Cosatu “condems” iSithebe riots

Published Mar 10, 2016


Durban - Cosatu has expressed concern about job losses if companies quit iSithebe in the wake of the rioting which has destroyed millions of rands in property. In a press statement released in the aftermath of protesters burning, stoning and looting factories and setting trucks and trailers alight, provincial secretary of the trade union federation, Edwin Mkhize, said the closure of factories would leave many of the 20 000 people employed in the industrial area out of work, “subjecting them to extreme poverty”.

Since the start of the protests on Sunday night, in the town near Mandeni on the North Coast, business has ceased and schools have closed.

“Cosatu in the province condemns this in the strongest terms... The burning and destruction of properties and infrastructure ... if this is not stopped with immediate effect, it will have a long-term effect to workers, which may lead to some workers losing their employment,” said Mkhize.

He said some workers would not receive their wages this week because the factories have shut down.

Mkhize asked companies to bear with them as they attempt to resolve the problem.

“Since the outbreak of violent protests, Cosatu in KZN has been in contact with its local structure in the area of Mandeni. (We also want) to ensure that workers do not become casualties and victims of the circumstances.”

The South African National Civic Organisation has also voiced its concern over the riots.

The organisation’s spokesman Jabu Mahlangu said: “The destruction of factories and other properties is a serious drawback that will affect the local economy and jobs.”

He said there should be an engagement process to quell the violence. “Genuine service delivery issues need to be isolated and dealt with separately from the dissatisfaction with councillor nomination process and the traditional leadership dispute,” he said.

He said the nomination of councillors must be closely monitored to ensure that “wishes” of the community were not undermined.

Protesters have told the Daily News they were angry that an unpopular former councillor was seeking nomination for re-election.

Daily News

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