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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

COSATU Media Monitor COSATU Media Monitor COSATU Media Monitor


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Email: donald @ cosatu . org . za

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  |  Memorandum

COSATU memorandum to Metro Rail City of Cape Town, Provincial Government and Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry

To whom it may concern

This memorandum from Cosatu is presented to you on behalf of the thousands of members of Cosatu and non Cosatu workers and communities, who depend on public transport in the City of Cape Town. It raises with your good offices the importance of Public transport to working families to enhance their social and economic interest. The lack of adequate public transport to the Cape Flats is a direct consequence of Apartheid spatial planning and preference of the white areas. That spatial planning put black families furthest away from the Industrial areas and City centres , a apartheid practice that is being continued by the DA , who does not want working class black and rich white to live together.

The Apartheid Government has stolen so much from African and Coulored families and communities and now this City that has the remnants of the National Party Leaders in its ranks continue to steal time from workers, by putting them the furthest away from their homes and denying them effective transport.

We need the public transport improved in the following ways

  • We want safety and security to be improved on the trains, with a guard in each carriage that is used. Too many of our people are being killed and robbed in the train system and the security is not effective. The Metro Rail staff must also be kept safe in their work stations.
  • We want the trains to be on time and reliable, so that it takes us to the end of our trip. too often the trains stop halfway on the trip and our people have to jump out and go and take a bus or a taxi at extra cost, after they had already bought a monthly train ticket.
  • We want more trains to be put in place on the lines so that the levels of overcrowding are alleviated. Many people have to hang out of trains and between carriages which leads to accidents that cause injury or loss of lives.
  • We want Metro rail to refund workers for the wages lost at work due to late arrivals, Metro Rail must also refund the ticket cost when they do not provide the service.
  • Metro Rail must ensure that there is proper communications on the stations to advise commuters about which platforms the trains will be running on. It is a danger when trains arrive at platforms that are not announced as people must then rush between platforms to catch the trains.
  • The Metro rails Management and security must treat commuters with dignity, to enhance the relationship and partnership between the parties.

City of Cape Town

Cosatu wants the City of Cape Town to realise that the greatest need for Public transport exist on the Cape Flats and it is there where the My City busses must first be rolled out. The wealthy people of Camps Bay and Millerton have their private cars to get them to work in the short term, whilst they wait for the My City busses to be rolled out to them.

The City of Cape Town must move some of the busses from Millerton and Blaauberg to Gugulethu and Elsie's River, where it is must more urgently need. The non-core buses like those to the Airport and Cable Way must also be moved to the cape flats. The people going to those destinations are wealthy and can take taxi or private busses in the short term.

Cosatu insist that the most urgent needs must be attended to first, whilst those that benefited from apartheid can a bit wait before their needs are attended to. The manner in which the City spends the Public funds to maintain the Apartheid generational advantages of white people is what is making the inequalities and racial tension increase in the City.

Provincial Government

The Provincial Government must put in place a public transport system between the towns in the rural areas. There is presently no public transport between the towns. The Provincial Government seems to be fine that rural communities must travel around on the back of the farmer's trucks, with the resultant accidents. The provincial Government is denying rural communities mobility which will give them more social and economic prospects, making them less depended on the farmers.

This Provincial Government has given Millions to farmers in the drought, but have no regard for the needs of farm workers clearly showing their racist intent of pandering to white interest at the cost of blacks.

Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry must advise its member companies to stop disciplining workers who arrive late due to the failure of Metro Rail trains to run on time. We want to work with the CCCI to sue Metro rail for the lost production that is threatening many of the companies with closure.


Cosatu calls on its members to advise communities to report those people guilty of sabotage or criminality on the train system. This criminal activities are undermining the interest of workers and communities and leading to a public transport crisis and we are working together to fix it.

This action is designed to tell all the Government and delivery agencies to speed up the development of an effective Public Transport system. We need to tell National Government that we need the same kind of money spent on the trains that the government spends on the planes that is the public transport of the rich.

We are tired of being treated second class by the City of Cape Town where the Mayor wears a gas mask when she visits our communities, but sneaks into Camps Bay to go and have lunch with rich developers, that she gives our land to the developers.

This protest is to call for more urgent action to address the crisis on the trains and busses, as well as the taxis, which only run in some areas, when they are full, thus delaying passengers.

Should the City, Province, National Government and Metro Rail not respond to our demands by the 17 August 2016, we will go on a full scale strike against those parties, on that day. This limited protest today is only to emphasise the seriousness about this crisis, whilst still ensuring that productivity is not affected, given the economic crisis that exist. But we know that we will only be taken seriously, when the Businesses are affected and the economic profits suffer.

We have made this sacrifice of our wages on this day, to fix a social service that is important to all sections of the working family's communities. An important social service that this DA government has no regard for because it services that affected by apartheid in the main. This neglect in services are seen in the way gangs are allowed to take control of our communities , how back yarders and informal sectors don't get basic services from the Municipality, how our communities are generally treated as second class in this City of Cape Town. All this whilst old white areas are fabulously serviced with landscapers, their grand sea point and strand pavilions have R400 million all0ocated to it for improvements and they have the most My City Buses.

We also call on everyone to support the Proudly South African Campaign, to buy local produced goods, especially the retailers, who are buying imported clothing products that are letting clothing workers lose their jobs Black lives matter and this struggle for public transport, is part of our greater effort to build a city that is more free and fair and equal.

Signed on this day 12 July in Cape Town

City of Cape Town .........................................

Provincial Government......................................

Metro Rail.................................................

Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry......................