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MTN strike blockades roads, Cape Flats gang violence, social media intimidation

Image: SA Breaking News

MTN strike sees incidents of intimidation, road blockade

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: a planned strike by MTN's workers has seen 14th Avenue outside the MTN Campus in Fairlands, Western Johannesburg being blockaded. Olwethu is an MTN worker that is on strike:

Our demands are very simple: we want a 15% bonus paid, we want an across the board 10% increment and we want people to be made permanent workers. The management have been playing 'hide-and-seek' with the unions and have been refusing to meet with the unions. In December, they moved people to different suppliers without giving them the option to take a package and voluntarily leave. (On MTN frequently been voted one of the top employers in SA) we've always wondered who votes in these cases because this is no employer of choice. This is a protected strike, we've been through the CCMA to get our certificate to strike.

MTN's Chief Human Resources Officer Themba Nyati meanwhile says the strike turning violent goes against an agreement they have with the Communication Workers Union (CWU):

The strike is serious in the sense of the violence and intimidation that's happening outside our campus. CWU only have a 19% representation at MTN, so they are not a recognised union; if they say they have the numbers, why don't they go to the courts? But we do give them the right to recruit members within MTN. There are contingencies that have been made, so there can be minimal effect on services. What they are doing now is contrary to the agreement, after we spoke with the union, because they have blockaded the entrance way to the campus. (On rumours of Nyati received a 'ghost salary') I can confirm that last year - because MTN didn't declare a bonus - myself and the executive team didn't get a bonus.

What can be done to curb gang violence in the Cape Flats?

Image: EWN/Thomas Holder

Heard on CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies, Africa Melane standing in: the past week has seen reports of increased incidents of gang violence in Manenberg and Hanover Park in the Cape. On Tuesday, a group of residents from the Cape Flats handed over a memorandum to the Presidency, calling for official forces to be deployed to Hanover Park, to stabilise the violence happening in the area. Honorary Research Associate at UCT's Centre of Criminology, Dr Don Pinnock:

Poverty, a decent education that works, overcrowding of houses that don't allow extended families to exist - these are some of the factors that might affect a turnaround in gang violence. It's absolutely necessary to reduce the drug trade and many of these gang wars are around the drug trade. But the situation in Mannenberg seems to be different in that there was upgrading happening in the area and the contractor was expected to pay protection money to the gang leader which was a large amount of money and it amounted to the City paying a gang.

The rise of the Social Media Trophy Hunter

Image: imtawanda.wordpress.com

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: a study shows that an increasing amount of people are losing connection with their lives in order to earn 'Likes' and social media praise. Tagged the 'Social Media Trophy Hunter', the Editor of Stuff Magazine Toby Shapshak has described this as an unfortunate repercussion of social media and technology in general:

It is a very sad phenomenon; it is the way the youth of the world communicate now. With every bit of technology that comes out, there's the good and the bad and this would be the bad side of it. This is self-aggravation, by trying to become a star; it's absolutely stupid. I think the biggest thing about social media and technology in general is that it doesn't make people behave badly - it just amplifies what they do, because people would have mobs with pitchforks years ago, while now, people do a similar kind of thing on Twitter, when people attack others. People just aren't aware that this is very public and very hurtful.


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