Joint statement by Ministers of Health and Community Safety on ongoing SATAWU Security Guards Strike | Western Cape Government


Joint statement by Ministers of Health and Community Safety on ongoing SATAWU Security Guards Strike

20 April 2006
Western Cape Minister for Community Safety Leonard Ramatlakane and Health Pierre Uys say the ongoing wage strike by security guards, has now turned into acts of crime and violence.

The Western Cape Department of Health say the strikers have adversely affected many of its facilities as a result of acts of violence and damage to property.

On the 13th April 2006, for example, a group of marchers from the Security Guard industry on strike, broke away from the march and entered the Groote Schuur Hospital premises causing damage to property, injuring staff and compromising the security of patients and staff.

Health Minister Pierre Uys said, "Our health facilities treat a number of extremely ill patients, and the WC Provincial Department of Health strongly condemns the violent actions of strikers and their lack of respect for the ill and the dignity of a health care facility."

Minister Uys added that, "The incident has left staff traumatised and brings to question the morals and integrity of these strikers. Our hospitals and healthcare facilities should be protected against incidents of violence such as these, as well as many other incidents of vandalism. The Department of Health will not hesitate to seek legal advice and take against perpetrators found guilty of such conduct."

Commenting on these incidents and several others, Minister Ramatlakane said, "The right to strike and to stage demonstrations in support of better working conditions and wage wage demands, is recognised and is protected by the Labour Relations Act.

However, it is unacceptable when strikers will then choose to abuse those rights and in the process, commit acts of crime and violence

It becomes illegal for strikers, who in the course of a legal march, go on an unregulated route and enter the Grootte Schuur hospital and beat people at random.

It becomes an act of crime and violence when strikers would force their way into Khayelitsha day hospital and open fire with guns and shoot randomly at people. The same goes for what they did in Nyanga Junction, looting of shops and damaging property.

These are all illegal acts under the guise of a legal strike."

"All of these actions cannot be condoned. The Police will investigate them and where necessary, the law will take its course," said Minister Ramatlakane.

They added that the situation is being closely monitored.

"Tomorrow, we will be receiving a full briefing on the situation from the police and upon this, we will determine our next course of action."

Minister Ramatlakane says he has ordered the South African Police Services to act with firmness in dealing with those strikers who have been and are continuing to commit crime .

Minister Uys has commended the staff at health facilities who, despite these severe conditions, continue to provide a dedicated service to the people of the Western Cape.

Both Ministers have called on parties to settle the impasse through negotiations.


The above statement is jointly issued on behalf of :
Minister for Community Safety: Mr Leonard Ramatlakane
Minister for Health: Mr Pierre Uys


Makhaya Mani
Media Liaison & Ministerial Spokesman
Ministry of Community Safety
Western Cape
Tel: 021 483 3873
Cell: 082 780 4493

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