Category Archives: Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA)

Fedusa

FEDUSA Marches on Parliament

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and its affiliates in the public health and rail passenger service; HOSPERSA, PSA and UNTU, alongside many other unions operating in aggressive working environments, will march to Parliament on Tuesday to demand that Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula deploy the army in the embattled Cape Town region over the festive season when attacks on Emergency Medical Service (EMS) and passenger trains are their highest.
FEDUSA President Godfrey Selematsela will lead the March to Parliament on 05 December 2017 between 11:00H and 14:00H alongside General Secretary Dennis George and the provincial leadership of thousands of HOSPERSA, PSA, UNTU and all other FEDUSA affiliated unions, under the slogan: #Workers’LivesMatter. The March will end at the gates of Parliament where a Memorandum of Demands will be handed over to the Ministers of Defence, Police and Labour, to urgently address the dire security situation. The Media Conference will held at SATU House in Cape Town Central as detailed below:
Date: 4 December 2017
Time: 14:00H
Venue: SATU House
76 Cantebury Street Cape Town (Opposite Fruit & Vegetable, Roeland Street)
FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.
Fedusa

FEDUSA Concerned about Eskom’s Financial Position 21 November 2017

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is concerned that global credit rating agency Fitch has placed Eskom on a Rating Watch Negative (RWN) as this may force the cash strapped state power  utility to apply for yet another tariff increase or lay-off workers on a large scale to stay afloat. RWN refers to the status that the credit-rating agencies gives Eskom while they are deciding whether to lower that company’s credit rating.  Moreover, Eskom has borrowed R355 billion from different institutions. The book value of equity as reported in the financial results for the year ended March 2017 is R175.9 billion. The debt-to-equity ratio is currently 2.0x.

FEDUSA is concerned that the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) bought and holds almost R100 billion worth of Eskom bonds. On average, the coupon payable on the bonds held by the PIC is 7.9% per year.

The negative outlook comes as the country is on a knife edge as deep political uncertainty grows over what rating agencies will say about South Africa when announce the sovereign credit rating on Friday. The agencies have already downgraded South Africa to a sub-investment level or junk status. However speculation is rife that crediting rating agencies will put the announcement of another sovereign downgrading on hold until the outcome of the ANC’s elective conference in December.

“The RWN reflects our intention to reassess the strengths of Eskom’s with the government of South Africa (BB+/Stable) due to Eskom’s weakening liquidity and funding access partially stemming from unresolved governance issues, weak cash flows driven by lower than expected increases due to delays in implementing outstanding regulatory clearing account applications,” Richard Barrow, Fitch’s Principal Analyst said in statement.

Barrow said the key drivers for placing Eskom on a RWN were corporate governance and liquidity issues. It is argued that one in four South Africans or 26% will source their energy from Eskom by 2030, this will reduce the demand for electricity.

“Fitch understands Eskom began a recovery programme to address the findings relating to the qualified audit opinion in the 2017 annual results. The most recent CEO rotations and their increased frequency increases uncertainty about the continuity of the recovery plan. The programme has not yet provided confidence that the targets will be met despite our have been achieved understanding that the milestones set by the committees have been achieved at end – September improving corporate governance,” he said.

“Fitch expects the Minister of Public Enterprises to appoint a permanent Board before the end of November. Eskom has an interim Board on nine members rather than 15. Fitch expects the new Board to appoint permanent management”.

Fedusa

FEDUSA Warns Against Destroying Printing Industry

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and the South African Typographical Union (SATU), the oldest trade union in the printing industry with more than 100 years of service to workers and an affiliate of FEDUSA, have cautioned the government against introducing legislative changes that would destroy the printing industry and jeopardize and lead to massive jobs losses.

FEDUSA’s warning follows a recent announcement by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi that the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Bill will be submitted to cabinet for approval early next year.

The Bill proposes to introduce far –reaching changes South Africa’s tobacco laws, including: a zero-tolerance policy on in-door smoking in public places and the removal of designated smoking areas in restaurants; a ban on outdoor smoking in public places; when smoking outside, smokers would be required to be at least 10 metres away from public entrances; the removal of all signage on cigarette packaging except the brand name and health warning and the requirement retailers will no longer be allowed to display cigarette and tobacco merchandises.

“The minister’s decision to have cigarettes packaged  in plain packaging will have a massive negative impact on the workers and the industry workers and will lead to massive job losses,” said FEDUSA Secretary General Dennis George

 

“FEDUSA also supports the views that have been expressed by the tobacco industry – which employs more than 21 000 people and generates R14.5 billion in tax revenue –   that a policy of plain cigarette packaging is disproportionate and will not deliver its intended results and significantly erodes intellectual property rights and could have a significant knock-on effect on South Africa’s economy”.

Fedusa

FEDUSA Condemns Barbaric Attack on Traffic Policer Officer

The Federations of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has strongly condemned church-goers who beat an on duty traffic police officer unconscious on Sunday after he hooked an illegally parked vehicle on Claim Street in Hillbrow, Johannesburg.

It is understood the officer fired shots in the air to disperse congregants from the Revelation Church owned by the notorious prophet Radebe, but the unruly mob ignored the warning shots, overpowered him, took his service fire arm and beat him until he was unconscious. The officer was then rushed to Milpark where he has been hospitalised.

One of the suspects was arrested when they went to hand in the firearm at Hillbrow Police Station and charged with the illegal possession of a weapon.

“We cannot tolerate such illegal and barbaric behaviour in our country,” said FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George.

“All the culprits must be arrested and face the full might of the law. The officer was on duty and doing what he is required to do; enforcing the municipal by-laws which everyone must respect”.

Stop School Capture – FEDUSA

The Federations of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and its affiliates in the basic education sector, the South African Teachers’ Union (SAOU) and the Public Servants Association (PSA) have called on the government to stop school capture by scraping deleterious amendments that have been proposed to the South African Schools Act (SASA).
FEDUSA says the proposed amendments will disempower communities by transferring school governance to state officials and are fertile grounds for capturing school finances. FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George says what is being proposed will take public education back to the pre- 1994 era.

“That is to say, to a system of state schooling in which each school is an extension of the political dispensation of the day. What this means is that schools will have no choice but to toe a specific political line and the noble notion of the school as a democratic institution will come to nothing. These amendments will in no way whatever, improve the quality of education and are without doubt, designed to ‘capture’ every school for the sole purpose of advantaging the state,” says George.
“The excuse offered is that not all governing bodies can fulfil their duties which clearly begs the question: What then has the government been doing for the past twenty or more years? It is also important to note that the proposed amendments run counter to the Education White Paper and the National Development Plan. Both policy documents require school communities to enjoy the highest degree of autonomy. This explicit ‘school capture’ is a step backwards: one that, over the long term, will push an already ailing system, closer to the edge. It places schools in the hands of redeployed cadres who have absolutely no sense of the education needs of either schools or their communities”.

George says of particular concern is the plan to take the appointment of senior posts in schools out of the hands of the school governing bodies and place it instead in the hands of officials.
“To date, it was a generally accepted principle that parents and schools were in the best position to objectively decide which principal, deputy principal and head of department most satisfactorily fulfilled the school’s curriculum and cultural requirements while also fitting in with the nature and ethos of the school,” he said.
“Other aspects that suggest school capture are the fact that schools can be forced to make use of centralised procurement systems and that education authorities can simply use school facilities willy nilly without the school being able to claim remuneration for maintenance or possible breakages. Furthermore, the prescript that the purchase of just about any article at all is subject to departmental approval is clear proof that the department wants to exercise control over schools’ purse strings”.
SAOU and the PSA is already collaborating with other education unions as the National Professional Teachers’ Organization of South Africa (NAPTOSA) and the National Teachers’ Union (NATU) and other stakeholders in basic education to fight this draconian attempt to capture schools calls on every responsible citizen to reject it as it can only be a move that totally contradicts and makes a mockery of quality and democratic education, concluded George.

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Hawks Must Come Clean about Prasa Investigation ­ FEDUSA

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has called on
Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba, the Acting National Commissioner of the South African Police Service to urgently intervene and order the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks) to come clean about the progress of investigations into alleged corruption at the Passenger
Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

On 19 June 2017 Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed in writing to the United National Transport Union (UNTU), FEDUSA¹s affiliate in the passenger transport sector, that investigations into allegation pertaining to PRASA were continuing but added that the Hawks were not obliged to go into the details.

UNTU General Secretary Steve Harris says two years have passed since former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, released her report, Derailed, in which she found widespread evidence of maladministration, improper conduct and nepotism.

³However up until now no individuals have been brought before the Courts, says Steve Harris, General Secretary of UNTU. On 6 June 2017 UNTU wrote a letter to Lieutenant-General Mothiba asking him for feedback on the Hawks investigation into allegation of fraud and corruption at PRASA after the now former PRASA Board alleged that the Hawks refused to investigate the allegations. Despite several reminders, Lieutenant-General Mothiba has
not responded to UNTU¹s letter,² said Harris.

In the most recent turn of events the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) filed an application at the Pretoria High Court yesterday to intervene in a case aimed at prosecuting those who siphoned off about R5.4bn in railway contracts at PRASA.

OUTA wants the Court to compel the Hawks to investigate the alleged corruption at PRASA and wants the Court to compel the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to guide the investigations. This truly is a sad day as this is the basis of Constitutional mandate to South African Citizen of both the SAPS and the NPA.

He said the OUTA court action comes after outgoing PRASA chairperson Popo Molefe had accused former and current Transport Ministers of undermining the Board¹s ability to do proper investigations into the Derailed report.

It was the Board of Prasa who approached the court to successfully set aside the  Swifambo contract amounting to approximately R2.6 billion. UNTU would once again appeal to the SAPS and the NPA to stop undermining public confidence in the criminal justice system in South Africa by simply irrespectively arresting and prosecuting the culprits without the Courts ordering them to do so, concluded Harris.

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FEDUSA Outraged With the Axing of Gordhan and Calls on President Jacob Zuma to Resign Immediately

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is deeply disappointed and outraged with the manner in which President Jacob Zuma has handled the Cabinet reshuffle which saw Pravin Gordhan axed from his position as Finance Minister, alongside his Deputy, Mcebisi Jonas. The union federation is calling on President Zuma to resign with immediate effect.

“The timing of the axing of Gordhan and the manner in which it has been done couldn’t have come at a worse time for our country. It is now a matter of public record that Gordhan was abruptly recalled from overseas trip this past weekend where he was leading a top National Treasury to avert a sovereign downgrading to junk status and attract much need foreign direct investment into our economy,” FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George said.

“The firing of Pravin Gordhan as Finance Minister simply intensifies the notion that the process of total state capture has now been set firmly in motion. The timing was of the media release announcing the Cabinet reshuffle at midnight on Friday essentially serves to highlight the real intent by the presidency. We regret the reshuffle completely as only reaffirms all aspects all aspects of state capture we have been highlighting as FEDUSA since our 6th National Congress in November last year”.

George said the overall leadership efficiency within government is now being questioned in the aftermath of the reshuffle because non performing but loyalist Ministers such as Bathabile Dlamini have been retained at the same time that President Zuma ‘s supporters from the ruling African National Congress (ANC)’s Women’s and Youth Leagues have been roped into the National Executive.

The long term economic stability as well as the strength of our currency will be now placed in jeopardy if a motion of no confidence is tabled against President Zuma in Parliament and the South African Communist Party, an ANC Alliance sticks to its threat to recall all Ministers from Cabinet if President Zuma fires Gordhan.

President Zuma did not a learn a lesson from 9 December 2015, brought on by the irresponsible and disastrous appointment of the new Finance Minister, Mr D van Rooyen by President Zuma, which created a major economic predicament, and resulted in approximately R500 billion being wiped from the South African pension funds of workers concludes George.

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FEDUSA Commits to Travel on International Road 27 March 2017

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) of South Africa General Secretary Dennis George is committed to travelling to London tonight to meet up with Team South which arrived in the British capital this morning at the start of an international road that will proceed to Boston and New York which and is aimed at promoting South Africa as an investor friendly destination and preempting the threat of a sovereign downgrading by the credit rating agencies.

“The General Secretary’s flight is already booked for departure tonight and he looks forward to meeting South Africa’s delegation consisting of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and business leader Jabu Mabuza. Any questions relating to the apparent cancellation of the trip should be referred to the Presidency and National Treasury”.

This latest round of international roadshows would have been a follow-up of similar ones held last year, where Team South was able to convince the credit rating agencies and investors that South African social partners were working together to tackle structural challenges facing the country.

“Engaging credit rating agencies and investors is important for the country to ensure rapid inclusive economic growth and the creation of decent jobs for our people. Investments are critical for any developing country,” said FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George.

“It is always important for social partners to work together to give hope to our people, especially the young who find themselves without jobs, and to deliver a single, positive narrative about the country when dealing with investors and credit rating agencies”.

George added that if social partners were not working together to confront the myriad of structural challenges facing the country, it would imply that they were working against each other. This would be self-destructive and would not take South Africa forward.

Inclusive economic growth and job creation is not only about international investment, domestic investment is also critical. Similarly, economic growth of the nation is assured when citizens invest in the education of their children and in their own education, when a newly married couple invests in buying a new home, when an entrepreneur starts a new small business, and likewise when the developmental agenda calls for new resources and innovations, emphasized George.