• Tell British American Tobacco to pay the tax they owe us
    The big cigarette company British American Tobacco (BAT) have been fighting hard against new anti-smoking laws and taxes by shifting focus onto the illicit cigarette trade and tax evasion. They are funding a misleading campaign to convince government not to increase taxes on cigarettes so they can protect their profits [1]. Even companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) are repeating industry claims that increasing taxes drives the illicit trade [2], even though industry has been caught over estimating and funding research into illicit trade [3]. Now Sars say BAT themselves are guilty of tax fraud and evasion and owe R143 million [4]. Clearly, they have been dishonest and shady in their tactics. But big companies like BAT rely on their brand and public image so they are vulnerable to us exposing their hypocrisy. If enough of us come together and shine a spotlight on their shady business and demand they pay what they owe- they will have no choice but to pay the R143 million. Join the campaign to demand BAT stop tax evading and pay what they owe. Each year South Africa spends more than R59 billion to address tobacco related illnesses like lung cancer, emphysema, asthma and bronchitis [5]. At the same time the country only collects between R11 billion and R13 billion from tobacco taxes [6]. This means the South African taxpayer is paying for the healthcare bill of tobacco-related harm while the tobacco industry collects the profits. Our queues at clinics and hospitals keep getting longer and government keeps cutting the healthcare budget while cigarette companies make billions. But, if enough of us come together and demand they pay what they owe, they will have no choice but to pay the R143 million. Government can use this money to help our struggling healthcare system. References [1] Did Big Tobacco buy Twitter? Joan van Dyk for Mail & Guardian 7 Sept 2018 [2] What to expect from the budget: Small tax increases, lower tax collection. Muhammad Hussain for City Press 13 Feb 2019 [3] Are the tobacco industry's claims about the size of the illicit cigarette market credible? The case of South Africa. 2014 Corné van Walbeek, Lerato Shai [4] Sars faces off with British American Tobacco over R143m tax bill, Graeme Hosken for Sunday Times April 2019 [5] The Tobacco Atlas - South Africa [6] BAT revenue rises but profit and market share fall, Robert Laing for Bizcommunity July 2017
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  • Letter to the Editorial Board of Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition
    The issue is important because the article is published as scientific research but draws on colonial stereotypes of African women, and 'Coloured' South African women specifically, as intellectually deficient. The article relies on flawed methodology and science, perpetuating harmful, racist stereotypes.
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  • Report the DA and ANC's xenophobia to the IEC
    It’s election season and because political parties have tried to blame their failures on others they now have blood on their hands. This is being made worse by our political parties fighting a propaganda war against our fellow Afrikans to win votes for elections. They are making xenophobic comments at press conferences, rallies and on social media. The DA’s spokesperson on immigration Jacques Julius said, “We have to close our borders. The fact that our borders are porous, you know people can just enter the country. Estimates [of how many immigrants enter the country] have ranged from hundreds of thousands to millions.” [1] This comment creates the idea that South Africa is overrun with immigrants but immigrants only make up 4.2% of the population. [2] There is also no evidence that the amount of immigrants have doubled or tripled. [3] But this isn’t the first time politicians have tried to trick us. Last year Minister of Health and ANC member Aaron Motsoaledi said, “[When immigrants] get admitted [into hospitals] in large numbers, they cause overcrowding, infection control starts failing.” But he gave no evidence or proof to back up these claims. Francois Venter from the Reproductive Health and HIV Institute at Wits University said “I’ve worked in the public sector for over 10 years [as a doctor], and the problems we see [at the hospital] are largely due to poor human resource and supply line management, and the disease burden related to the local failure of poverty relief programmes and poor organisation of services — not a handful of foreigners who are here for jobs, not for healthcare.” [4] The mayor of Johannesburg and DA member, Herman Mashaba said on Twitter, “Please assist us to get @HomeAffairsSA to deal with undocumented foreigner national in Alexander. Uncontrolled number of people in Alex is a challenge way beyond the @CityofJoburgZA competency.” [5] Yet the protests in Alexandria are because of poor service delivery. These comments are meant to shift blame from our leaders onto our fellow Afrikans. These lies are inciting violence against immigrants and their children living in Mzansi. People have been extorted [6], attacked [7], driven from their homes [8] and their shops have been looted [9]. But we can bring this xenophobic propaganda war to an end. The IEC electoral code of conduct bans “using language which provokes violence.” If enough of us come together and report the DA and ANC for their problematic comments to the IEC, the IEC will have no choice but to order political parties apologise for their comments and take responsibility for inciting violence and xenophobia. This pressure could also force the IEC to ban using xenophobia to win votes. If we don’t keep holding government, political leaders and political parties accountable they will only double-down on their efforts to divide us and keep us from the truth by scapegoating immigrants for their failures. If we don’t do something now, we could see more attacks on our fellow Afrikans. We have a choice, either we stand by and watch as government wage propaganda war against our fellow Afrikans or we come together and stand with those who, just like us, are looking for better opportunities for themselves and their children. As amandla.mobi members and a greater Afrikan community we can tell this story and ensure our government protects and gives equal opportunities and access to ALL Afrikans. Force the IEC to ban using xenophobia to win votes and make protecting all Afrikans a priority by joining the campaign and sending the IEC a complaint. Dear CEO of the IEC Sy Mamabolo, We the undersigned call on you to ban the use of xenophobia during election season to win votes. Members of the DA and ANC have made xenophobic comments both on social media and in public. These comments have incited xenophobic violence across the country. People have been attacked, their shops have been looted and they’ve been driven from their homes. The IEC electoral code of conduct bans “using language which provokes violence.” We call on you to enforce the electoral code of conduct and order these political parties to apologise for their comments and take responsibility for inciting xenophobic violence. We also call on you to ban the use of xenophobia to win votes. We trust you will hear our voices. [1] https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/2018-10-15-sa-needs-closed-borders-tighter-immigration-control-says-da/ [2] https://africacheck.org/reports/do-5-million-immigrants-live-in-s-africa-the-new-york-times-inflates-number/ [3] https://africasacountry.com/2018/10/how-many-immigrants-live-in-south-africa [4] https://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-11-20-00-immigrant-blame-game-motsoaledi-remarks-immigrants-strain-on-health-system [5] https://citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/social-media/2085631/herman-mashabas-tweet-about-alex-and-foreigners-divides-social-media/ [6] https://www.groundup.org.za/article/eastern-cape-immigrant-shop-owners-say-they-pay-protection-xenophobia/ [7] https://www.groundup.org.za/article/immigrants-fear-their-lives-durban/ [8] https://www.groundup.org.za/article/zimbabweans-limpopo-village-fear-their-future/ [9] https://www.groundup.org.za/article/residents-angered-criminals-running-riots-strand/
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  • Tell the 3 major political parties to support increasing sexual and reproductive health budget
    YOUR CALL TO REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE: WE ARE WATCHING AND LISTENING Reproductive Justice [1] is defined by three principles: The right to have a child; the right not to have a child; the right to parent children in safe and healthy environments. In 1997 South Africa enacted a globally renowned law on abortion. The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act (CTOPA) aimed to address the imbalances of the past where 429 black women died each year from lack of access to these basic health services [2]. The political act of passing this legislation was historical in laying the framework for Reproductive Justice in South Africa. Having an act such as CTOPA in place meant that women and pregnant people would be free to make their own decisions about their bodies and their futures. 22 years later, many people still struggle to access these basic services. But with national elections coming up, we have a chance now to ensure the 5 major political parties commit to lobbying for an increase in the sexual and reproductive health services budget. There is limited information on how people can access abortion services, decreases in the amount of contraceptives available and currently only 7% of healthcare facilities provide abortion services [3]. Because of this, many pregnant people are either forced to turn to unsafe and illegal abortion practices or suffer the physical, emotional and mental harm that comes with bearing an unwanted pregnancy. Leading up to elections, political parties will be running election campaigns focused on winning votes. If they want our votes, they will need to prove to us that they care about the lives of all people seeking access to Sexual & Reproductive Health services. We have a chance now to pressure the 5 major political parties into using their power as members of Parliament to address these issues by ensuring the budget for sexual and reproductive health services is increased. This money will be used to create sexual reproductive justices and access to these services for ALL. This will ensure greater access to public information on safe abortion procedures, fully stocked healthcare facilities with affordable and free contraceptives and more healthcare facilities nationwide providing safe, legal abortions. Sign and join our campaign to ensure sexual reproductive justice for all. If enough of us come together and flood the email inboxes of the 3 major political party leaders, they will have no choice but to support increasing the sexual and reproductive health budget. We have written an email that you can send to one, or all, of the political parties. Here is the email and each political party's email address: ANC- presidentrsa@presidency.gov.za EFF- jmalema@parliament.gov.za DA- mmaimane@parliament.gov.za "Dear Political Party Leader (Mmusi Maimane, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Julius Malema) I am joining other South Africans in calling on you provide leadership on reproductive justice. Reproductive Justice is defined by three principles: The right to have a child; the right not to have a child; the right to parent children in safe and healthy environments. We need you to support an increase in the sexual and reproductive health budget for 2020 and use your power as a member of parliament and political party leader to lobby for an increase before voting day on 8 May. Currently there are decreases in the amount of contraceptives available, there is limited information on how people can access abortion services and currently only 7% of healthcare facilities provide abortion services. Because of this, many pregnant people are either forced to turn to unsafe abortion practices or suffer the physical, emotional and mental harm that comes with bearing an unsupported pregnancy. A budget increase will ensure that there is sexual reproductive justice and access to these services for ALL. We need health managers to lead and to not obstruct access to reproductive justice services. The money should be spent on ensuring that public healthcare facilities are always fully stocked with contraceptives, health professionals are trained in the provision of sexual and reproductive health services and greater access to information on safe abortion procedures and increased delivery of public services of abortion provision. It is time you took sexual and reproductive health seriously. If you want my vote, you must prove to me that you truly care about the people most affected by the lack of sexual and reproductive health services. The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act (CTOPA) aimed to address the imbalances of the past where 429 black women died each year from lack of access to these basic health services. 25 years have passed and to get our vote we want to hear your political commitment to real implementation. I trust you will hear our voices." [1] https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520288201/reproductive-justice [2] https://www.ajol.info/index.php/samj/article/view/157185 [3] https://amnesty.org.za/research/barriers-to-safe-and-legal-abortion-in-south-africa
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  • Save Msunduzi City
    The Msunduzi Local Municipality is dysfunctional and is on the brink of collapse and as residents and ratepayers of Msunduzi, hereby unanimously voice our strong and serious concern at the continued lack of effective and efficient delivery of basic services. We demand that the Msunduzi address and improve the service delivery issues and implement the auditor-general report recommendations of (2017-2018) by the 15 April 2019 failing which we, the long suffering residents and ratepayers of Msunduzi, will have no alternative but, in terms of Section 139 of our National Constitution, to motivate for National and Provincial intervention in the local government and management of Msunduzi, including that the Council be dissolved and the municipality placed under administration.
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  • Tell Joanmariae Fubbs #HandsOffTheSugaryDrinksTax
    We all know Mzansi’s health system is under a lot of pressure, and globally experts have warned that sugary drinks are increasing rates of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes [1]. Researchers from Wits University [2] and the World Health Organisation back policies like the Sugary Drinks Tax as measures to improve people’s health. The introduction of the Sugary Drinks Tax is an important first step towards lifting the pressure on our health system and keeping South Africans healthy. So far the tax has raised R2.3 billion which will be used for health promotion and go back into our healthcare system. But the Department of Trade and Industry committee has called on the Minister of Trade and Industry to intervene in what they call ‘a crisis in the sugar industry’. Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, Joanmariae Fubbs, has called for a moratorium on the Sugary Drinks Tax [3]. Big business are trying to maximize profits by getting the Sugary Drinks Tax repealed. We know their greed has put our nation's health at risk. But we have a chance now to stop this. Let’s send a message to Joanmariae Fubbs and the rest of Parliament, we the people stand behind the Sugary Drinks Tax. If enough of us come together, our voices will be so loud that Joanmariae Fubbs will have to listen. Tackling obesity-related diseases needs to be a national priority, and the tax on sugary drinks is a first step in addressing this national epidemic. One in four people in South Africa are obese [4]. Excess sugar consumption is a major cause of obesity and its related diseases, as excessive sugar intake causes increased risk of diabetes, liver and kidney damage, heart disease, and some cancers. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Cancer Research Fund recommend that people should consume no more than 10% of total calories from sugar. The South African government has been under pressure from beverage companies and retail groups who have been flooding Parliament and Treasury with comments to stop this life-saving policy or weaken it with exemptions and loopholes—and they are having an impact. The South African government MUST put the health of South Africans before special interests who target the most vulnerable populations with their unhealthy products. Please make your voice heard today! [1] Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis, Malik VS, Popkin BM, Bray GA, Després JP, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sugary Drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet, Harvard School of Public Health. [2] Sugar tax could save South Africa billions by James Thabo Molelekwa for Health- E News. April 21, 2016. [3] MPs call for intervention in embattled sugar industry by Linda Ensor for Business Day, February 2019 [4] Is SA the ‘fattest nation’ in sub-Saharan Africa, with a third of people obese Kate Wilkinson for Africa Check July 2015
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  • Tell John Steenhuisen #HandsOffTheSugaryDrinksTax
    We all know Mzansi’s health system is under a lot of pressure, and globally experts have warned that sugary drinks are increasing rates of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes [1]. Researchers from Wits University [2] and the World Health Organisation back policies like the Sugary Drinks Tax as measures to improve people’s health. The introduction of the Sugary Drinks Tax is an important first step towards lifting the pressure on our health system and keeping South Africans healthy. So far the tax has raised R2.3 billion which will be used for health promotion and go back into our healthcare system. But the Department of Trade and Industry committee has called on the Minister of Trade and Industry to intervene in what they call ‘a crisis in the sugar industry’. Chief Whip of the DA, John Steenhuisen, has called for a moratorium on the Sugary Drinks Tax [3]. Big business are trying to maximize profits by getting the Sugary Drinks Tax repealed. We know their greed has put our nation's health at risk. But we have a chance now to stop this. Let’s send a message to John Steenhuisen and the rest of Parliament, we the people stand behind the Sugary Drinks Tax. If enough of us come together, our voices will be so loud that John Steenhuisen will have to listen. Tackling obesity-related diseases needs to be a national priority, and the tax on sugary drinks is a first step in addressing this national epidemic. One in four people in South Africa are obese [4]. Excess sugar consumption is a major cause of obesity and its related diseases, as excessive sugar intake causes increased risk of diabetes, liver and kidney damage, heart disease, and some cancers. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Cancer Research Fund recommend that people should consume no more than 10% of total calories from sugar. The South African government has been under pressure from beverage companies and retail groups who have been flooding Parliament and Treasury with comments to stop this life-saving policy or weaken it with exemptions and loopholes—and they are having an impact. The South African government MUST put the health of South Africans before special interests who target the most vulnerable populations with their unhealthy products. Please make your voice heard today! [1] Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis, Malik VS, Popkin BM, Bray GA, Després JP, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sugary Drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet, Harvard School of Public Health. [2] Sugar tax could save South Africa billions by James Thabo Molelekwa for Health- E News. April 21, 2016. [3] MPs call for intervention in embattled sugar industry by Linda Ensor for Business Day, February 2019 [4] Is SA the ‘fattest nation’ in sub-Saharan Africa, with a third of people obese Kate Wilkinson for Africa Check July 2015
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  • Save the Athlone Cultural Hub and the CWD building at 146 Lawrence rd, Athlone
    In the days of apartheid, when many turned their backs on activists, the Catholic Church provided refuge, provided a source of comfort to the families of Coline Williams and Robert Waterwich. The youth from UDF's Wesco (Western Cape Student Congress) met regularly at the CWD premises, as did YCW (Young Christian Workers) and several other youth and community organizations. Activists on the run from the apartheid state were given refuge. It is now a space for the working class to engage in cultural activities such as music, art, yoga, the study of history and the history of Table Mountain. The CWD Executive wants to close the building. It is already a community that has few spaces for Culture. It should remain a living cultural space and heritage site. Please sign and share this petition. In addition, for over 50 years the CWD projects operated from this centre and elsewhere. Tens of thousands of people were assisted. There were social workers; there was training for Early Childhood Development. There was a sewing project that brought together refugees with local workers. It housed the science laboratory of the legendary St Columba's school. The residence for the teachers was housed upstairs on site. Over the past three years the then Arts and Culture manager, Andre Marais has managed to build up the Athlone Cultural Hub. Under his stewardship the Western Province Mountain Club is now housed in the building. They take youth of the area up Table Mountain and give talks about the history of the mountain. The Academy of Music has their administrative office on the premises. A jazz band, with local artist Trudy Rushin, have their practice sessions on site. The Revolutionary Yoga group operates at the Hub. There is also a dance club. There is a library of 30 000 classics and 10 000 movies. There have been several cultural activities held. There have been several education schools run by UCT Summer School. There is a corner for volunteers to read children stories. A memory garden has been started for Coline Williams and Robert Waterwich, who were killed in the struggle against apartheid. Robert was a former student of St Columba's and he would have used the laboratory. On the 13th February 2019 three rooms were renamed after the Trojan Horse 3. The library has been named after Shaun Magmoed. The section where the social workers used to operate, in front, has been named after Michael Miranda, while the upstairs section which used to be the dormitory of the teachers and lately was the section that housed the ECD, was named after Jonathan Claasen. Retired teachers are prepared to run free maths and science classes on site. A local resident is prepared to offer free carpentry classes. There is a strong case for the building to be declared a living heritage site, especially now that a funder has stepped forward that has offered to cover running costs, including that of Cultural Hub manager. Help us keep the building open.
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  • #HandsOffVenezuela! #TrumpHandsOffVenezuela
    President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro was democratically voted into power and now US imperialism under Donald Trump and his allies in the European Union and Britain want regime change and are orchestrating a coup together with the support of the rich in Venezuela. After talking on the phone with US Vice President Mike Pence, President Maduro’s opponent Juan Guiado declared himself interim president. Soon after US President Donald Trump came out in support of Juan Guiado as interim president and Canada, the EU and right-wing, nationalist governments in South America known as the Lima-Group (Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia and Paraguay) were all very quick to declare their support for Guiado. Juan Guiado wasn’t democratically elected and it’s clear he is being propped up by right-wing governments and the West as a leader sympathetic to their right-wing, nationalist and capitalist ideologies and oil and gold interests. Besides wanting to own/control Venezuela’s oil and gold reserves, US imperialism cannot allow alternatives that promote the interests of the people to exist, especially not in its so-called backyard! For years now they have been blockading Venezuela and creating a crisis by blocking food and medicine imports. This has been part of their plan to destabilize the country, agitate the people into pushing for regime change and ousting Maduro’s leftist government. US President Trump’s recent speech calling on Venezuela’s military to back Juan Guiado as President is a clear attempt to escalate the situation in Venezuela. The West’s support of Guiado and meddling in the country is only leading to more violence and escalation. If enough of us come together, we can pressure the US embassy and consulate in South Africa to condemn Trump's actions against Venezuelan sovereignty and support the Venezuelan's right to constitutionally and democratically elect their leaders without foreign and Western intervention. Support the people of Venezuela in their struggle for sovereignty, to determine their own future, to build the society they want to live in and to have a government of their choice. Many around the world are joining the struggle to resist the US & EU’s attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government of Venezuela. Hence the Red Cross and UN agencies are not supporting the US sanctions and boycott of Venezuela. Defend the Right of Venezuela to Determine Its Destiny! Say Hands OFF Venezuela! Sign the petition #HandsOffVenezuela For more information on the campaign and International Solidarity initiatives in South Africa contact the Venezuela’s Solidarity Committee in South Africa: Contact: 011 336 9190 Email: info@khanyacollege.org.za
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  • Tell Min. of Finance Tito Mboweni to increase Corporate Income Tax
    With Mzansi’s economy struggling, rising fuel prices and the VAT increase- the poor of Mzansi are in crisis. But despite this, government is trying to cut more public spending on things like healthcare, housing and social grants which are meant to give important economic relief to the poor [1]. We, the people, already shouldered the tax burden when VAT was increased last year. It is big business’ turn to pay their fare share. Tell Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, he must increase Corporate Income Tax for the tax-dodging and greedy rich and start prioritizing economic relief for the people. We welcome the announcement that sanitary pads, white bread flour and cake flour will be VAT free. With VAT at 15%- the burden of fixing the economy is still on the shoulders of the poor. But the gap between the rich and poor in Mzansi is one of the largest in the world. Mzansi is a country where the top 10% control 90-95% of the wealth [2]. It is unjust that Treasury keeps proposing solutions to the ongoing economic crisis by increasing the tax burden on the majority, especially poor Black women especially whilst 89% of companies in SA don’t pay Corporate Income Tax [3] and R965 billion leaves the continent in illicit financial flows every year. [4] Mzansi is dominated by greedy multinational companies. We the people essentially subsidize corporates. Government cutting public expenditure on things like healthcare, housing and social grants which give financial relief to an already struggling poor is not the solution to our struggling economy. Tell government and Treasury to tax the mega-rich instead by increasing the Corporate Income Tax. [1] The 2018 mid-term budget speech in a nutshell, Staff Writer for Business Tech October 2018 [2] 10 Percent Of South Africans Own 90 Percent Of The Country's Wealth, Staff Reporter for The Huffington Post July 2018 [3] Corporates not ‘tax compliant’. Baldwin Ndaba and African News Agency for The Mercury 22 Aug 2018
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  • Tell Minister of Justice to ban public displays of the Apartheid flag
    The apartheid regime flag is a legacy of apartheid. It is a tool used by people who call themselves South Africans under the democratic constitution of this country. It is a constant reminder of the criminal and unjust acts of our country's past. It is a symbol of oppression and it should be banned from being displayed in public. This will help prevent those who still have it from terrorizing Black people.
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  • Tell Heineken to stop abusing labour broker workers in South Africa
    (For those who are Dutch speakers there is a translation of the below text into Dutch at the end of the English text) A total of 55 workers were recently dismissed from the Heineken brewery in Sedibeng, South Africa. The workers were employed through labour brokers to do jobs such as sorting and packing. Some have been earning less than R4500 per month and they all earn only 20-25% of what their co-workers who are directly employed by Heineken earn. These workers have been working under, what they call ‘slavery conditions’. Gladys Thaane who worked at Heineken brewery in Sedibeng for 9 years before being dismissed says, “They keep us in a state of being unsure and anxious all the time by moving us from labour broker to labour broker. I worked under five different labour brokers while doing the same job of packing and sorting for Heineken. This is their way of keeping us away from decent wages and rights. For us women it is so bad. We suffer from long periods (menstruation), back pains and breast problems but we cannot say anything because we are not sure we’ll have a job the next day. The managers even target us for sexual harassment. Now when we claim our rights they chase us away.“ The workers were accused of participating in an ‘illegal gathering’ and ‘breaking labour laws’ by the labour brokers who employed them. This despite the fact that there is no concept of an ‘illegal gathering’ in South Africa’s laws. The workers took part in a legal protest in their time off against someone other than their official employer which means there was no way they broke labour laws. The workers were part of a group that visited Heineken’s head office in South Africa and tried to meet with the company. These workers were victimized for simply fighting for their basic rights. This hardheaded response of Heineken is consistent with how it reacted to all efforts of the labour broker workers to improve their conditions and claim their rights over the last few years. The company only acknowledged the workers and their struggles when there was public pressure on Heineken to treat its workers fairly. We demand that Heineken immediately rehire these workers with permanent employment and living wages. Bij de Zuid Afrikaanse Heineken brouwerij in Sedibeng zijn onlangs in totaal 55 werknemers onslagen. Zij waren in dienst als uitzendkrachten en verrichtten taken als flessen sorteren en kratten vullen. Sommigen verdienden minder dan 300 euro per maand. Uitzendkrachten verdienen slechts 20% tot 25% van wat werknemers verdienen die direct bij Heineken in dienstverband zijn. "Mijn naam is Gladys Thaane. Ik werk al 9 jaar bij Heineken Sedibeng en het is al 9 jaar een worsteling. We zijn constant bezorgd en onzeker op het werk omdat we van uitzendbureau naar uitzendbureau worden geschoven. Ik heb voor 5 verschillende uitzendbureaus gewerkt terwijl ik dezelfde baan had: flessen sorteren en kratten vullen voor Heineken. Dit is hun manier om ons weg te houden van degelijke betaling en onze rechten. Voor ons vrouwen is de situatie heel slecht. We lijden aan erge menstruatieklachten, rugpijn en borst problemen, maar we kunnen niets zeggen omdat we niet zeker weten of we de volgende dag nog een baan hebben. Vrouwen zijn zelfs het doelwit van sexuele intimidatie door managers. Wanneer we voor onze rechten opkomen, worden we weggejaagd. Maar we gaan niet weg. Help ons alstublieft om gerechtigheid te krijgen door deze petitie te tekenen." De ontslagen werknemers worden door de uitzendbureaus beschuldigd van ‘illegale samenkomst’ en het ‘overtreden van arbeidswetten’. In de Zuid Afrikaanse wet bestaat echter geen concept als ‘illegale samenkomst’. Daarnaast namen de werknemers feitelijk deel aan een legale bijeenkomst, in hun eigen tijd, bij een bedrijf dat officieel niet hun werkgever is. Dit betekend dat de uitzendkrachten niet in een positie waren om arbeidswetten te overtreden. De ontslagen werknemers zijn onderdeel van een groep die het hoofdkantoor van Heineken in Zuid Afrika bezochten in een poging een ontmoeting met het bedrijf te bewerkstelligen. De deur van het Heineken kantoor bleef echter dicht. Deze koppige reactie van Heineken is consistent met eerdere reacties van de multinational in de afgelopen jaren op de pogingen van de uitzendkrachten om hun situatie te verbeteren en hun rechten op te eisen. Slechts wanneer er publieke druk is uitgeoefend heeft het bedrijf gereageerd op de werknemers. Uw handtekening is van groot belang om Heineken te dwingen de, volgens de uitzendkrachten, “slavernij omstandigheden” aan te pakken. Eis dat de onterecht ontslagen uitzendkrachten direct hun baan terugkrijgen, permament bij Heineken in dienst komen en fatsoenlijke lonen betaald krijgen!
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