Garbage Not Collected in the Helderberg Due to Truck Strike

More trucks go up in flames


iol nws oct 6 cw Truck Strike 8084
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DESTROYED: Children watch as a gutted vehicle is moved from the corner of Symphony Way and Lansdowne Road. Picture: LEON LESTRADE
Cape Town - At least five trucks were torched across the Cape Peninsula and shots fired during one incident on Friday, with police on high alert to maintain law and order as authorities scrambled to keep pace with the attacks.
This was in spite of a second court order issued by a Joburg court in a bid to stop the extreme violence associated with the two-week truckers’ strike, which is said to be costing the transport sector more than R1 billion in revenue every week.
While the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) has denied involvement in the violence, they vowed yesterday to intensify the strike, calling on workers in the ports and rail sector to conduct a secondary strike, which could severely hit the country’s ports.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut said there had been attacks “all over the Peninsula” on Friday, with police officers deployed and on alert “to keep law and order”.
He confirmed that three trucks were torched in Philippi East, Nyanga and Gugulethu yesterday, and another stoned in Philippi East.
Three people, including a child, were injured in an attack at Borcherds Quarry yesterday.
“It was truck strike-related. The truck was stoned and then shots were fired. We are investigating who fired the shots,” Traut said.
Late yesterday afternoon a fifth truck was torched on the N2, blocking the Airport Approach Road.
Dozens of similar incidents have been reported across the country since the strike began.
On Friday, the Road Freight Association turned to the Johannesburg Labour Court in an attempt to halt the strike by four unions, including Satawu, the Transport and Allied Workers Union of SA, the Professional Transport and Allied Workers Union, and the Motor Transport Workers Union.
While the attempt was unsuccessful, an order was issued in respect of the first two unions, which Road Freight Association executive officer Magretia Brown-Engelbrecht said made it “tougher on the unions to continue with irregular strike action”.
The other two unions did not come to an agreement, and their matter was postponed.
Satawu spokesman Vincent Masoga confirmed they were planning to “intensify” the strike by calling for a secondary strike by their members in the ports and rail sector, to take place “some time next week”.
He did not know off-hand the number of members Satawu had in ports and railways, but said “we have lots of members there”.
The association said it had received no notice of a secondary strike, which would be “illegal and unprotected”.
Transnet said in response to queries that “our colleagues throughout are working as normal”.
Talks between the four unions, which represent about 20 000 workers in the transport industry, and employers deadlocked on Thursday after the union declined the latest three-year offer of a 10 percent increase in the first year, 8 percent in the second, and 9 percent in the third year.
Masoga said the offer did not meet their demand, and was no different from an earlier offer of 9 percent.
Brown-Engelbrecht said the union’s failure to sign the agreement was “a breach of trust, and threatens the institution of collective bargaining”.
Masoga said the union hoped the two parties would meet again, but they would strike indefinitely until their demands were met.
The Road Freight Association said the strike was costing workers around R270 million in wages, and the industry R1.2bn in turnover every week.
The strike is also starting to harm deliveries of fuel, food and goods, with some petrol stations in Johannesburg and Durban, in particular, running dry.
Shell said yesterday it had declared force majeure – a contract clause that frees both parties from liability if they cannot honour a contract to deliver fuel.
Meanwhile, SA retailers have reported mixed fortunes.
Pick n Pay director Neal Quirk said there were some stock shortages as a result of the strike, particularly in poultry and fresh produce.
“We are monitoring the situation on an hourly basis,” he said.
Woolworths said it had had some absenteeism, but had contingency plans in place to keep shops open.
Shoprite spokeswoman Sarita van Wyk said it had also not experienced “significant” shortages as a result of the strike.
Speaking yesterday during a SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry event, President Jacob Zuma said the strikes had impacted heavily on SA’s transport and mining industries.
“We should not seek to portray ourselves as a nation that is perpetually fighting. We must create a climate of constructive social dialogue, which South Africans are known for,” he urged.
The City of Cape Town said its waste removal contractor Waste Smart was also participating in the strike, and did not collect rubbish as scheduled on Friday.
It should, however, be collected by the end of today, so residents of Fish Hoek, Philippi, Delft, Somerset West, Gordons Bay, Strand and Melkbosstrand should leave their bins outside. - Weekend Argus

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