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LFC Milling Company workers call for an end to discrimination, better pay
14 June 2021, 9:45 PM

Workers at LFC Milling Company at Wesselsbron in the Free State have called on their bosses to dismiss employees who discriminate against Black staff. They allege that there’s an employee, who abuses workers and frequently uses the “K” word. They also complained about low wages and victimisation.

The workers, led by Neawusa, marched and handed over a memorandum of demands to the company. They say they’ve worked over a decade with no salary increase. Those who were injured on duty are still waiting to be compensated.

Frans Gasengake says he has been working for LFC Milling for 14 years without any promotion. He got injured on duty in 2016, but to date, he has not been compensated.

“I have been working here since 2007 and I got injured in 2016 until today I have never received any compensation so it is very bad, very bad because now the company is improving but their employees are very poor,” explains Gasengake.

Workers also accuse LFC Milling of failing to address work-related issues, such as appointments and overtime payments.

“Most of the people who are working here, they are not being compensated well as they get injured at work but now we are very fortunate  to have a union such as this because now they are fighting for us so that we work in a good working environment.”

“I was held hostage, I was praying for my life as they were trying to kill me. But the next day I was told to come to work.”

Neawusa is calling for equal work and equal pay to apply to all workers. The union’s Secretary-General, Tsiliso Lenepa, says they have given the management seven days to respond to the demands.

“The demands is wages worth R6 500 to the lowest, we have been talking with the employers since last year….whereby we deadlocked and we have been trying to talk to the employer in a way that he must understand all the issues. As well as the provident fund that must be transferred from the Sacawu fund to the hospitality fund. And the other thing is the discrimination that is in here whereby black workers are treated in a very bad manner.”

The management of the LFC Milling Company has declined to comment.

Neawusa members protest against LFC Milling company: 

SA reports 5 552 new COVID cases, more than two-thirds from Gauteng
14 June 2021, 8:46 PM

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has released the latest coronavirus data – which shows that Gauteng accounts for more than two-thirds of the new cases.

Gauteng has registered over 3 700 new coronavirus cases of the national figure of over 5 500.

The NICD says in a statement that the national case positivity rate is at 18.5%, which is almost four times higher than the acceptable limit.

One hundred and 14 more deaths were recorded – taking the death toll to 57  879.

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South Africa entered the third wave of the pandemic just over a week ago.

People are urged to avoid places with poor ventilation as well as large crowds. Mask wearing, social distancing, and handwashing remain the best way of slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

Unpacking increasing COVID-19 cases in Gauteng with Prof. Bruce Mellado:

 

Al Jamah calls on Ramaphosa to place SA back to level five lockdown
14 June 2021, 8:07 PM

The Al Jamah political party is calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to place the country back to Level 5 of the lockdown even if it’s for one or two weeks.

This comes as the country enters the third wave of coronavirus infections with daily new infections rising steeply in a number of provinces.

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Al Jamah Leader, Ganief Hendricks, says the country still remains in a coronavirus war zone.

Hendricks also wants the sale of alcohol and cigarettes to be prohibited.

“Al Jamah still feels today that we are in a war situation. For the past year, we supported the president with regards to each time of extending the state of Disaster, and we still supporting the President wherever we can. We are now in the third wave and people are dying like flies. And we feel that the President must ignore the official opposition party (DA) and focus on only saving lives. And he shouldn’t worry about saving livelihoods because we are in a war situation. We cannot let lives be lost just to save an extra job or two.

So, Al Jamah’s position is that there should be a complete lockdown that we must move to level five, maybe just for a week or two, and secondly, there must be a complete alcohol ban because it has been proven that alcohol is causing much harm. And the President has given into the captains of the wine industry and that was the big mistake. We also feel that there must be a ban on cigarettes just like it was in level five. So we are in a war situation and we need to throw everything at defeating the pandemic,” says Hendricks.

President Ramaphosa raises concern about a possible third wave of coronavirus infections in SA: 

Call for improved security at Eastern Cape’s James Jolobe High School
14 June 2021, 6:45 PM

Learners, teachers, and parents of the James Jolobe High School in Gqeberha, in the Eastern Cape, gathered on Monday, calling for improved security at the school. Their action came after two separate robberies on the school premises.

It’s alleged that in the first incident a learner was robbed after the perpetrators gave her a choice to either get raped or robbed.

In the second incident, criminals ransacked the staff room, taking valuable school equipment and teachers’ belongings.

Principal, Fundile Diamond, says: “There was robbing on Monday and on Friday. In the first incident, a girl was robbed inside the classroom, two criminals pointed her with a gun and asked her to choose between robbing and rape. So they took her phone and money.

We reported that matter and took the girl to psychological services from the department. In the second, we were in the office three armed guys came and took the laptops and phones.”

Community demands improved security at James Jolobe High School:

The school is not fenced. Learners and teachers are at the mercy of criminals.

Victims of the latest incidents are receiving counselling.

“We are really scared and traumatised. We are here because we need to be, but we are not coping. It is painful to see your teachers running around and crying. We do not feel safe or protected here, we need the government to do something,” one of the learners told SABC News.

“This is the Youth Month, we are hoping that the government prioritises us as the youth. It is impossible to learn under these conditions. It is hard to study when you are afraid. We need someone to help us,” added another learner.

Parents are now faced with a difficult choice of prioritising their children’s safety or education.

The only reason I let my child come to school today is because they are writing exams, and I don’t want her to fall behind. But if it were for me, I’d let her stay at home. This is bad, we need the government to assist. Our children are really not safe here, we can’t get robbed two times in one week,” says School Governing Body (SGB) member, Zalisile Mboso.

The department of education says it’s in the process of fencing unfenced schools and James Jolobe High is on that list.

Classes suspended at Witbank Technical High School following clash between parents
14 June 2021, 5:15 PM

Teaching and learning have been suspended at Witbank Technical High School in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga. On Monday morning, parents and community members clashed outside the school.

Some parents demanded that the school be closed due to claims of racism and discrimination:

It’s understood that the protest was sparked by a fight between a White and a Black learner last week.

It’s alleged that the White pupil used the K-word when referring to the Black learner.

Only two Black pupils were suspended.

A parent of a suspended pupil, Bahlulile Tshabalala, says: “What the school has done is unfair, my child is sitting at home while others are writing exams.”

White parents claim they were merely protecting the pupils and the school property.

Hennie Grobler says: “We came here to protect the children Black or White and the school that is not burnt.”

One of the pupils agrees that racism is rife at the school.

“Teachers and White children are always calling Black children racism names and slur.”

Calm restored at eMalahleni Technical High School following clashes:

Mpumalanga Education MEC, Bonakele Majuba, says the department of education is investigating.

“We have decided to suspend all for a week, and we will be investigating the matter and the two will be given a chance to write the exam,” adds Majuba.

Apparently, the school governing body and teachers are mainly White. The department says that too must be addressed.

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