SATAWU HOLDING COUNTRY’S TRANSPORT AT RANSOM

The Democratic Alliance abhors the planned strike by the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) over wage grievances.

While acknowledging the right to strike, abusing this right in order to drive a personal agenda is an unacceptable practice in our democracy.

The revised wage offer by Transnet of 11 percent being rejected by the union illustrates this point.

In most private and state organisations employees have been enjoying increases between 6-8 percent as a norm over the last few years.

Thus it would appear given the wage increase norm, an increase of 11 percent (double inflation) is more than generous by Transnet given the difficult economic trading conditions we are all facing.

In order to address both ongoing grievances of all employees in the government transport sector, transport needs to be radically reformed by the introduction of public private partnerships and privatisation, concessions and management of transport infrastructure and assets in private hands.

In addition, a vibrant integrated and holistic approach to transport and value for money services is the way to go.

At the last portfolio committee of Transport in the Bhisho Legislature last week, I asked on behalf of the DA for details of all transport plans under the department to be implemented over the next few years in the province.

Upon receiving details of these plans, a way must be sought to integrate these plans with the private/public sector partners so that efficiency, value, transport and commuter choice for citizens of the province and a healthy work ethic by employees in such organisations will trump the “gun to the head” tactics of politically aligned Satawu-workers to disrupt transport in this province and the country for their own agenda and to the economic detriment of all.