28 January 2013

South Africa: Cosatu Statement On E-Tolls and Eskom's Electricity Increase Rejection

Photo: Saragoldsmith/Flickr
Power lines

The Congress of South Africa Trade Unions in Gauteng sends its revolutionary greetings and compliments to all members in the province, the residents and also the citizens of the republic.

2012 was one of the challenging years and 2013 will be of no exception, if worse than 2012.

2013 marks some very important milestone in the National Democratic Revolution and to our struggle, to end exploitation of man by another man.

The year, amongst others, marks the following milestones;

361 years since the formal occupation and arrival of Jan Van Riebeck

103 years since the formation of the Union of South Africa which created the colonialism of a special type-Apartheid

101 years since the formation of the ANC

100 years of the 1913 Land Act

100 years since the Indian Passive Movement in 1913

40 years since the 1973 Durban workers' strike

30 years since the formation of the UDF, and

20 years since the brutal and cowardly assassination of the SACP General Secretary, Cde Hani

On Bafana Bafana in AFCON

We welcomes the success registered by the team thus far and also congratulates them for having being able to proceed to the next round of the tournament, we are hosting as South Africa.

We in particular congratulate the fighting spirit of the team collectively and also contribution of many players such as Sangweni Siyabonga and Itumeleng Khune etc.

We are, however concerned with the lack of proper planning for the national team in general and by SAFA in particular.

We believe that it is time that the Minister of Sports must intervene, to ensure that the nation develop a clear 10-Year-Plan for the national squad.

We think the nation should pay a particular attention to developmental levels and also invest in schools sports in general.

And such must entail establishment of soccer clubs in the working class communities.

We think there are a number of professional players who may assist to coach and mentor many of young players in the schools and the townships.

We demand that SAFA and the Minister of Sports must develop a clear programme for development.

On Crisis in the Department of Health in Gauteng

COSATU has noted the developments in the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in general and the closure of the Nursing College as a result of the student nurses grievances.

COSATU Gauteng supports the grievances advanced by Chris Hani Nursing students.

We are currently working on a day to day programme to engage with the Student Representative Body, the Department of Health in particular and also the MEC of Health in Gauteng, to resolve the crisis.

We will shortly be convening a press briefing to announce processes moving forward.

On Eskom's Proposed Tariff Increase of 16%

COSATU in Gauteng is very disappointed that NERSA has once more demonstrated its out of touch with the realities amongst working class communities in general and workers in particular.

This is demonstrated with the holding of public hearing on venues which excludes majority of our people in the working class communities, who will be affected by these proposed increases.

We therefore appeal to NERSA to further convene these public hearings in Soweto, Eldorado, Orange Farm, Mamelodi, Soshanguve,Duduza, Thembisa, Daveyton, Vosloruus, Sharpeville, Sebokeng, Merafong, Kagiso etc.

We will not call these 'public hearings' as such until such time NERSA convenes them as we stipulate above.

We believe the NERSA decision finally will favour views expressed by people only in cities and thus demonstrating a bias to the elites.

We wish to indicate that NERSA's public hearings are just a smokescreen as they know that many communities will not listen to the proposed tariff increase.

COSATU in Gauteng will be rejection the proposed price increase as it will negatively affect workers in particular and the working class in general.

The proposed increase will exacerbate the high levels of unemployment, high levels of poverty and inequalities in South Africa.

The proposed tariff increase view is against new growth path and the National Development Plan and also ANC 2009 Election Manifesto on job creation path.

COSATU will be participation on NERSA' Public Hearings on the 30th -31st January 2013 at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand.

Our members and all progressive forces will be demonstrating in big numbers against the proposed increase.

We argue that these demonstrations will be the beginning of a massive campaign against ESKOM and NERSA.

On Labour Brokers

COSATU in Gauteng has noted that it will mark exactly 10 months since our almost massive demonstrations against labour brokers.

We argue that labour broking is a form of atypical employment which has increased casualization of workers in the country.

This amount to a form of slavery and which still happens 19 years since the dawn of democracy.

We have noted that Parliament has not effected any means to outlaw the system of labour broking.

COSATU will be continuing with massive demonstrations throughout the province starting from February 2013.

We will not accept anything less than banning of this slavery-practice.

On e-Tolls

COSATU in Gauteng has noted that e-tolls continue to be pushed by government. We have since called for its crapping as per the mandate of the 11th National Congress, Central Executive Committee, Provincial Executive Committee and other structures.

We will continue to occupy the highways and a massive demonstration will continue starting in February 2013.

E-tolls Campaign Dates are as follows:

11 February 2013

25 February 2013

07 March 2013

COSATU in Gauteng will be convening the Provincial ShopSteward Council on the 07th February 2013 in which the details of the actions will be presented for adoption and implementation.

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