Threat to disrupt 2010 draw

WORKER FURY: Workers at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban march to city hall. Pic. Makgotso Gulube. 15/11/2007. © Sowetan.
WORKER FURY: Workers at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban march to city hall. Pic. Makgotso Gulube. 15/11/2007. © Sowetan.

Sne Masuku

There are fears that the current strike by construction workers at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium could lead to the disruption of the Fifa preliminary draw to be held in Durban next week.

Officials of the National Union of Mineworkers and the companies contracted to build the stadium were locked in meetings all day yesterday.

NUM spokesman Bonginkosi Mncwabe said the draw could be in danger as they might disrupt it. He said the union would protest at the venue of the draw, which could disrupt the event.

He told Sowetan that a new proposal on project bonuses had been put on the table by employers.

Mncwabe, however, could not divulge the amount offered, saying it would jeopardise the negotiations. He could only confirm that it was more than R500.

Earlier, the union had rejected an offer of R500, demanding a bonus of R1500 a month for each worker over and above their wages.

NUM national spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said the union was considering protesting at Durban's Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on the day of the 2010 Fifa preliminary draw to highlight their grievances.

The negotiations resumed on Wednesday, a few hours after the workers had protested outside Durban City Hall where they delivered a memorandum to the municipal manager, Michael Sutcliffe.

Seshoka said there would also be disruptions at all major 2010 construction sites countrywide on Wednesday as a result of secondary strikes.

"We plan to hold protests at venues where our demands will be listened to and heard," he said.

On Tuesday, the NUM filed an application for a secondary strike following the dispute. Should the application be granted, it is likely to cripple most major 2010 projects.

The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal has described the planned secondary strike action and threats to disrupt the preliminary draw as a disgrace to the city of Durban and the country as a whole.

The DA's John Steenhuisen said the draw would be South Africa's first public outing relating to 2010 and it was essential "we put our best foot forward".

"The disruptions will only serve to embarrass South Africa and Durban on the international stage," he said.