VAVI CRITICISES INEQUITY IN THE BEE
Written by: Mbuso Kunene and Sandile Lukhozi
Former General-Secretary of Congress of South African Trade Union, Zwelinzima Vavi, lashed out at Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) during the South African Public Service Union (SAPSU) march at the Durban City Hall yesterday.
BEE has been hugely criticised in previous years for marginalising small businesses instead of helping them and is alleged to be promoting tenderpreneurs who receive tenders through political connections.
Speaking during the 40 years of youth day commemoration, Vavi said that BEE had not done any justice to South African workers who are employed through labour brokers.
“I want to tell you it was no mistake this march was led by temporary workers who are working as securities and cleaners because of BEE’s outsourcing system which benefits certain individuals at the expense of others,” Vavi said.
He applauded the workers for taking the initiative in expressing their frustrations in what is they believe is wrong.
“Today you had reminded us that indeed the birthplace of unions is KwaZulu-Natal. As it happened in 1971, 1972 and 1973 when workers same as you started such marches,” he added.
He promised to form a labour union that would put people’s needs first ahead of their own interests and benefits.
“We have been forced to form a federation that would not go to “bed” with the employee whether in private or government sector the federation would be the only solution of labour brokers,” Vavi stated.
KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Secretary of SAPSU, Joseph Sibiya, said that the purpose of the march was to address the exploitation of temporal employees in government institutions.
“We are marching today because Jacob Zuma hasn’t kept his promises of ending labour brokers and creating permanent employment for these workers, clearly we are being used. To the government, we demand that all workers that have worked three months under contract must be employed permanently,” Sibiya said.
Siyabonga Mzila, who works as a security guard at Umbilo TVET College, said that the money they earn does not meet their demands.
“We work under difficult conditions and we get paid R1500 with no bonuses at the end of the year. The maximum money we get is R2000 if worked overtimes on weekends,” Mzila said.
Labour unions are determined to continue fighting for workers’ rights.
*Caption: SAPSU members marching on Dr Pixely Ka-Seme Street, Durban