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SACP says it supports SAMWU strike in Buffalo City, condemns acts of criminality

Nov 28, 2018
SACP says it supports SAMWU strike in Buffalo City, condemns acts of criminality

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Buffalo City says it is deeply concerned with the ongoing standoff between the Buffalo City Municipality and organised labour, which has left citizens of Buffalo City highly-inconvenienced "particularly the working class communities that have been without basic services such as electricity and water".  

Hundreds of workers from the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) downed tools last week Tuesday, calling for the permanent employment of temporary workers and an improvement in their working conditions. 

The workers, aligned with the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU), have been striking in both East London and King Williams Town and have been accused of vandalising public property in order to further their cause.

"The SACP fully supports the demands made by organised labour as articulated by the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU)," said Luntu Sokutu, SACP Buffalo City District Spokesperson.

"This includes the ending of outsourcing which the SACP has been consistently calling for in the metro."

Sokutu said that the SACP is calling on the leadership of the municipality "to immediately resolve the dispute that has left workers with no choice other than to withdraw their labour".

"The manner and vigour in which the city is quick to respond to acts of violence and sabotage should be consistent with the manner in which it responds and resolves the dispute it has with the workers," he added.

"We join all those, including SAMWU, that have condemned the acts of violence and disruption of services such as electricity and water.

"It is also deeply worrying to learn that the electricity and water cuts only affect the working class communities, which is probably the reason why the City is working at a snail’s pace to resolve the dispute."

SACP says those taking advantage of SAMWU strike must be arrested

Sokutu said that the SACP is calling on authorities to act decisively in instances of criminality that has nothing to do with the issues raised by workers.

"We further call on workers to refuse to be used by outside elements which seek to use their plight to further their own narrow and political objectives," he added.

"The SACP will meet with the leadership of SAMWU and other involved trade unions in an effort to help the speedily resolution of the dispute.

"The working class remain the most reliable motive force in the struggle to overcome racial oppression, class super-exploitation and patriarchal relations of power, as such, the working people should not have to resort to withdrawing their labour during a very critical time of the year for the ANC led government to respond to their demands."

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