• Deliver fair compensation for miners with silicosis
    Zwelakhe Dala passed away on 30 March 2015. His death certificate just states that he died of natural causes. He was 55 years old and was suffering from silicosis. Zwelakhe’s widow, Nosipho, is but one of hundreds of thousands of families who stand to benefit from the class action lawsuit brought against the likes of Anglo American, Gold Fields, AngloGold Ashanti, African Rainbow Minerals, Sibanye Gold and Harmony Gold. Zwelakhe is one of thousands of workers suffering from silicosis-related diseases. In May last year, the South Gauteng High Court ruled in favour of mine workers who intend on launching a silicosis class action. The case was granted a class action certification which will make it the largest class action ever to be certified in South Africa, allowing hundreds of thousands of gold miners and their families to seek redress against gold mining companies. Below is a summary of the facts pertaining to the settlement plan: Last year, the gold mining companies launched an appeal against the court decision to allow miners suffering from silicosis and TB to fight for compensation as a group. The High Court ruled on June 24, 2016, to allow workers and families who’ve been affected by Silicosis and TB to file a class action suit against gold companies. The biggest gold producers – African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American SA, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony, and Sibanye – are trying to negotiate a settlement, involving the departments of Health and Mineral Resources and the mine workers’ representatives. This would involve setting up a trust fund to pay “top-ups” to workers who have already been paid compensation. It would also involve bringing mine workers under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) and the Department of Labour, instead of the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act (ODIMWA) and the Department of Health. This would prevent any future civil claims by mineworkers for damages for employer negligence causing silicosis and TB. The mining companies’ choice to use appeals to delay any trial on the merits of the case for as long as possible while they manage a negotiation process away from judicial oversight is an underhanded move aimed at undermining its role, and shortchanging the claimants and their families. We have seen evidence of this in earlier settlements where 4 365 workers were paid a maximum of R464 million [1] by Anglo mines. When this figure is divided amongst the number of workers claiming it averages to a measly R106 300 per claimant. There is also a real possibility that not all claimants will be paid based on tests of a ­random sample. Just recently, Anglo American announced a $101m (R1.3bn) “best estimate” for settling its liability in the now 13-year-old legal battle to compensate mine workers suffering from lung diseases [2]. This also coincided with Gold Fields announcing its provision for a settlement amounting to $30.2m. We need to ensure that other gold mining companies implicated stop the delay tactics and pay mine workers compensation. [1] Silicosis claims: Anglo has to cough up nearly R500m, Dewald van Rensburg for News24. 6 March 2016. [2] Mines make room for silicosis settlements, Dewald van rensburg for News24. 30 July 2017.
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  • Harsh sentence for Sikhangele Mki
    "The convicted serial rapist carried out a reign of terror in Delft and Khayelitsha. He says his modus operandi would be to follow his victims and grab them and threaten them at knife point. He would hold the knives against their necks and demand money and their cellphones. He says he would take his victims to an isolated place and then rape them. [1]" South Africa is engulfed with incidences of abuse against women and children. While a harsh sentence won't undo the psychological and physical trauma of his crimes, it will surly send a strong message to other perpetrators that such behavior is not welcome. Please join the protest action outside the court on 5 September 2017. [1] Serial rapist pleads guilty to raping minors, Genevieve Serra for Independent News. 18 May 2017.
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  • University cheque registrations for all Matriculants of Merafong
    This is of importance because the Merafong Municipality has to give their word to the youth of Merafong and ensure that they reduce the levels of crime in our community particularly in Kokosi Location, because the youth there post their grade -12 most of them have no where to work and nothing better to do they therefore commit crime and the levels of teen girls pregnant is on the rise because their sub-conscious thinking/behavior has been manipulated that when they finish their grade-12 they will not be given the chance to also access higher learning. Therefore, the Municipality and the Mayor of Merafong has to assist the youth through education.
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  • Oppose bail and issue maximum sentence for KFC assault
    Jacob and Dudu Sono, the victims, were assaulted when they asked the driver of the car in front of them to move forward in the drive-through. The five men named Stephan Nel, 39, Marius Harding, 23, DJ van Rooyen, 21, Ockert Muller, 20, and Joshua Scholtz, 21, had ordered and were supposed to fetch their food at the next window. In the video [1], the attackers could be heard swearing at Jacob and his wife. The men face charges of attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and pointing a firearm [2]. One of the accused, Ockert Muller, has already been granted bail while Marius Harding, who already has previous assault convictions, has abandoned his bid for bail. Incidents of assault across racial lines have been frequently reported on in the media, and unless we send out a strong message of condemnation, they are likely to keep happening. The Coffin Assault incident, which is currently before the courts, is evidence that perpetrators of these incidents are racist and not remorseful for their actions. Deny bail and give a very harsh sentence to deal with these perpetrators. [1] https://twitter.com/tumisole/status/893486622708084742 WARNING: Graphic Content [2] #KFCAssault: Here are the accused, Sakhile Ndlanzi for Independent News. 11 August 2017.
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  • Dangerous Animals on our streets
    There's a group of boys going around our streets in Atteridgeville with pitbulls in chains. These boys need to be stopped ASAP. Just last week a child was brutally bitten by one of their dogs. Though I'm not sure if the incident is tied to these boys but I highly suspect it's them. A few months back they were seen in Ramushu street setting their dogs to fight one of the neighborhood's small dogs. The dog annihilated the small dog and the puppy died on the spot with bloody guts all over the place. The boys ran off after the incident. The Animal Matters Amendment Act, 1993 (Act 42 of 1993) among others, provides that a court may make certain directions in respect of injuries caused by animals. Any person as a result of whose negligence an animal causes injury to another person, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years. A court convicting a person may make an order regarding the removal, custody, disposal or destruction of the relevant animal and the recovery of any costs incurred. As stated above, the owner of the dog is liable for compensating the victim for medical expenses, wage losses, pain and trauma suffered due to the injury. Medical expenses may include, but are not limited to: emergency medicine, plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery, hospital stay, antibiotics, X-Rays, CAT scans, physiotherapy and psychotherapy. South African laws states that dogs must be leashed unless confined in its home. If the dog was off the leash at the time of the attack, or was not compliant with the laws, the owner may be required to pay a higher penalty. Someone needs to stop these boys. They think they're in a rap video or something and putting our little brothers\sisters\sons\daughters in danger because once that dog grabs a small person, it doesn't let go till the person stops moving. This is something owners often train dogs to do. We need to create awareness about this and stop these boys ASAP. If you stay around Atteridgeville please share this and get the word out. It could be your family member that falls victim to their beasts.
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  • Dismiss Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana for assault
    South Africa is bogged by many incidents of assault against women to an extent that these have been normalised. Many women are killed, raped and brutalised by men on a daily basis, and yet very few are brought to justice for these crimes. Dismissing Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana will be sending a loud and clear message that we condemn such behaviour. Deputy Minister Manana is a public figure, and as such, should know the high expectations of him. Keeping him in the employ of the government will undermine ongoing efforts to develop and implement a comprehensive, fully funded National Strategic Plan to prevent, combat and respond to GBV. Mduduzi Manana must be dismissed if we want to send a clear message that when you strike a woman you strike a rock. It's also worth noting that the Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana led dialogues on Gender Based Violence [3]. Action against perpetrators of gender based violence must be swift, we have had enough of hollow words. It's time for action. Some have raised the point that victim of the assault called Mr Mduduzi Manana 'gay'. Such an utterance shows how homophobic Mzansi is, that calling someone gay is seen as derogatory and must be condemned. But equally, Mr Mduduzi Manana to be so offended by being called gay is also deeply problematic. But regardless, violence against women can never be justified. [1] https://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2017-08-07-i-apologise-unreservedly-for-shameful-incident-at-cubana-mduduzi-manana/ [2] http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/listen-deputy-minister-mduduzi-manana-confesses-to-slapping-woman-10669559 [3] http://www.dhet.gov.za/SiteAssets/Latest%20News/August%202016/Rhodes%20University080816.pdf
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  • Stop the Hate: #TransphobiaOnIdolsSA
    Injabulo Anti-Bulling Project (IABP) strongly condemns the transphobia perpetuated by Idols SA towards a contestant, Ashern Madlopha [1]. The actions of the judges perpetuate the prejudice, hostility, humiliation and hatred trans* people experience on daily basis. Furthermore, it undermines tireless work of many organisations fighting against transphobia. Most importantly, the judges’ actions undermine and violates Ashern’s rights to human dignity and freedom from inhumane and/or degrading treatment by people as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996). Despite South Africa’s progressive constitution, levels of transphobia and hate crimes remain alarmingly high. Trans* people are often more susceptible to mental health conditions due to victimization, social stigma, social exclusion, prejudice and other biases. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), South Africa has the eighth highest suicide rate in the world, with 8 000 South Africans dying by suicide, yearly. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) reports that 23 000 people in South Africa die by suicide every day, while 460 people attempt suicide every 24 hours [2]. Considering the high levels of discrimination, exclusion and trauma experienced by trans* people, these rates are likely to be significantly higher among transgender communities in comparison to the general public. It is precisely the attitudes and behaviour of the Idols SA judges, host and producers that augments depression, anxiety and suicide rates in our transgender communities. IABP views transphobia and the silence surrounding it as a direct manifestation of the heteronormative patriarchal society we live in, pervaded with gender binaries, violence and authoritarianisms. As media personalities and people of influence, whom many young children admire, Idols SA’s, judges, producers and show host need to be held responsible for their behaviour. The show and its employees have a responsibility to promote inclusivity and respect diversity. Add your voice to take a stand against transphobia. Trans* rights and human rights. We cannot tolerate anyone mocking another person because of their gender identity. We have a social responsibility to protect trans* people. We need everyone in our communities and society to take a stand against transphobia, commit to actively address gender stereotypes, and treat everyone with love, dignity and respect irrespective of gender identity. Siyaphambili! | Forward Ever! *used to include all transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming identities. This petition is endorsed by Access Chapter 2. Access Chapter 2 is a NPO established in 2013, aimed at promoting human rights and the empowerment of women and LGBTI people, and initiating the participation of civil society organisations in governance and policy processes at local, national, regional and international level [3]. [1] https://twitter.com/IAmAFallist/status/891763417706614784 [2] http://www.enca.com/south-africa/world-suicide-prevention-day-hope-for-the-hopeless [3] http://www.ac2.org.za/
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  • Say no to automated tills
    Recently, Pick n Pay said it is cutting its workforce by 10% [1]. The CEO is quoted as saying "These roles and functions were no longer required due to improvements in organisation, planning and technology," These “improvements” will have devastating effects on the low-level staff. It is a clear move to cut jobs and save costs, and thus increase earnings. Just last year, the retailer announced that it was going to introduce automated tills [2]. It is concerning that in just a little over a year after this, Pick n Pay is cutting jobs at this scale. The reason given then was that automation would make shopping easier and convenient for shoppers. This had no regard for the many workers who will be out of jobs when this is introduced.This is also confirmed by the company when it said, "In subsequent years, the reduction in employee numbers will have a significant positive impact on the operating costs of the group, creating additional headroom to reduce prices and improve value for customers,". Simply put this job cutting exercise by Pick n Pay looks like a profit-maximising measure and has nothing to do with the lives of workers. With the rising levels of chronic unemployment in Mzansi, we cannot allow such a move to go unchallenged. Business cannot be allowed to put profits over people! [1] We had no choice but to offer voluntary retrenchment. An article by Ray White of EWN. 31 July 2017 [2] Furore over Pick n Pay’s self service tills. An article by Admire Moyo. 29 September 2016
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  • UKZN Council and Executive must protect arrested students of UKZN PMB
    From 4 August 2017, we – the Arrested Students of UKZN-Pietermaritzburg – will stand trial as protestors of #FeesMustFall. Society applauds the youth for re-awakening the country to ongoing social injustice and inequity. The University agrees with free higher education and recognises the right to protest, yet they are not protecting us. If the courts try us, and find us guilty, we are the ones whose dreams and lives will be shattered. For the record; We DO support #FeesMustFall. We DO stand up for our rights and the rights of all South Africans. We DID help to build the ongoing broad movement for social justice in South Africa even after UKZN took out an interdict prohibiting us from freely doing so which means we are primarily charged with contempt of court among other charges. We are randomly accused for being generally a part of the climate at the time. We DID NOT burn buildings. We DID NOT assault anyone. While our University prides itself for being a transformative university that supports free higher education, those in authority are washing their hands of our fate. While the adults of society have the economic, institutional and legal power to protect us as the young of the society, they are instead looking away and doing nothing. If we are charged we will be blighted for life. Instead of emerging from university as graduates helping to make our society better, we will be branded as criminals that will make our degree status useless.
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  • Stop the Somerset Precinct Rezoning
    The Western Cape Provincial Government has submitted an application to have the land rezoned from Community Open Space and Open Space to General Business 6. This would allow for general business activity, such as restaurants, shops and office spaces in tall buildings. In terms of spatial planning and land use law (any building or development must take place in-line with these laws), the City of Cape Town, is the authority that must either: • Accept the application • Reject the application • Accept the application with conditions attached. Furthermore, there are a number of things that are wrong with the proposed development, namely: 1. Little public benefit The proposed development prioritises the economic value of the land over its social value. As a result, the proposed plan paves the way for the site to be privatised with very little public benefit. The Provincial government is treating this prime piece of public land just like a for-profit private developer would. 2. A step backwards The regional hospital is moving from the site and will be replaced by a small community day clinic (2500m² in size). This represents a significant step backwards in terms of the public benefit that Provincial government’s most expensive piece of land will provide. 3. The plan is vague The plan does not give enough detail, which means that the City will not be able to understand the full impact that the development would have. 4. Too little affordable housing The plan says that it will include ‘at least 300 affordable housing apartments’. Research by local and international experts found that the Tafelberg site in Sea Point could fit 316 affordable apartments together with 120 market-rate apartments. The Tafelberg site is six times smaller than the Somerset Hospital Precinct, which shows that the development proposal is not serious about providing a decent amount of affordable housing The other big problem is that affordable housing is not defined. Who will it be affordable for? At the end of the day much more housing can go onto the site – this is not realising the full potential of the site for poor and working class people. 5. Broken promises Helen Zille and her Cabinet ‘promised’ that the land would be released on the specific basis that as much affordable housing as possible must be included. 6. Business as usual Since the beginning of democracy there hasn’t been a single subsidised housing unit created in Cape Town’s inner city and surrounds. Cape Town’s spatial apartheid remains unchanged. The Somerset Hospital is perhaps the most important piece of publicly owned land for addressing spatial apartheid in Cape Town’s inner city, and this decision will have enormous impacts on South Africans for generations to come. This development proposal shows that Helen Zille’s government remains uncommitted to achieving spatial justice in Cape Town and that it has been captured by a style of exclusive property development for the rich. The main idea of the development is to generate funds from the site to pay for social amenities ‘elsewhere’. This approach to the development of well-located public land ensures that ownership, occupation and use of central city land remains only in the hands of the rich. This corrupted approach entrenches spatial apartheid and contradicts provincial Government’s own policies. 7. Zille’s Rogue Department of Transport of Public Works The applicant is the Western Cape Government’s Department of Transport & Public Works, through the Regeneration Programme – a programme aimed at developing strategic pieces of Provincially owned land. Despite spending millions of Rands on consultants and repeated studies, the programme has still not broken ground on a single site since it was established 7 years ago. This is the same government department that has to date never handed over any Provincially owned land to the Department of Human Settlements. This is the same programme that attempted to unlawfully sell the Tafelberg property in Sea Point, even though the Department of Human Settlements requested the site to develop affordable housing. Tafelberg was sold to help pay for a R1,2 billion office block for Provincial government. This is the same programme where Gary Fisher was both a senior public official responsible for land disposal and a private property investor and developer. Despite these serious conflicts of interest, there has still been no investigation. 8. De Lille rolls out red carpet for spatially violent developments By law, the City of Cape Town must consider the principle of spatial justice. The City can place conditions that have to do with to the social impact of any development – whether on public or private land. The Mayor, Patricia de Lille can require any development to include some affordable housing. However, she has never used this power before because she believes land is for profit not for people!
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  • Place children with disabilities in schools
    The South African Schools Act says that the governing body of a public school must determine the admission policy of that school. While this is the case, schools still turn away learners due to their disabilities and special needs [1]. The Act further says that no learner should be put on the waiting list; their names are supposed to be placed on a central database if schools cannot accommodate them. It also states that all children between the ages of 5 and 15 have to go to school, this includes children with disabilities and special needs. The Constitution, the National Development Plan, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Incheon Declaration of the World Education Forum all confirm that the state has a commitment to provide schooling for children with disabilities. The Department of Basic Education needs to ensure that the Act is adhered to, and that governing bodies do not violate the children's rights to an inclusive and special education. [1] Disabled and out of school, Stephanie Kelly for Groundup News. 13 June 2016.
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  • Probe the SABC now! Hon Pres Zuma sign the SIU proclamation
    The proclamation, which has been ready since May, will enable the interim board to begin to unpack the extent of fraud, irregularities, and wasteful, fruitless expenditure at the SABC. The SIU investigation is a critical component in the process of restoring the SABC, holding wrongdoers accountable and recovering monies due to the public broadcaster. According to the ad hoc committee report [1] on the inquiry of the SABC released in February this year, the SABC has deviated from its mandate as the public broadcaster. During his tenure as the SABC’s GCOO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng flouted several governance rules, codes and laws, including judgments from the courts and ICASA. Hlaudi’s mismanagement and abuse of power has resulted in a public broadcaster that is financially unsustainable and has compromised the editorial integrity of the SABC. Furthermore, in 2013 the SABC and MultiChoice signed a R533m contract to give the pay-TV company the right to air two of the public broadcaster’s channels. In December 2016, it was revealed that, after the deal was contract in 2014, the SABC’s Hlaudi Motsoeneng scored an alleged R33m bonus, R11.4m of which he has already been paid [2]. As it stands, the interim board only has two months left before the end of its tenure, and this SIU investigation is central to the work that it has been commissioned to do. It is unacceptable that at this stage in the process, the President still hasn’t signed the proclamation. The need for a reliable and accurate public broadcaster cannot be overstated in a country like South Africa, where a substantial number of people receive their information primarily through the broadcast media. This means that broadcast news may be the only media which is accessible for the majority of South Africans. A dysfunctional SABC, therefore, prevents us from truly protecting and enhancing the fundamental rights of all citizens to freedom of information. * http://www.soscoalition.org.za/media-release-mr-president-just-sign-the-proclamation/ [1] https://pmg.org.za/page/https://pmg.org.za/tabled-committee-report/2898?via=homepage-feature-card [2] SABC, Multichoice deal must be probed - leaked Parliamentary inquiry document, Thulani Gqirana for News24. 18 January 2017.
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