Sep 2, 2010

A view from the strike

Yesterday a couple public sector employees who have been heavily involved with the strike stopped by to chat. They described their activities over the past few weeks: toi-tois in Kuruman, Kimberley, and Bloemfontein. They said the ones in Kuruman have been mostly peaceful, but apparently the ones in Kimberley had been more contentious—one had an angry bruise on her calf from being shot with a rubber bullet. They blamed this on the intransigence of the Kimberley police. "They're animals," one said.

From their perspective, the strike would be over when Zuma capitulates entirely to the union demands; the recent offer of a 7.5% raise and R800 housing allowance was inadequate. They want 8.6% and R1000 (their demand from the beginning). They said so much money had been spent on the World Cup that it was unfair for South Africans to be denied the money now.

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