South Africa 20.3.2015 11:37 am

JRA concerned with escalated levels of protests

FILE PIC: The Johannesburg Road Agency's Skhumbuzo Macozoma. Pic: Supplied.

FILE PIC: The Johannesburg Road Agency's Skhumbuzo Macozoma. Pic: Supplied.

Protests by employees of the The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), which began in February, have escalated to levels that are concerning for the safety of workers who are not on strike, the JRA said.

Marketing and communications manager Bertha Peters-Scheepers said incidents of intimidation and assault against non-striking workers, as well as vandalism of private property, had been reported.

Four people in Malibongwe and Witkoppen allegedly vandalised a traffic signal controller yesterday and waited for the technician to arrive, who they then attacked and hit with a sjambok.

On Wednesday, a non-striking shop steward’s home was petrol-bombed in Bramfisherville. On the same day at 11.09am, video footage was taken of four men intimidating technicians re-cabling a traffic signal intersection on Marshall and Mooi.

Regarding further actions to control the situation, Peters-Scheepers said: “Stemming from yesterday’s incident we are also in the process of investigating allegations of illegal tampering with traffic signal controllers, causing the traffic light to malfunction, which is increasing the number of faulty traffic signals across the city. This is done to alert non-striking technicians to the site for repairs whereupon intimidation takes place”.

JRA managing director Skhumbuzo Macozoma close to two-thirds of the JRA’s 1 600 workforce is currently on strike. “We are reliant on the good work done by non-striking staff, as well as contractors appointed as part of the strike contingency planning,” he said .

The JRA would be meeting with South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) to address a number of concerns regarding their workforce and the strike.

 

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