Public/Media Statement: Stop the repression of casualised/contract workers in Ekurhuleni!

Respect the right to protest!

27 September 2018


The International Labour, Research & Information Group (ILRIG) along with the forty-one (41) community, labour and other civil society organisations, gathered in Johannesburg for the 16th Annual Globalisation School, condemn in the strongest possible terms the violent repression of the legitimate protest engaged in today by casualised/contract workers at the Ekurhuleni Municipality. The protest was organised by the Simunye Workers Forum (SWF), who are part of the School. 


The protestors gathered in front of the Ekurhuleni Municipality today, in the latest instalment of a 4 year struggle by over 3000 waste management and EPWP workers (the majority of whom are women) to achieve permanent work job status and all associated benefits. The workers have journeyed through the CCMA as well as the Bargaining Council and are now waiting for a date at the Labour Court. 



At the protest today, the workers were simply requesting that the Mayor come to meet them and respond to their demands. Not only did he refuse but the police then proceeded to violently attack the protestors with tear gas, rubber bullets and buckshot. As a result 44 people were injured and had to be taken to hospital. In addition, 3 women protestors were arrested.


Along with the SWF, all of the 100+ delegates at the ILRIG School demand the immediate release of those arrested and for the police personnel responsible for the completely disproportionate use of violence to break up the legitimate protest, to be held accountable.







For more information contact: 

William Gundwane (Simunye Workers Forum): 072 898 7476