Community: Labour on air

Labour slots on community radio stations will start again from the beginning of May. Numsa’s radio djs tell you why you should listen in!

Bonga Ngwane – Imbokodo Radio 96.8FMListen to the show because it is about labour news, problems and remedies to those problems.From the beginning of May, the labour slots will be on air again. This is what Numsa’s djs have to say about their radio stations……

Jacobus du Plessis – KC Radio 107.7FMThe education that we have is not enough. Listen to the slot to get more educated on subjects that affect you.

Sharon McKinnon – KC Radio 107.7FMTrade unionists, retrenched workers, and unemployed workers should listen in. It’s in your best interests to listen in. Don’t carry all the responsibilities on your shoulders.

Rosemary Maboke – Moretele Community Radio – 106.6FMIf you have labour problems, listen in every day between 7pm and 10pm to get advice.
William Syzaar – Oudsthoorn – 90.1FMGet your labour rights on air free of charge.
Sipho Sibanyoni – Greater Middelburg 89.7FMIt’s for you to take ownership of labour issues on radio stations, get the issue straight from the radio not secondhand

RDP houses should not be put on a jumble sale!Why would people moved from a squatter camp into new RDP houses choose to go back to a squatter camp? Peter Thobejane went to find out why.

In 2002 residents of Driehoek squatter camp and Germiston squatter camp known as “Five” were given application forms to apply for RDP houses. However, some refused to complete application forms.

The Germiston City Council told the squatters they must move from Driehoek because of a large sinkhole in the area. Earlier in 1991, steel company Wedge Steel, had relocated to Wadeville because of the very same sinkhole. There were fears that the company might disappear into the hole.

By 2003, the process of building the new RDP houses was complete. Those that had applied were taken to their new houses. The Driehoek area was patrolled by the SA National Defence Force for 24 hours to stop squatters moving back into the area again. However, no sooner had squatters moved into their new houses than some sold them for R15 000 and moved back to “Five” next to Germiston station.

“The place we were moved to is far away from the industrial area,” they told me. They also said that the only transport that was available was taxis which demanded “money from our pockets every day”. They said they had to spend R25 every day on transport when that money should have been for food because they were not working.

In some areas where the RDP houses are situated, there are no trains. They told me that the train is much better because even if you are not working, you can afford to buy a monthly ticket to go and look for a job. But people must realise that the ANC government does not move people just for the sake of moving them. It is concerned about dangers and health hazards.

These houses are not for sale – it just increases the number of people who are still on the waiting list. And then the very same people will come back again and join those that are saying that government did not fulfill its promise to deliver houses.

Parting from Hilda TautonaLiesbet Mohutsiwa

It’s good to know that your work follows you even when you retire. Numsa shop steward, and Xactics employee for 28 years, Hilda Matlakala Tautona retired in December 2005.

“I was happy at work,” she laughs. “I didn’t like to just sit not working. I was feeling that the company was my home together with Numsa.”

And although now at home, workers are still “phoning me when they have a problem. Even shop stewards are contacting me and we meet each other at the local shop stewards council.”

In March, her local on Johannesburg’s West Rand gave her a party to thank her for the 19 years of service she gave to Numsa as a shop steward. But the parting from Numsa was not easy initially. “I felt like I was hanging on the washing line without pegs when my retirement came. But these painful thoughts ran away when my region said I can go for assistance to Numsa’s Johannesburg North local which is nearest to my home,” says Tautona.

“Numsa was really my home, especially in educating shop stewards. Even workers were pleased with my work of solving their difficulties and problems.”

Long years in the struggle mean that rest does not come easy for Matlakala. She is also an ANC member, a deputy chair of Top BEC and a ward committee member in the women’s portfolio. And her words of advice: “Comrades, let’s go forwards not backwards. Even if it’s cold or hot, keep on holding because this is history for our grandchildren.”