Cosatu Press Statement 29 November 2013
Cosatu Dismisses Mayor’s Attempts To Remove Ehrenreich From Council
Cosatu has noted the Mayor’s calls for an investigation into Ehrenreich assisting marchers with transport. Cosatu reaffirms its right to assist people with transport to Town, to protest. Cosatu has done this in protests against Business, the City and National Government and Cosatu will support the poor again. The support for poor people was done as a Cosatu official and not as a Councillor - although he stresses that his main support is for the plight of the poor.
Cosatu supports people’s Constitutional right to protest against their desperate circumstances and insists that this be done peacefully and compliant with the law. The City can’t declare protests illegal, only a court can do that - through an interdict. The City must arrange the march logistics with the Protestors, and they have no legal powers to ban protest.
Cosatu calls on the Mayor to focus on the plight of the poor instead of trying to make politics of the march, by charging Ehrenreich. This Mayor has singlehandedly turned the City focus into a paradise for the wealthy and maintaining the hell of poor communities. We call on the speaker to investigate the Mayor for dereliction of duty in respect of poor people in the City.
Cosatu position in respect of this City focus on the poor is contained in the letter below:
Open letter to the Mayor DeLille and Grant Pascoe
COSATU urges the Mayor to ensure the participation of working class communities in the concert marking the Switching on of the Lights in the City Centre. We are spending millions of rand on artist/s and logistics of the event, but very little to ensure the participation of the poor, for whom the City cannot provide jobs in order for them to afford their own transport. COSATU is urging the City to provide free transport for poorer Communities to come into Town.
The total cost to provide free trains is only R 2000.00 and a further amount for busses from Golden Arrow. This would not be a big issue for the City who spends millions of rand to provide free busses for the soccer matches in Town. The City also subsidizes the busses into Milnerton with close to R 100M a year, so why not a few thousand to the poor?
The City of Cape Town and the Mayor must be reminded that the measure of our success is what we do for the poor and the marginalized, not what we do for the wealthy of Milnerton only.
With questions please call Tony on 082 77 33 194