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South Point hit by wage strike, workers demand R8 500 minimum wage

By Afikile Lugunya - Sep 14, 2018
South Point hit by wage strike, workers demand R8 500 minimum wage

South Point, which manages off-campus accommodation at several buildings in Port Elizabeth for students studying at tertiary institutions in Bay, has been hit by a wage strike after its employees downed tools on Monday demand better salaries.

The protesting employees told RNEWS that they not only want an R8 500 minimum wage, but are also demanding better treatment from the company.

It also emerged that some of the protesters were apparently recently retrenched by the company.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Lulama Tshanga, alleged that they are treated "like slaves" at the company and they are not respected as they should be.

"If you are sick and you bring a sick note, they will just take you to a disciplinary hearing that's where they try to find out if the doctor you went to is registered or not," he described.

The employees said that they currently earn around R3 000, but they feel it’s too little and doesn't cover all their basic needs.

They feel R8 500 is a good starting point.

However, some students that reside at a South Point residence in Govan Mbeki Avenue, Port Elizabeth, were seen in the protest.

Speaking for the students, Yamkelani Ncume, who is a leader in the ANC youth league and in the South African Students Congress (SASCO) said: "We are also boycotting the company that is running this residence because many workers were retrenched and replaced by this company.

“As the students, we have a contract with the building and the minute they do not provide services, we have a problem.

"We must get clean showers and passages - so if that is not done, while we continue to pay, then that becomes a problem. We are saying that this company must go away because they are not doing what these retrenched employees were doing.”

He added that the students were genuinely happy with the work done by the protesting workers, which is why they feel that they were unfairly dismissed.

"It can't be that every month, we are raided for rent while we are not being serviced right."

South Point, which is a national company, was supposed to meet with a union representing unhappy employees on Friday.

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