Mthatha Shuts down: Thousands set to march against wage proposal

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Operations in factories in major Eastern Cape towns including East London, Mthatha, Port Elizabeth and Queenstown are set for disruption today as thousands of union members are expected to stay away from work.

A file picture of Numsa members during a strike. Members have downed tools to protest over a proposed R20 per hour minimum wage Picture: GALLO IMAGES

The South African Federated Trade Union (Saftu) – whose affiliates include the second biggest trade union in South Africa, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) – resolved to down tools today, to protest over a proposed R20 per hour minimum wage.

Numsa, whose workers are based in listed companies including Mercedes-Benz SA and Volkswagen SA in Port Elizabeth, as well as AB53 bus company in Mthatha and Queenstown, has more than 40000 members in the Eastern Cape.

“It will be a total shutdown at MBSA, VW and Isuzu, as well as motor vehicle component supplying companies such as LEAR,” said Numsa provincial secretary Mziyanda Twani.

Marches have been organised in East London, Port Elizabeth, Queenstown and Mthatha today.

Twani said in Mthatha, affected sectors would include fuelling stations as many fuel pump attendants were Numsa members.

The East London leg of the protest will see thousands of workers marching from Buffalo City College to the Labour Department offices near University Fort Hare in Oxford Street.

MBSA was busy yesterday having discussions with affected union leaders to craft a plan to make up for the hours that would be lost due to the labour action.

Head of human resources Abey Kgotle said the company was aware of the Saftu strike. “Mercedes-Benz South Africa will engage with its representative union on its plans to recover lost production which may be as a result of [today’s] stay away,” said Kgotle.

The Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers’ Union (Demawu), a breakaway union from Cosatu-aligned Samwu, is to join in today’s action.

Demawu provincial coordinator Siphiwo Ndunyana said of the thousands of members they had recruited since the formation of the union late last year, more than 800 were from Buffalo City Metro (BCM).

“These workers will form part of these protest marches, and so operations in BCM will be affected one way or another,” said Ndunyana.

The federation will also take to the streets in major metros nationally such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Polokwane to protest the proposed wage offer.

Saftu has 24 affiliates under its banner, including the Food and Allied Workers’ Union (Fawu).

The national minimum wage was supposed to come into effect by next Tuesday (May 1), but it has been shelved as parliamentary processes considering public submissions on three bills that will give effect to the minimum wage are still under way.

Twani said their issue with the state was that the deal as it stands would mean that farm workers receive R11 an hour, domestic workers R15, and others a minimum of R20.

Numsa president Andrew Chirwa will lead the team of keynote speakers who have been deployed to rallies throughout the province.

Mthatha taxi chaos


Unhappy with only using two taxi ranks in Mthatha, taxi drivers yesterday blocked the N2 towards Madeira Street, while residents took advantage of the chaos and looted shops.

AFTERMATH: Shops were looted and traffic brought to a standstill as scores of taxi operators went on a rampage in the Mthatha city centre in protest over Police Minister Bheki Cele’s decision to close their ranks Pictures: SUPPLIED

Police had to impound several taxis while traffic came to a standstill because of the blockading of the busy road. Their action comes after taxi bosses signed a peace accord following Police Minister Bheki Cele’s lifting of the taxi ban on Friday.

Uncedo Service Taxi Association (Usta) president Ntsikelelo Gaehler and his Border Alliance Taxi Association counterpart Vuyani Mshiywa, signed the agreement, which effectively ended the month-long taxi ban.

The wildcat protest began yesterday morning and caused major traffic congestion in Sisson Street, Fort Gale and along the N2 from CTM going towards Ultra City, traffic on R61 and Delville Road caused even more traffic on N2 coming into Mthatha.

Although shops and police were unavailable to confirm, there were eyewitnesses who claim that Game stores, Spar and Boxer stores were looted.

Nonzaliseko Mtati said she was on her way to catch a taxi at the Jubilee taxi rank when she saw a small group of guys throw stones at Tops Liquor store.

“At first it looked liked they were running away from the chaos but when the security guards at Tops tried to close the door, they wielded a knife and the guards ran, and that is when people got a chance to steal expensive bottles [of alcohol],” Mtati said.

The Daily Dispatch tried to contact both Tops management and Boxer store but to no avail.

Eastern Cape police spokesman Captain Mali Govender confirmed a number of taxis were impounded while transport spokeswoman Khuselwa Rantjie put the figure at 28 taxis impounded.

Govender said the protest began around 10am. “We are closely monitoring the situation and we have some of our special task teams on the scene including the national intervention unit and we will continue monitoring through the night if needs be more vehicles will be impounded,” he said.

Mshiywa said he was disappointed and angry to learn the protesters were from his association. “They are being unruly and did not get the directive from me and I do not want this to tarnish the image of the entire associations. These people know the consequences and I have already spoken to the minister [Cele] and MEC [Weziwe Tikana] and we agreed that the troublemakers must face the full might of the law.

“It is really disappointing and unfortunate but perhaps an example can be made out of them to deter others from thinking they carry on like this,” said Mshiywa.

Usta Mthatha chairman Mnikelo Mbopha distanced his association.

“We are not sure but we have spoken to our people and we have given them a strict warning to not to jump on this bandwagon because it is dangerous and borders on being illegal. We understand the consequences of going against the agreement we have with government,” said Mbopha.

When Cele lifted the ban, he did so under stringent terms. He warned that should one person be killed in the taxi industry, he would permanently shut taxi operations.

Rantjie said they were continuing with law enforcement and that it was stated in the agreement that anyone who operates outside the provisions of the law and the signed agreement would face the consequences.

Some of the said consequences include expulsions from the association, permanent confiscation of their operating licence and being blacklisted from the taxi industry.

KSD municipality has condemned actions of the taxis, saying they were negatively impacting on the image of Mthatha.

“These will stop investors who want to come here and perhaps even those that are here might even end wanting to leave if these continue,” said municipal spokesman Sonwabo Mampoza.

He said the municipality’s public safety directorate was working with the SA police services to bring an end to taxi violence.

The spokesman also appealed to community members to be on the alert while urging taxi associations to respect the decision taken by government. —

South Africa’s NSFAS “millionaire” student speaks…

By Malibongwe Dayimani – August 30, 2017

The Walter Sisulu University (WSU) student who received a R14 million windfall instead of a R14 100 “food allowance” from NSFAS has spoken out.

For three months, from 1 June to 13 August she arguably became the richest full-time student in South Africa.

In a message to her friends today (Wednesday) – which followed the storm that came after reports of the “erroneous” payment made to her student account – she blamed NSFAS for the mistake. She claimed that she was the one who notified authorities.

“(They) allocated more money in a wrong account and that account happened to be mine. So I don’t deny anything…the money was loaded on the  1st june and reversed on the 13th August. But the question is how did it happen to be public news. The answer is still simply and right in front of us…(they) forget to mention one part that… I reported the matter to the authorities,” she said.

The student was credited with R14million “food allowance” three months ago and so far has spent R818 000 of the windfall. This means that she spent at least R10 900 per day over the period.

The student was meant to have receive a R14 100 allowance paid out in equal amounts over a 10 month period, for the year.

Instead she found herself an instant millionaire.

WSU spokeswoman Yonela Tukwayo admitted that the student had “erroneously” received R14 million in her account and that a forensic investigation was underway.

“The funds were allocated to the student’s IntelliCard, which is the debit card administered by IntelliMali,” she said. Tukwayo said WSU management will meet with IntelliMali CEO Michael Ansell, this afternoon (Wed) to discuss the matter further and “probe how such an error could have occurred and go undetected over (the) period”.

The student’s account, said Tukwayo, has since been blocked and the remaining balance recovered.

“The student has been advised by the University that they will remain liable for the money that she has spent,” she said.

*This is a developing story. More details will be in tomorrow’s edition of the Dispatch.

South Africa’s NSFAS “millionaire” student speaks…

WSU bookstore burnt in violent student riots

A campus bookstore was looted and burnt in a night of student rioting and police counter-action at two Walter Sisulu University learning sites on Monday night.

Police fired rubber bullets, teargas and stun grenades to disperse students who blockaded part of the N2 in front of the Nelson Mandela Drive site with burning tyres.

Walter Sisulu University

Heavily armed police were also kept busy at the Zamukulungisa site, where students allegedly looted and burnt a bookshop located on the premises.

University spokeswoman Yonela Tukwayo said: “I can confirm that a bookstore located at Zamukulungisa site was looted and burnt by students.

“The costs of the damage have not been quantified yet as the campus is closed. Assessors’ safety cannot be guaranteed if they go in.”

Commenting on the burning of the bookshop, SRC president Sinelizwi Mantangayi said : “We suspect it is people from outside since they know that there is a protest.”

The students are protesting over National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) food allowances.

Tukwayo said the university had made arrangements with NSFAS to extend the deadline and allow the affected students a chance to sign their agreements.

“After a meeting with the SRC, a NSFAS delegation and management on Friday, the SRC called a mass meeting on Saturday to report back,” Tukwayo said.

“They tabled the resolutions and action plans.”

Tukwana said it was disappointing that despite the university’s attempts to bring the situation under control, students still behaved violently and destructively.

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said a case of arson and damage to property was being investigated.

“No arrests have been made as yet,” he said.

The university closed both the Mthatha and Butterworth campuses last week amid student disruptions, mostly over NSFAS-related issues.


Student causes a NSFAS after R14m ‘mistake’

A Walter Sisulu University student who accidentally received a R14 million payment on her student debit card will be liable after allegedly spending more than R400‚000.

A Walter Sisulu University student who accidentally received a R14 million payment on her student debit card will be liable after allegedly spending more than R400‚000. Picture SOURCED
University spokesperson Yonela Tukwayo told TimesLIVE on Wednesday that a female student in the Eastern Cape had received the payment about five months ago.
“People started complaining after she started living a very lavish lifestyle‚” Tukwayo said.
Tukwayo said there were specific merchants where students were able to use the money to buy books and food‚ so the university would investigate how the student was able to buy some of the goods she bought.
“Some students picked this up from the very lavish lifestyle she started living. We will also be looking into how this money was spent to buy some of the expensive goods‚” Tukwayo said.
“There have been previous cases where merchants had colluded with students‚ but this will be part of the investigation.”
“We don’t know how this happened … but she will be held liable to pay back the money she had spent‚” she said.
Students on financial aid receive money for books and food.
“It was very callous and she did not report the matter immediately. She will definitely be held responsible‚” she said.
Tukwayo said the university was meeting with the CEO of the company who administered the student debit cards – called Intellicard – and that the university’s forensic team would also look into the matter.
Tukwayo added: “It was not a National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) mistake. It was an Intellicard mistake and we are not sure how that happened.”
An Intellicard is a financial card used by students who are financed by NSFAS. Money is allocated to the cards‚ which are issued after an agreement is signed by the student.
NSFAS spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo said the financial aid scheme didn’t pay the money directly to the student and said the university had to account.
This is a developing story.

Source: TMG Digital.

Mthatha Bucks vs. Tshakhuma Madzivhadila 

Mthatha Bucks were comfortable 2-0 winners on Sunday over Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in our first home match of the 2017/18 NFD season.


Full time : Mthatha Bucks 2-0 TTM. #NFD …first home game, first win!!
A tame header from Kangwa in the 71st minute goes straight to the keeper from. Bucks 2-0 TTM. #NFD
Mbhele making way for Ngubane in the 58th minute.
Second half underway, Mthatha Bucks 2-0 TTM.
GOAL!!!!! Erasmus scores with an overhead kick in the 40th minute from a Mbhele corner!!
A good save by the keeper from a Bhengu low shot in the 44th minute and the visitors clear their lines from the resulting corner.
A good save by the visitors keeper after a good header from Kangwa from another Zulu cross in the 26th minute.
23′ – GOOOAAALLLL Amathol’amnyama!! A good cross by Zulu is headed home by Erasmus to make it 1-0. #NFD
20′ – Tshakhuma applying some pressure as they win their 4th corner but we remain resolute at the back, 0-0.
11′ – 1st chance at goal sees Erasmus diving header go narrowly wide after a good cross by Zulu, 0-0.
1′ – We underway at Mthatha Stadium! Our first home match of the season as we gun for the maximum against Tshakhuma TM, 0-0. #NFD ⚽?

Venue: Mthatha Stadium (Mthatha)

1st Division table

# Team MP D P
1 2 +2 6
2 2 +2 6
3 2 +2 4
4 2 +1 4
5 2 +1 4
6 2 +1 4
7 2 +4 3
8 2 +1 3
9 2 +0 2
10 2 +0 2
11 2 -1 1
12 2 -1 1
13 2 -1 1
14 2 -5 1
15 2 -3 0
16 2 -3 0