Employees at South Point student accommodation picketed outside residences at 22 Barrack Street. Picture: Supplied
Employees at South Point student accommodation picketed outside residences at 22 Barrack Street. Picture: Supplied

Employees at South Point student accommodation forge ahead with protest action

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Sep 2, 2021

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Cape Town - Employees at South Point student accommodation in different cities, including Cape Town, continued with their protest as the South Point management said they were unable to meet all their demands.

This after the employees handed over a long list of demands regarding the problems they were allegedly experiencing.

Problems included a pay increase to R12 500 a month and the provision of changing rooms and decent canteens, training and development.

In Cape Town workers picketed outside the South Point residence at 22 Barrack Street. Shop steward Alex Ndzuzo said at least five residences housing students from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology were affected.

Ndzuzo said the residences were situated in Woodstock, Bellville, Barrack Street, Cape Town, Plein Street and Claremont.

“The main challenge we are facing is the outsourcing of services to Servest cleaning company in Cape Town,” said Ndzuzo.

EMPLOYEES at South Point student accommodation picketed outside the residence at 22 Barrack Street.

General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa (Giwusa) president Mametlwe Sebei said the workers also demanded to be paid their outstanding Covid-19 UIF temporary relief payments.

South Point management said Giwusa announced that it would embark on a strike action against them from yesterday.

“The timing of that announcement in light of the current economic climate could not be more unfortunate.”

They said the demands made by the union undermined the company’s current sustainability. The combined impact of the demands of the union would result in the lowest earning employees earning in excess of R20 000 a month, which was clearly unviable and not sustainable.

“The union’s minimum wage demand, which it says is only a living wage, is more than five times the national minimum wage, which is backed by research and was reached through a national dialogue taking more than three years.”

South Point said the union has not justified its rationale for its minimum wage. It said both parties signed a picketing agreement, which outlined mutually-agreed strike parameters that included strikers would only picket at designated South Point offices around the country and refrain from intimidating South Point’s staff, tenants (residential, commercial and retail), clients and suppliers.

“Despite these challenges, South Point has been and is still open to engage, (and it) remains committed to finding a fast and fair resolution,” South Point management said.

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