As the nation we need to take stock on how far we have fared in establishing labour harmony in our country. The trade union movement under the dispensation of our democracy are free to engage and the right to strike and associate is protected and enshrined in the Constitution.
The scenes that have now characterised the labour disputes such as the events that took place in recent weeks in Tshwane by Samwu members must be condemned with the contempt they deserve.
Their right to strike must not infringe on other people’s right of their daily chores and movement.
The scenes that led to the fateful day on the massacre on the August 16, 2012, were characterised by violence which led to the death of 10 people among them police and security guards.
Trade unions have the responsibility to ensure that their members behave in a manner that is devoid of violence and anarchy.
The notion that the leadership of trade unions always use when they distance themselves and their members in any form of violence and anarchy must be condemned.
Actually, any form of violence and disruption must be put squarely at the door of those trade union leaders.
As we mourn Marikana, lets desist on any form of incitement and violent rhetoric.
I’m calling upon all the political parties’ leadership to use the commemoration to remind ourselves that we are a constitutional democracy that respects all the labour rights and prescripts.
They must not use this day to score cheap political point.
The families and widows of the deceased are still in pain they must assists those widows and families to heal and find closure.
Business has a responsibility to meet its obligation and create a harmonious relationship at the factory floor coupled by decent conditions of work including living wages. Their corporate social responsibility must be geared toward ensuring that workers live in decent homes and their children have access to quality health care and education.
We will bow our heads to those heroes who perished on that fateful day by recommitting and implementing the above.
* Mafika Siphiwe Mgcina, RTT co-ordinator ANC Sedibeng Region.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.