BUSINESS was pleased that the Cosatu protest in Cape Town had been orderly and peaceful.
“This is a great improvement on previous protests where there have been unpleasant incidents of violence and vandalism,” said Mr Michael Bagraim, President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Mr Bagraim accepted a memorandum from the strikers.
“I think the protest was much smaller than the one we were promised and I’m sure this helped the marshals to maintain order. They did very well and I hope that we see good order like this in future protests.”
He said it was unfortunate that Cosatu had chosen to combine the protests against toll roads and labour brokers as they were totally different issues and so “we will never know what the strikers were actually protesting against.”
Mr Gordon Metter, Deputy President of the Chamber, said business shared Cosatu’s concern about toll roads and e-tolling.
“At present this is not a Cape problem but it will be and we would like to state that business will strongly oppose any attempt to bring e-tolling to the Western Cape. It is an expensive and inefficient way to pay for roads and we will join others who share our views to oppose it in every way we can.”
Mr Bagraim said the
banning of labour brokers was not a popular cause. Business was in favour of the regulated labour broking provided for in the new Bill before Parliament as it should get rid of the fly-by-night brokers, eliminate abuse and excessive profit taking while it still ensured protection for workers.
“Most people understand that labour brokers bring many young people into the work place and this often leads to permanent jobs. The provision that temporary employment had to become permanent after six months would give more people a chance to work and the income would be better distributed in communities.”
He said there had been little disruption and employers had not been unduly concerned about the strike. “For many struggling businesses it was a day when they did not have to pay striking workers. This was a saving for firms that did not have enough orders on hand to keep their workers busy.”