted about. It would also be wrong to declare that consultation was with unions/labour when there are host of other unions/federations, whose members/affiliates are neither members of Amcu or Cosatu.

  • Sedeshan Naidoo - 2012-10-17 16:54

    all jokes aside - 90% of the impoverished workers engaged in strikes across the country will never get Zuma's useless message because they do not read or own tv's/ radio's

      mammudi.makgaleng.3 - 2012-10-17 19:10

      Its said really. Working hard but can't even afford to get yourself a simple radio.

  • Paul Mphap - 2012-10-17 16:55

    thats all what the president can say!hahaha...zuma is a circus man, jerrrrr! he must listen to a debate between Obama & Romney!

  • jim.binnie.1 - 2012-10-17 16:56

    Is this a joke or what?? Let us see who (if anyone) will listen to our "president"

  • jola.jose.7 - 2012-10-17 16:57

    Why don't you give the 240 000 000 that you stole from the country and will be peace

  • desertratbkf - 2012-10-17 16:59

    "Go to wek now!" Says the headline. Showerheads words are, "as soon as possible!" HOW LONG IS "AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!" Illiterate, thieving, rapist!

  • sphala - 2012-10-17 17:05

    Hahahahahahahahah...Strikes across the country should return to work immediately lol, just like that, Mr President ao just like that, really you don't deserve second term serious, talking without action is a cipher. Wa bhora Zuma straight mxm.

  • Benny Moitshepi Segeri - 2012-10-17 17:18

    yoh by this stage u say strikers should return to work n u dont really knw y dey r in strike y dnt u go to dem n tell dem dat #pissed u r irresponsible

  • Sello PilaPila Mabebo - 2012-10-17 17:26

    If Pres JZ says mine workers must go back to work i smile, hope we will got better demand.

  • john.dough.5836711 - 2012-10-17 17:30

    Dia baas het nou gepraat! Julle beter luister.

  • erick.mamba - 2012-10-17 17:52

    Really mr President,do you seriouly think these ppl will listen to yr stupid speech..These ppl are prepared to sink the economy if their demands are not meet..I dont condone the strikes but the Govt failed these ppl hence they've now taken matters to their own hands..The money spent on inkandla projects and your private house could hv been used to subsidise labour costs.. Mr president, You cudn't SAY NO to a salary increase whn issues such as the income inequaility,poverty,corruption, and unemployment continues to hamper our economy.. Yr TIME IS UP JZ

  • joshua.sematla - 2012-10-17 18:17

    Have they heard him? I doubt. Why can't he go and address the miners straight to their he scared? This thing should never have been president in the first place and we will regret it for the rest our lives

  • ogodiseng.seonya.3 - 2012-10-17 19:05


  • mammudi.makgaleng.3 - 2012-10-17 19:52

    Mr President says \the frustrations and challenges of workers had been noted and the legitimate grievances will be addressed\. My concern is why can't you document in black and white the steps you will follow to address the employee grievances? So that when they get back to work they will be knowing exactly what to expect from the leadership of this country. Be clear and concise with your people Zuma and that's when you will reap good results. Failure to do that will lead to another wildcat strike again if their expectations and demands are not met. Watch your tongue so that you don't suffer any surprises in future.

  • Fox Trixter - 2012-10-17 20:47

    Zuma is scared that mineworkers who are digging the 'basement' at nkandlaville will also strike!!! he has been quiet ever since, y now? mxm

  • sammyto.sammytoss - 2012-10-17 21:58

    U talk like a investor not like a leader. U are staying in a house that cost MILIONS with our tax. What about us who don't qualify to buy a house that cost R200 000 we can't evening buy a piece of land that is empty shame on u Mr president

  • david.diego.14 - 2012-10-18 05:56

    Agsh;Mangaung is around the corner will be the end of u JZ,the way Mbeki was kick out is the way u will be kick out u thief!!

  • derick.nel.16 - 2012-10-18 08:39

    Whats changed Mr.Zuma? All talk and no action. Just another way to try and look as if your concern is about the economy and all "inocent" South Africans! At the end of the day, the less you actualy do to physicaly stop all these economic busting strikes, the more votes you hope to get next year. Lets face it, all the ANC wants is peoples votes so they can continue to increace their own Rand asset wealth. Instead of educating the people, they give away free-bees, to buy votes, which will eventually bring this beautiful country and its people into complete povity (and bloodshed?) Our only hope is to vote in new leaders who have the people's well being formost in their brains and not self enrichment.

      klasie.kitshoff - 2012-10-18 11:34

      Agree, but how I see the strikes; its all being instigated by the gov. Cosatu and specifically NUM is part of the tripartite gov and Zuma is in charge. Do we expect them to turn their back on their own people? Is that why they hold meeting behind closed doors? Gov. is part and parcel of the strikes. Help me if i'm wrong

  • george.k.townsend - 2012-10-18 15:42

    I am pleased that so many black readers are not listening to his drivel any longer. The leaders have failed and the country is in anarchy. The last straw could be the hated E-toll. Vote him out he is a fat tick feeding off us.

  • zanemsomi - 2012-10-18 16:10

    I think dat the president is to far to say such things to workers, where are your ministers both national and provincia.It is so hard for people to listen to u because u are a big spender 2.

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