‘Cosatu threat concerning’

Cosatu's threats to disrupt the Nedbank Golf Challenge are cause for concern, Sun International said in a statement on Thursday.

“(This) could cause irreparable harm to the brand and good reputation of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, Sun City, the North West province and South Africa as a whole”, said spokesman Tamra Veley.

Nedbank Challenge winner for 2011 - Lee Westwood from England. Picture: Etienne Rothbart. Credit: Independent Newspapers

“We find it very sad that they would threaten to disrupt an event which is not only South Africa's largest televised event, but one which adds demonstrable economic value to both the North West province and also to South Africa.”

Veley said the golf challenge, which will run from November 29 to December 2, created 2000 temporary jobs, donated R1 million to the sports trust and R1m to the country's golf development.

Earlier, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said it would stage a protest if, by the end of the month, workers had not been paid money owed to them for overtime, public holidays and gratuities.

Cosatu provincial secretary Solly Phetoe, said the company had the funds to pay the workers.

“In the meeting (on Wednesday) it was discovered that, indeed, Sun City has the workers' money, but they are not willing to pay it to the workers and we do not know why,” Phetoe said.

He accused the company of undermining the country's laws, including “committing criminal activities by stealing from the poor workers”.

North West government spokesman Lesiba Kgwele said a memorandum handed to the premier on October 16 stated that outstanding fees owed to workers amounted to R26m.

Sun City officials, Cosatu, and the province's economic development and finance MECs held talks from Wednesday evening until the early hours on Thursday.

Sun International officials acknowledged that they owed money to the workers and said they were working with the unions to resolve the matter at a national level. - Sapa