Lonmin: No work until pay hike demands are met!
Lonmin has given the miners a deadline of Monday to return to work after a four-week wildcat strike that saw 44 people lose their lives.
“When the employer is prepared to make an offer on the table, we shall make ourselves available,” said Joseph Mathunjwa, president at the militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).
Meanwhile, only 2% of shift workers reported to their posts. Miners have said they have been threatened by striking miners with death if they go back into the shafts. Lonmin, National Union of Mineworkers and other unions signed a peace accord on Thursday to open up a path to a settlement, despite AMCU’s holding out.
DRC POLITICIAN LOOKING FOR ASYLUM IN SA EMBASSY
An opposition politician in the Democratic Republic of Congo is hoping the South African government will grant him asylum. According to reports, Roger Lumbala, a Congolese MP and former rebel, is trying to win asylum at the South African embassy in Bujumbura, the Burundian capital, and had evaded arrest by Burundian security forces.
Lumbala is wanted by the government of the DRC on treason charges. He has been accused of helping Rwanda support a rebellion in Eastern Congo. Reuters reports that Lambert Mende, a spokesman for the Congolese government, said negotiations were underway to try to get Lumbala transferred to Kinshasa, but there had been no response yet from South Africa.
FRACKING MORATORIUM LIFTED
Collins Chabane, minister in the presidency, has announced that South Africa has lifted a moratorium on shale gas exploration in the Karoo region. Cabinet imposed a moratorium in April last year.
“When the results of the study came back, they recommended that it was clearly safe for us to have that programme of exploration of shale gas,” Chabane told reporters. The lifting of the moratorium could benefit Royal Dutch Shell, Falcon Oil & Gas and Anglo American, the Eurasia political risk consultancy said this year, calling it “a game changer” for South Africa’s economy.
Shell said last year it hoped to invest $200 million to explore for shale gas in the Karoo and the company welcomed the government’s decision.
METRORAIL CHALLENGES DA TO TAKE A TRAIN RIDE
Metrorail has throw down the gauntlet to the Democratic Alliance’s Ian Ollis to take a tour of the central line in Cape Town to witness first-hand “the seriousness of the challenge posed by encroachment of settlements on the rail reserve and how these translate to safety challenges”.
Metrorail’s challenge comes after Ollis said Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa CEO Lucky Montana should in part be held responsible for the deaths of two pregnant women, killed at Kuils River station.
“Under his tenure, PRASA has stopped replacing and repairing train fences and walls, since as Mr Montana claims, they are just torn down again by vandals,” Ollis said in a statement. Prasa Rail CEO Mosenngwa Mofi, has hit back, accusing Ollis of “trivialising” the matter. Metrorail said it continued to repair fences “at huge cost”.
CELE RALLYING TROOPS TO DEFEAT ZUMA
The Sunday Times said Cele had become the man on the ground for anti-Zuma factions in the president’s stronghold of KwaZulu-Natal, and reported that he’d met with deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe and arts minister Paul Mashatile.
Cele was previously chair of the eThekwini region, and has strong contacts in the area. The Sunday Independent reported that Cele had attended a meeting in Sandton on Wednesday with various anti-Zuma formations, which Cele denies.
According to the paper, Cele, Tokyo Sexwale and other ANC leaders were identified in an intelligence document as plotting to overthrow Zuma at the Mangaung conference.
NO MONEY FOR MUGABE’S ‘WAR CHEST’
Tendai Biti, Zimbabwe’s finance minister, will be meeting with the South African government in the next two weeks hoping to secure a loan of $100 million (R827 million at the current exchange rate).
Ian Davidson, the DA’s shadow minister of international relations and co-operation, said he has written to finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, “urging him to ensure that any loan funding granted to Zimbabwe is strictly conditional on adherence to the roadmap for peaceful political transition”.
“Without the appropriate conditions attached to a loan, funding from South Africa could go to Mugabe’s war chest,” Davidson said in a statement. “The money is then more likely to be used for political campaigning and bulking up Mugabe’s militia than for any tangible benefit to the Zimbabwean people.”
RELEASE LAND FOR HOUSING, PUBLIC WORKS TOLD
The DA has accused the department of public works of delaying the construction of 160,00 RDP houses in the Western Cape by delaying the release of state land.
“Over 570,000 square metres of land has been identified by the Western Cape Provincial Department of Human Settlements to develop housing. Up to 160,000 RDP houses can be accommodated on this land.
Planning and construction can, however, not commence until the land has been released by minister (Thulas) Nxesi,” said Stevens Mokgalapa. He said while land can be identified by the relevant provincial departments, “the release and acquisition of the land for development must be approved by the national department public works.
WOOLWORTHS DEFENDS EMPLOYMENT EQUITY POSITION
Retailer Woolworths has come out in defence of its labour policies, to the extent of issuing a statement to its account holders via email on Friday.
CEO Ian Moir said “rumours apparently were sparked by some of our recruitment ads that designate certain posts for certain groups, and are being fuelled by an organisation that has called on its members to boycott us”.
Moir said the company does employ white people but “some areas of our business where certain groups are seriously under-represented. These are the positions where we actively look for qualified candidates from specific groups”.
The Black Management Forum has praised the company for its stance. But Labour union Solidarity will continue its campaign to boycott the retail group over advertisements the union claim are racist towards white job seekers.