Anti-Corruption March — Photos

Location: Union Buildings, Pretoria, South Africa

The Unite Against Corruption march came and went on a hot Pretoria Wednesday. Among 2,000 people were various political leaders, priests and leaders of NGOs prepared to sweat it out in front of the Union Buildings.

According to their website corruption has cost South Africa R700 billion in the last 20 years.

The auditor general has reported in excess of R2,6 billion unauthorized expenditure and a further R62,7 billion in irregular expenditure for the period 2013-14.

The Special Investigating Unit estimated that as much as 20-25% of state procurement expenditure, amounting to around R30 billion a year, is wasted through over payment and corruption.

Only 23 people were convicted of corruption or offences related to corruption where the benefit case is more than R5 million.

 

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The Miners are Coming – Photo Essay on Platinum Strike

It was a large gathering of  3,000 AMCU union members that sang and danced inside the Wonderkop Stadium in Marikana last week.

The Miners are Coming

The meeting marked the first day that 100,000 miners in South Africa’s platinum industry downed tools in a bid for, among other incentives, a minimum of R12,500. Shot at 1/800 f4 with 24-105mm lens and the ND filter.

The Miners are Coming

The Wonderkop Stadium, there is a long barbed wire fence that has been erected since last years strike in May. Shot at 1/8000 f1,4 with 50mm lens and the ND filter.

The Miners are Coming

It has been two years since the same miners went on strike on August 16, 2012. The scene in which 44 people were killed below a hill, now infamously known as the Marikana Massacre. Since then the platinum industry has been plagued with wildcat strikes. Mines can lose an estimate of R100 million each day it fails to operate. Shot at 1/8000 f1,4 with 50mm lens and the ND filter.

The Miners are Coming

So it was with no real surprise that when the miners gathered last week, there was an air of anticipation. In the sweltering heat leader of AMCU Joseph Mathunjwa addressed the crowd. Shot at 1/1000 f1,4 with 50mm lens and the ND filter.

The Miners are Coming

Shot with the 24-105mm 1/1000 f4.0

The Miners are Coming

Shot at 1/3200 f1,4 with 50mm lens and the ND filter. I really love how the shallow depth of field isolates figures in a crowd.

The Miners are Coming

Shot at 1/8000 f1,4 with 50mm lens and the ND filter.

The Miners are Coming

Shot at 1/3200 f1,4 with 50mm lens and the ND filter.

The Miners are Coming

Shot at 1/500 f1,4 with 50mm lens and the ND filter.

Forbes Africa October Publications

So our new magazine is out, and I have a huge six page spread on fracking featuring in Forbes. You can see some of the articles online on CNBC  Africa’s website.  Te real deal is in the mag though so go out and get a copy. But here is a sneak peak:

It’s covered in the branches of hundreds of thousands of dust weary bone-dry four-inch high scrub. This is the Karoo, southern South Africa’s desert, which has changed little in millions of years. A desert that creaks to its own song carried on the wind through rusted windmills and crags of prehistoric rock.

To some it’s just a desert. But the South African Government has targeted a valuable resource below its surface, shale gas that could be worth R1 trillion in the next 30 years. But to farmers living in on this land, the Karoo is a livelihood. This is the battle opposing fracking and these are the voices of those standing in its way.

Fracking.indd Fracking.indd Fracking.indd Fracking.indd Fracking.indd Fracking.indd

Had some photos in some other articles as well.

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Netcare does NOTcare???

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In the far off distance you can hear it coming. The season gives off a distinct echo off the windows of buildings. You can tell it’s here when a white Nissan Bakkie, overloaded with amps, invariably turns around a corner followed by the sounds of hundreds of people singing in unison.

It’s one of the weirdest seasons in the Johannesburg calendar , and it’s not based on the browning of leaves or chilly morning sun rises. Its strike season.

Whereas carnivals and festivals in European countries can stop traffic for a day, the South African strike has become synonymous with bringing a city to a standstill. It is a festival like no other.

Journalists either hate them or love them. I fall into the latter. There is excitement. There is action. You have people who are prepared to block the streets to scream their grievances to the world.

Honestly it’s always a thrilling thing to get caught up in the moment. You feel like you are part of a mass unit. You want to sing along. You pick up on the atmosphere of the crowd and feel enlivened by their energy.

But secretly, as a journalist, you become bored of watching the same event unfold in a different location. The trick for me is that I look for something new every time. It’s a photographic challenge to produce something when you can predict what’s going to happen next on the road. I actually get more of a kick out of seeing something different in my photographs than I do at the real event. It’s even a common thing among people who cover these stories often to wish for a gun fight to ensue. (I am not saying I am one of them, but I am not going to deny it either. )

In spite of my colourful introduction, I feel like I have to say that I take strikes very seriously. People might seem like they are having a glorious time out dancing, but for a South African, protest has a violent history and you as a journalist always have to be aware that there is a subtle undercurrent of this. In the end Journo’s do care when it comes to strike season. But I think a lot of the time it’s for the wrong reasons.

You have to be able to distance yourself from the action and focus on what’s at hand…a story.
In this instance, members of NEHAWU, a major labour union in the country, were posing a nationwide strike for an 11% wage increase against a company called Netcare (a company involved in private hospital care). According to the people I was talking to, they work long hours for a basic income of R5000 a month. They have been for the past six years working at this rate. Five years ago, this would not have been much of a problem. But with the heavy increases in transport, electricity and food costs within the country it’s become very hard to sustain a lifestyle within Johannesburg.

(Believe me I know, I have lived off that amount for a few years, not so long ago.)

One of the things that struck me at the protest was that they were not talking about how “fat cat” money earners were pulling in millions of Rands of profit in the business. Leaders were talking about how they didn’t see the sense of “executive breakfasts” or “Irish coffee’s for tea”. These are small things that could help prevent a budget from being blown out of proportion. Just think how much money a business could save if it didn’t spend that extra cash on a smoked salmon every day.

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ALTSA leaders break ranks

By Lisa Golden and Nandi Ndlazi
Photographs by Jay Caboz

Wits Administration, Library and Technical Staff Association (ALTSA) leadership accepted the terms offered by Wits management after last-minute negotiations last night but failed to inform some of their members of this decision. This left the Academic Staff Association of Wits University (ASAWU) and the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) to strike by themselves today August 28 against Wits management.

This morning confused ALTSA members arrived at the picketing lines, unaware that their leaders had accepted an agreement with Wits management the night before. Some were confused and frustrated when they found out.

This is the second strike by the academic unions this month. They are demanding an increase in salaries for workers, an agreement to structure salaries around the 75th percentile, resolve issues with parking and provide a childcare facility for workers among other issues.

Ian Walters, and ALTSA member and an administrator in the Wits School of Arts, was unaware that ALTSA had backed out of the strike, and only found out when he arrived at campus in the morning.
“I’m staying on strike because I’m in support of NEHAWU and ASAWU. That was the original idea,” said Walters.

Adele Underhay, the president of ALTSA, was unavailable for comment, and some members of the union also couldn’t reach her.

David Dickinson, president of ASAWU said it was regrettable that ALTSA leaders had chosen to break ranks. “I respect the independence as a union and the decision of their leadership is what they must account for to their membership” Dickinson said.

Negotiations between the Wits Executive Council and ASAWU, ALTSA and NEHAWU was re-opened a day before the strike. Photo by Jay Caboz

The Wits Senate (the academic leadership forum) made a call to halt the striking unions “without further delay”. Photo by Jay Caboz

Fellow ALTSA members expressed their disappointment in their leadership’s acceptance of management’s offers. Barbie Pickering from the finance faculty said she didn’t know about their union pulling out at the eleventh hour and they only received the e-mail this morning.

“We went into this thing to support all the unions. We are not happy with our union leadership on that,” said Pickering.

The rally, which started at noon, had speakers that reiterated the unions’ demands. Carl Beaumont, an ASAWU member, congratulated the ALTSA members who turned up at the rally while fellow strikers applauded the group.

The Student Representation Council and the Wits Workers Solidarity Committee again pledged their support for the striking unions.

The final word from Beaumont was that the unions are prepared to strike again if their demands are not properly discussed and considered during negotiations.
nandi@witsvuvuzela.com
lisa@witsvuvuzela.com

Teachers in action over wage disputes – Jay Caboz


by Jay Caboz

Published in the vuvuzela, 20 July 2012

This week’s protest march by Wits academic and support staff was the result of months of frustration following failed wage negotiations according to union representatives.

Academics and support staff have called for an end to what they say has become a deadlock in annual negotiations. The university has rejected their demands on pay, governance and conditions of service.

Vuvuzela has reported on increased hostility in the negotiations between the Academic Staff Association (ASAWU) and vice chancellor Loyiso Nongxa.

The academics are demanding a 9% salary increase for support staff, the establishment of a childcare facility for Wits employees and an end to overselling parking permits in non-designated parking areas, among other things.

In a statement released on July 10, Nongxa said he recognised the unions’ right to protest, as long as it did not interfere with the rights of students and other members of the Wits community to access services on campus.
Last month roughly 150 academics and staff picketed outside the entrance of the basement parking in Senate House. Some staff members told Vuvuzela they earn as little as R20 000 a year, despite working at Wits for more than 20 years.

During the negotiations in June, the university said it would cost around R60-million to implement the increase demanded.

The unions are expected to march again on August 2.

The protest action is supported by the Members of the Administration, the Library and Technical Staff Association, the Academic Staff Association of Wits University and the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union.

Follow more of the strike action on our online segment http://www.witsvuvuzela.com

The list of demands

– a 9% salary increase for support staff, to be paid at a higher scale at the 75th percentile of the tertiary education sector benchmark
– decent salaries to be given before performance regulations were initiated;
– a resolution of the dispute on shift allowances
– an agreement on sliding scales to advance equity
– the establishment of a childcare facility for Wits employees
– an end to overselling of parking permits in non-designated parking areas;
– an increase in individual research incentives

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

jay@witsvuvuzela.com

Related articles

Wits staff protest against management

Unions reject salary increase

Wits academics plan wage protest (Timeslive)

Teachers in action over wage disputes – Jay Caboz


by Jay Caboz

Published in the vuvuzela, 20 July 2012

This week’s protest march by Wits academic and support staff was the result of months of frustration following failed wage negotiations according to union representatives.

Academics and support staff have called for an end to what they say has become a deadlock in annual negotiations. The university has rejected their demands on pay, governance and conditions of service.

Vuvuzela has reported on increased hostility in the negotiations between the Academic Staff Association (ASAWU) and vice chancellor Loyiso Nongxa.

The academics are demanding a 9% salary increase for support staff, the establishment of a childcare facility for Wits employees and an end to overselling parking permits in non-designated parking areas, among other things.

In a statement released on July 10, Nongxa said he recognised the unions’ right to protest, as long as it did not interfere with the rights of students and other members of the Wits community to access services on campus.
Last month roughly 150 academics and staff picketed outside the entrance of the basement parking in Senate House. Some staff members told Vuvuzela they earn as little as R20 000 a year, despite working at Wits for more than 20 years.

During the negotiations in June, the university said it would cost around R60-million to implement the increase demanded.

The unions are expected to march again on August 2.

The protest action is supported by the Members of the Administration, the Library and Technical Staff Association, the Academic Staff Association of Wits University and the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union.

Follow more of the strike action on our online segment http://www.witsvuvuzela.com

The list of demands

– a 9% salary increase for support staff, to be paid at a higher scale at the 75th percentile of the tertiary education sector benchmark
– decent salaries to be given before performance regulations were initiated;
– a resolution of the dispute on shift allowances
– an agreement on sliding scales to advance equity
– the establishment of a childcare facility for Wits employees
– an end to overselling of parking permits in non-designated parking areas;
– an increase in individual research incentives

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

jay@witsvuvuzela.com

Related articles

Wits staff protest against management

Unions reject salary increase

Wits academics plan wage protest (Timeslive)