IT SEEMS the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) thinks its members are prepared to wait hundreds of years for change. Dumisani Dakile, the Gauteng chairman, said on Monday that Cosatu would continue to protest and fight for a ban on labour brokers, no matter how long it took.
"Well, it took hundreds of years to end slavery, so we can keep fighting," he said. Labour brokers bring labour to employers for a commission. A colleague of the Insider who has been following the campaign for years finds it quite sad. Even though the government, other unions and business have accepted that brokers are not going to be banned as they add jobs to the economy, Cosatu will not be moved.
Surely those who will be paying Cosatu for another century or so would prefer the union to come to the party, as it were?
What about the return trip?
REUTERS reports that Iran has successfully launched a live monkey into space. The state news agency Irna touts it as an advance in a missile and space programme that has alarmed the West and Israel. There was no independent confirmation of the report, which quoted the defence ministry. It said the launch coincided "with the days of" the Prophet Mohammad’s birthday last week, but gave no date.
The Insider is alarmed that this has alarmed the West and Israel; Soviet Russia put a dog into space and the US managed to land a man on the moon (of course they did!) and neither of these seems to have helped them in terms of domestic woes and economic meltdown.
The Insider feels for the primate and his family, though, for no mention of a return flight is made.
Not members of the people
MEMBERS of Parliament are developing a reputation of putting themselves first. Last year, the members of Parliament’s mineral resources committee refused to visit Marikana, the scene of the Lonmin massacre, on concern for their safety. The agriculture committee has been dithering over whether to visit De Doorns, the epicentre of the strikes in the Western Cape.
Striking farmworkers in De Doorns closed the N1 highway for almost three weeks by throwing stones and dragging rocks across it, and developed their own reputation for militancy. They also complained that the government and politicians were not taking them seriously, as no high-ranking politician had visited them to see their condition.
The agriculture committee called off its fact-finding trip, scheduled for today, at the last minute, because its chairman, Lulu Johnson, said they were not organised. He said the committees of labour and rural development also wanted to join the trip and a new date had to be found. This should be good news for the workers of De Doorns, as they will be able to greet three committees with one shower of stones.
"Poverty is the worst form of violence."
Mahatma Gandhi, Indian leader and pacifist (1869-1948).
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