Thembu Royals Magazine - - Community Spotlight -

As part of the gen­eral po­lit­i­cal frame­work that is rel­e­vant to an in­vestor is the ex­is­tence of a vi­brant trade union­ism. This is mainly be­cause trade unions played a very crit­i­cal role dur­ing the strug­gle for democ­racy in South Africa. Al­most each and ev­ery sec­tor, from bank­ing and fi­nance, to agri­cul­ture, to ed­u­ca­tion, to sports, to me­dia, with­out an ex­cep­tion , there is an ac­tive trade union that fights for the rights of its mem­bers. Strike ac­tion is very com­mon in South Africa. Depend­ing on the sit­u­a­tion, some strike ac­tions are le­gal, while some are il­le­gal.

Sec­tion 23 Labour Re­la­tions states that;

(1)Ev­ery­one has the right to fair labour prac­tices.

(2)Ev­ery worker has the right – a)to form and join a trade union; b)to par­tic­i­pate in the ac­tiv­i­ties and pro­grammes of a trade union; and c)to strike.

(3)Ev­ery em­ployer has the righta)to form and join an em­ployer’s or­ga­ni­za­tion; and b)to par­tic­i­pate in the ac­tiv­i­ties and pro­grammes of an em­ployer’s or­ga­ni­za­tion.

(4)Ev­ery trade union and ev­ery em­ployer’s or­ga­ni­za­tion has the right - a)to de­ter­mine its own ad­min­is­tra­tion, pro­grammes and ac­tiv­i­ties; b)to or­ga­nize; and c)to form and join a fed­er­a­tion… Sec­tion 23 afore­said is of crit­i­cal im­por­tance to any in­vestor be­cause through­out all its ten­ure, the com­pany will be af­fected, and in­fected by the ac­tions of its em­ploy­ees flow­ing di­rectly and in­di­rectly from this clause. To this ex­tent any po­ten­tial in­vestor needs to get pro­fes­sional ad­vice and opin­ion about the im­pli­ca­tions that this Sec­tion may have in their busi­ness.

This sec­tion (23) is fur­ther de­vel­oped in var­i­ous statutes, poli­cies, court judg­ments and many other pro­to­cols as and when they de­velop from timeto-time. The po­lit­i­cal con­tes­ta­tions is nor­mally done through po­lit­i­cal means and the ju­di­ciary. Of great con­cern though has been the growth in ser­vice de­liv­ery protests in the past 10 ( ten) years or so. The gen­eral com­plaint of the protesters was that the protesters were not re­ceiv­ing proper gov­ern­ment ser­vices rang­ing from hous­ing, mu­nic­i­pal­ity ser­vices like wa­ter, elec­tric­ity and the like. Some of th­ese ser­vice de­liv­ery protests had turned vi­o­lent which re­sulted into sense­less loss of lives in some in­stances. The ex­act sta­tis­tics are al­ways dis­puted and con­tested be­tween dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tions. For ex­am­ple, on the 09/02/2014 the Sun­day News­pa­per called City Press re­leased some ‘sta­tis­tics’ as fol­lows

“2,947” as the num­ber of protests in South Africa in the last three months from Novem­ber 2013 - Jan­uary 2014. “3,258” protests from Jan­uary 2009 - Au­gust 2012, and “32” protests per day from Novem­ber 2013 - Jan­uary 2014. This pic­ture has not changed much in 2018 which is a mat­ter of great con­cern. What­ever the pre­cise sta­tis­tics were, and cur­rently are,, it can not be de­nied that the lev­els of ser­vice de­liv­ery protests had in­creased dra­mat­i­cally to un­ac­cept­ably high lev­els in the past 10 (ten) years or so. This be­hav­ior has a po­ten­tial to de­rail busi­ness growth and de­vel­op­ment hence this is a mat­ter that must be at­tended to as a mat­ter of ur­gency.

There have been un­con­firmed claims al­leg­ing that the mem­bers of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties were di­rectly in­volved in in­cit­ing the re­volt by the masses. That was done in an at­tempt to dis­credit the po­lit­i­cal party that hap­pens to be in charge in a par­tic­u­lar en­vi­ron­ment. Some­times it has been al­leged that the mem­bers of one po­lit­i­cal party had in­cited the re­volt in an at­tempt to dis­credit one an­other , es­pe­cially among the ward coun­cilors. What­ever the source of th­ese protests are is bad for busi­ness and coun­try hence the law en­force­ment agents need to ad­dress this mat­ter with el­e­vated lev­els of se­ri­ous­ness.

In our next fea­ture we will deal with other is­sues that the po­ten­tial in­vestor needs to know and deal with.

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