Tshwane: WASP leads protest of labour broking workers

As Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa delivered his State of the City address today Thursday April 3 at a fenced-off, police-guarded red carpet event at the Tshwane City Hall, he was met with hundreds of angry protesters, toyi-toying on the street outside.

The Workers and Socialist Party (WASP) led protesting workers of Capacity labour brokers who came out to remind the Mayor of the City’s broken promises to them. Hundreds of City of Tshwane workers, who have been left unemployed since the City failed to meet its promise to transfer them from labour broking contracts to permanent employment in May 2012 see no other way of raising their plight after almost two years of fruitless engagement with City officials.

The Workers and Socialist Party has supported the City of Tshwane workers’ struggle from the onset. The struggle against labour broking and for permanent jobs on living wages for all is at the centre of WASP’s election manifesto, which was launched in Katlehong over the weekend.

After a series of protests, the City undertook to absorb all the former Capacity workers by April 2013 – again nothing has come out of that promise. With elections imminent, the City has recently showed a renewed interest in the issue and is attempting to silence this persistent struggle by promising the workers ‘job opportunities’ under the Expanded Public Works Programme – which is rejected by the workers with the contempt it deserves.

At the City Hall, the Capacity workers joined street traders who are also protesting against the City’s clamp-down on informal trading. Traders are being forcefully removed from the streets, while the Mayor claims the City has a good relationship with informal traders. Street traders are rightfully outraged that the Metro Police officer they witnessed shooting dead their colleague Foster Rivombo late last year has not even been suspended but is continuing to work the streets of Tshwane.

Residents of The Hill informal settlement in Laudium, who have been struggling for basic services such as electricity and water for the past ten years, also joined the protest.

All organisations were united in their appeal for members not to vote ANC again. The Workers and Socialist Party will continue to bring these constituencies together to mobilise the unified force that is needed to build a truly working-class-led alternative to the ANC.

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