|The News Line: News
Friday, 19 October 2012
SA REVOLUTION WARNING
STRIKE leaders at Gold Fields KDC West operations in Carletonville, Northwest province, South Africa, said yesterday that their industrial action will not end until their wage demands are met.
They also said miners are ready to march to the Union Buildings, in Pretoria, next month.
At least 8,500 workers at the mine have been on strike since Sunday, while their colleagues at the mine’s Free State operations returned to work yesterday.
Strike committee leader Mametlwe Sebei spoke to the miners in the Free State and those from the North West’s AngloGold Ashanti Mine yesterday, to finalise plans for their march on 7th November.`
Sebei said communities from Gauteng and Rustenburg would join their strike in solidarity with their fight to earn more.
Meanwhile, the striking miners’ joint coordinating committee says the number of employees reporting for duty over the past three days is a result of weak leadership by strike leaders at their respective mines.
Three mines, including Gold Fields, AngloGold Ashanti and Village Main Reef, have all reported increased attendance figures, following a meeting with managements from the different mines earlier this week.
The return to work by thousands of employees has been largely welcomed by the mine owners and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
Sebei said the committee was aware of miners who suspended their strike at Gold Fields’ Free State operations yesterday.
He said although strikes had their ‘ups and downs’, workers reporting for duty was due to poor leadership practice.
The strike committee has vowed to intensify the industrial action, while NUM says it will continue to fight to bring it to an end.
The union has urged miners to go back to work and provide for their families.
Miners across South Africa have been demanding a basic monthly salary of R12,500.
Meanwhile the Cosatu general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, says revolution in South Africa is no longer a distant reality, as the country sits on a powder keg that is slowly approaching detonation.
He was delivering the annual Dullah Omar Human Rights Annual Lecture in Johannesburg on Wednesday night.
Vavi has decried deteriorating inequality, poverty and unemployment, which he says are in many respects worse than they were at the dawn of democracy in 1994.
He has warned the country’s rich against fooling themselves into believing that their reign is permanent.
‘The hammer blow of a revolution is no longer a distant reality. Those who today conveniently claim neutrality and sit on the fence whilst blatant injustice is being committed on the people, will not be spared from the wrath of the people.
‘When the poor decide to rise one day, the champions of neutrality will be reminded that neutrality is a best friend to oppression,’ says Vavi.
South Africans achieved a ‘political breakthrough’ in 1994, but failed to achieve a similar breakthrough in economic transformation 18-years on.
He also warned of the dangers of ‘rapidly forgetting’ the traditions created during the fight for democracy. ‘We are rapidly forgetting the traditions of our movement, which valued service to the people above any thought of personal advancement,’ said Vavi.
‘The squalid morality of the capitalists, based on me-first and survival of the fittest, is seeping even into our own revolutionary movement, dragging in its wake huge problems of factionalism and even assassination of opponents and whistle-blowers.’
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