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'The Trollip Administration must fall' EFF commenting on municipal strike

By Afikile Lugunya - Jun 20, 2018
'The Trollip Administration must fall' EFF commenting on municipal strike

There is no indication yet that the current strike by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality workers will be ending soon even as the Metro is beginning to look like a huge rubbish dump as the strike entered its fifth day.

The strike, which commenced on Thursday last week with the municipality's largest union, South African Municipal Workers' Union (SAMWU), downed tools, and deliverying their demands at the City Hall on Friday, has seen refuse not being collected across the City and residents having to seek alternative ways of disposing off their refuse.

On Monday, another union, the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU), also downed tools.

On Tuesday, the Metro warned residents to stay away from its Customer Care Centres after receiving reports of intimidation.

Without the Metro's litter pickers, many of the City's streets, including around the Metro's offices at City Hall, look messy with rubbish tossed about by the wind and vagrants. Back bags have also been piling up on many street corners.

On Wednesday, the Metro announced that its contingency plan to collect waste during the municipal strike is now in operation.

Following in the footsteps of the African National Congress (ANC), the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Tuesday also came out in support of the striking workers.

"The EFF in Nelson Mandela Region supports the municipal workers strike and calls on municipal management to speedily resolve the workers demands as the strike mostly affects the citizens more," explained Luvuyo Ponase, EFF Regional Spokesperson.

"The EFF encourages members and other unions to join the municipal workers in the total shut down in solidarity with fellow workers. Let us unite for we have nothing to lose but our chains."

Ponase said that the primary role of the EFF in the Bay region, among others, is to organize both the unemployed and employed working class, the discriminated and undermined professionals of all races, those who do not own the means of production, into mainstream political and class organization of Economic Freedom Fighters.

"In this context, the African working class constitute the core of the motive forces (forces that drive revolutionary motion) for radical change, because they stand to benefit from the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime.

"Therefore, the EFF and its newly elected leadership will be involved in mass movements and community protests that seek the betterment of people's lives," he described.

"We will not be bound by narrow alliance loyalties that compromise the interests of workers just because they are in different unions. Our pursuit of basic demands of the Freedom Charter is above forms of organization."

The Current Conditions

Ponase said that the EFF recognizes the black people of Nelson Mandela Metro "still live in absolute poverty, are landless, their children have no productive future, they are mistreated and they are looked down upon in a sea of wealth".

"The black majority, whatever their class location, are integrated into the mainstream of the economy in a subservient position relative to white people.

"The former liberation movement will never be a sustainable solution to the region's developmental problems the foreseeable future, owing to its ideological zigzags, open dominance of neoliberal and right-wing politics," he described.

"Its integrity and credibility here has hit its lowest levels because of lack of political leadership and an obsession with protecting the interests of white monopoly capital. They ANC has had an opportunity to lead the metro for years and still things have not changed significantly." 

Ponase also said that the trade union movement (which is supposed to defend worker's interests) are mostly swallowed into the same politics of reform.

"All those who push for a radical agenda are isolated, banished and portrayed as antigovernment. The dominant faction in the trade union movement will rid itself of progressive leaders. Despite massive and clear ideological differences, most trade unions movements will encourage workers to vote for the current government, despite its directionlessness." 

He added that the "Athol Trollip administration is meaningless to the masses of the black masses of Nelson Mandela Metro, because it has not been used to win the battles of the ordinary people".

"Instead, the Trollip Administration plays an active role in reproducing inequalities and imbalances of the past by not doing anything to transform the economy for the poor, opting rather for superficial changes through political black empowerment in deployment to sell outs who have neglected the revolution and pursued stomach politics.

"By dragging its feet to resolve the long-service Payback, paying of settlements in money owed to workers, wage review, reinstatement of some of the unfairly suspended workers...etc, it proves what the EFF has always been correct in that, the DA, Athrol Trollip administration is not a solution to the development of the metro because it seeks to maintain the apartheid and white a supremacist state, with the consequence that the majority, in effect, have become a voting, but powerless, majority," Ponase said.

"The current Trollip and DA led administration will not change the conditions of the people for the better and is loosened by the arrogance of power. Mayor, Athol Trollip and team lack the capacity to understand the people, hence deepening neglect and violence against the people, from the brazen abuse of power by political authorities and sheer disregard of the voice of the people.

"The Trollip Administration must fall." 

The EFF says that services like refuse collection, customer care centres and essential services, which have come to a halt due to the strike mostly affect the black communities mostly and leave communities in a deplorable state.

"We therefore call upon the city management to speedily resolve the demands of the workers so as to end the strike as soon as possible. We call upon striking workers to not engage in disruptions in their own locations where it will not matter most but intensify where it will be mostly felt."