Letters: Letters To the Editor

Winning Letter

It is important that we present Numsa’s vision to the South African public with clarity.

With the backdrop of the victory of the ANC in the elections, a clear call needs to be made for the SA community to focus on the vision so they can evaluate the commitment of their elected representatives, especially at local level.It is obvious that corruption is at the centre of the struggle to educate the community and that the devoted few are subject to being corrupted.

The challenge is to present the vision and at this crucial stage in the alliance, it would be important to corroborate the intention of a prosperous future for the people of this country. The minister of labour has said that globalisation is not benefiting the poor. Leaders should be engaged in debates concerning this concept, and not be allowed to neglect the route of this idea. We cannot sit back and watch small European countries uniting to maintain their prosperity at the expense of developing nations.

SA is in a position to influence a positive response in terms of this challenge, to be able to set its own goals and time tables and we cannot allow the corrupt nature of a few deceitful individuals to maintain the heights of corruption. The light of the future needs to be shone so as to expose corruption. Numsa delegates and the vision of the union must be used to project this light.

Shop stewards in the Durban South Basin (DSB) operate within a very prosperous environment. Statistically it contributes 11% to SA’s GDP. It is also clear that the cooperation we acknowledge is from the governing party, the ANC. However, we as shop stewards in the DSB are gearing ourselves for a closer relationship with government so as to challenge the status quo.

We also would like to take this opportunity to ask the faithful leadership of Numsa to assist us in our endeavour to focus the vision of the union for clarity. One way forward, would be for the leadership to provide or motivate an immediate programme of building and maintaining collaborative relations at community level.ANC, PRs and Numsa shop stewards need to engage to ensure the continuance of the alliance. The reason for this focus is to meet the challenge of NGOs and CBOs who purport to be performing a community service but who abuse funding. This could be done by forming genuine crisis committees which could be resourced by the objectives and integrated when the need arises as it is well known that workers contributed significantly towards the 2004 elections.

Victory it would be, as a starting point to recognise and appraise the contributions which in turn would work towards educating workers on more lucrative community based projects.

Francois Quarrie, LTA Grinaker, Isipingo Local


Dear Madam

I would like to congratulate and salute you for the work that you have done in the Eastern Cape. I crown you the “˜mother of the nation’.

Cuban president, Fidel Castro, once said “All of us were prejudiced against women, we used to believe that all women could do was wash the dishes, wash and iron clothes, cook, keep the house and bear children. The revolution has taught us that women are an enormous potential force and provide extraordinary human resources.”

Your excellency, I am writing this letter to you in your capacity as a democratically elected premier of the Eastern Cape. Just recently, I have had an unpleasant fight with the taxi owners. I am writing this as an open letter because I don’t have your address and I am afraid that you might ignore it, hence I decided to go public.

There is a disturbing culture of silence in this region regarding the behaviour of taxi owners and if not dealt with, will negate the gains of our infant democracy.

On August 29 at about 6am I accompanied my wife to Track-Inn Garage to get transport to work. While we were waiting for transport to drive my wife to Port Alfred Hospital, we were approached by taxi owners who told us that it is unlawful to hike at that garage so we must go to Njoli taxi rank to get a taxi that will send my wife to work.

They told us that they are not interested in our stories and called names to my wife in front of me. They treated us like dirt. It pained me to watch them insulting my wife as if she had done something wrong.

Her only sin was to choose which transport she was going to use to go to work. Due to this altercation, my wife arrived late at work and the following day she had to ask for leave, she was sick.

August 9 is National Women’s Day. On that day, the people of South Africa remember the women and the women’s organisations of the 1950s and in particular the FSAW. I would like you Madam Premier, to ask these people (taxi owners) or their organisations if they know about August 9. Do they understand that womanhood is the most visible custodian of ubuntu, do they treat their wives like dogs, what do they gain from treating people like animals?

The reason is not what happened on August 29, but their attitudes towards the people.

In 1994, this country was democratised. South Africa is a democratic system, both the constitution and the law allow for the exercise of various freedoms contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As a concerned citizen of this country, those who do not respect our constitution, democracy and the rule of law, the law must take its course without fear or favour.

We deserve a right to be treated with human decency, dignity and respect. We have a right to use any kind of public transport to and from work. To have a taxi does not give them permission to control which transport people use.

The idiotic behaviour of some taxi owners needs to be challenged sooner rather than later. Gone are the days when it was inconceivable to confront taxi owners.

Though viewed as people interested in building the economy of this country, if that behaviour is to uplift the South African economy, one thing is certain – much training and encouragement must be forced on them. Rightly or wrongly, some of them have failed to conquer life’s challenges and they need to revisit their past.

On August 29, I found out that these people need to make peace with themselves first and try by all means to find happiness within their hearts as they are bitter with their lives and their communities.

Terrible memories come rushing back to me every time I have to ride a taxi, memories I try so hard to push away – my wife being insulted in front of me and being called names by people who claim to be committed to the upliftment of the taxi industry.

I long for the days when communities were organised and disciplined from the street level upwards.

On a parting note, your excellency, I fully believe that it is vital to have the lines of communication open with the taxi industry. However, to be polite with people and make a meaningful connection with them will not cost them a cent. Taxi owner, smile with your community and the world will smile back on your business. I do not want to hit back but please taxi owners, don’t force me to do so.

Vuyisile ka Fundakubi, VWSA, Uitenhage