Power station managers agree to meet PRET leaders at the Premier’s office.
The Practical Radical Economic Transformation (PRET) wants Kusile power station managers to appear before Premier David Mabuza to explain job creation.
Secretary Sunday Mathebula said Kusile power stations had agreed to employ 10 000 young people and they will make this commitment during a meeting in Mabuza’s office a week to come.
This week both Themba Sgudla, who is the group’s president, and Mathebula led a march to the Kusile power station in Delmas, demanding that 16 000 people be employed by the Eskom power station and that hundreds of companies owned by Mpumalanga youths be given tenders there.
The march – called ‘Massive Stay Away’ – was organised to start at the Kusile power station on Monday (20 Nov) and then on Tuesday go to Duvha power station but then the Duvha leg could not happen because Sgudla and other PRET members got arrested during the Monday one at Kusile, spending the night at the Ogies police station.
In a reply to the group, Kusile agrees to meet Sgudla and Mathebula at Mabuza’s office in Riverside, Mbombela next week Wednesday (29 Nov).
It apologised for a miscommunication that the meeting at Mabuza’s office would be this week Wednesday (22 Nov).
“We note the correspondence from PRET about the meeting at the Premier’s office in Mbombela tomorrow Wednesday 22 November at 3pm. Without hesitation we offer our sincere apologies in advance for a possible miscommunication about the Wednesday meeting,” the company wrote in an e-mail to Mathebula’s PA on Tuesday.
“We have been of the understanding that the meeting at the Premier’s office was for next week Wednesday 29 November. This date affords us sufficient time to provide feedback to the Group Chief Executive about the proceedings of 20th November [meeting] at Kusile and the agreed next steps with the leadership of PRET. Furthermore, it also affords us the opportunity to engage all the Implementers of the programme (e.g. power station managers) and create the required alignment,” the company said.
She first emphasised the need for more and more people to get access to education, which will go hand and hand with economic freedom.
ANC presidential contender Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma wants the land back and also the economy to be shared.
She said when the ANC was formed in 1912 it was meant to be a vehicle to fight for change.
“We must open the economy of our country to our people because it’s not opened to our people,” she said.
“The first thing that you need to build the economy is the land,” she said, “and that’s why the ANC is saying the process of returning land should be quick”.
She said the process of getting the land has been quite slow and that now this needs to be sped up.
She spoke during a Mpumalanga ANCWL rally in KwaMhlanga over the weekend.
The rally, attended by the ANCYL and the ANC Mpumalanga leadership, was meant to spearhead Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign for the ANC presidency but also to send a signal to the world that Mpumalanga is actually behind NDZ.
She told the crowds at the KwaMhlanga stadium on Saturday that establishing manufacturing in South Africa was important.
“Here in Mpumalanga you have forests but do we manufacture furniture with those trees?” to which the crowd said no.
“Let’s not be the kind of country that take timber overseas. No. We must do it here,” she said.
She told the crowds that currently South Africa is taking its mineral resources from the mines to countries overseas. She said once overseas countries have got these resources they then use it to create jobs in manufacturing.
Dlamini-Zuma said by doing this, means “we take our mineral resources out of our country together with our jobs”.
“We say that must change,” she said.
She spoke for less than 10 minutes and when she began her speech, Dlamini-Zuma asked branches to ensure the upcoming congress is peaceful.
“We wish a successful conference, a conference of unity, peace and dignity and those who will not make it to leadership to accept and work with those who will be elected,” she said to applause.
The group had marched to the RCL Foods premises in Nkomazi.
An offer to one of billionaire Johan Rupert’s companies by the Mpumalanga Practical Radical Economic Transformation (PRET) group to have a forum that will liaise between the community and the sugar company has been rejected.
The company says this will frustrate the implementation of ongoing community development programs.
Now leaders of the group will have to return to members and give them a feedback on the demands they tabled.
The group last month organised scores of Nkomazi community members who marched to the entrance of RCL Foods in Mhlatikop, Malelane to demand job opportunities but also the formation of a Program Implementing Committee that will connect the sugar mill and the surrounding communities and ensure economic development programs are implemented.
The marchers were bussed in Quantum mini busses and delivered their memorandum of demands to site managers.
The company says such a committee will “only serve as a parallel structure” and frustrate ongoing economic development programs.
“[It] would frustrate the implementation of structured programmes that are being implemented and are designed on the basis of current legislation,” the company said in a reply to the group’s memorandum.
“RCL Foods has an unwavering commitment to actively promote inclusive sustainable economic growth through local community upliftment and economic development initiatives,” the company said.
It says it more than R31 million was paid in the last financial year in rents for land they use belonging to land claimants.
PRET in their memorandum had also demanded that an additional 1 500 people be employed by RCL Foods but the company dismissed this too, saying they currently employ a large number of people in the country – 20 000 workers – and that in the current economic situation adding more workers is not viable.
It said 67% of sugar cane to their mills is already supplied by black-owned companies and that an amount of R2 billion is spent yearly in the purchase of sugar cane from black suppliers.
RCL Foods, a giant South African food producer, is owned by investment guru Johan Rupert.
It has a history of over 120 years and has acquired most of the other food companies over these years and now falls under his Remgro group of companies.
The newly founded organisation which has been causing havoc in most parts of Mpumalanga is said to have been established by Mpumalanga Premier DD Mabuza as his weapon to police the anger of the poor.
The Practical Radical Economic Transformation (PRET) group launched early this year is DD Mabuza’s mass weapon, sources who are privy to the group’s activities have said.
They say Mabuza wants to ‘monopolise protests’ by getting all angry community members to be PRET members and protest for services under his control.
The group is led by controversial eMalahleni businessman Themba ‘Masofa’ Sgudla as ‘President’ and ex-eMalahleni municipality chief whip Sunday Mathebula as ‘secretary general’.
It was launched in March 2017 as an organisation fighting unemployment and giving poor people the access to economic empowerment through engaging big corporates and government.
Mabuza attended its launch occurring over two days at the Witbank Dam – on 11 and 12 March – alongside economic development MEC Eric Kholwane .
Nkangala ANC leader Speedy Mashilo and eMalahleni mayor Lindiwe Ntshalintshali also came to bless the launch, with Mabuza telling those who attended that they are doing the right thing “for organising yourselves and fight poverty together. I’ll assist you,” he is said to have said while on stage.
The group has been organising service delivery protests, approaching big businesses and recently chased mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane. The minister had come to the Sydney Choma community hall in Middelburg on the Friday morning of 23 June 2017 to discuss with the community members the recently launched Mining Charter, which calls for the percentage of black ownership in mines to go up by 30%, but Zwane had to be whisked away when PRET members began to degenerate the meeting into chaos, accusing Zwane of not reporting to Mabuza that he is coming to the province.
PRET leader Sgudla, a controversial figure who frequently gives out R100 notes to protesters organised by PRET, is accused by some of getting all tenders in the eMalahleni municipality and of forming PRET to further his business interest.
“PRET is DD Mabuza’s mass weapon. It’s his EFF. The purpose is to police the poor people’s anger by giving them the impression that they are on a struggle while the leaders loot state resources,” a former PRET member said.
He said he left PRET after he realised Sgudla and Mathebula were playing with people.
Both Sgudla and Mathebula didn’t answer their phones on Tuesday mid-day.
Mabuza on Tuesday addressed a meeting of dissatisfied community members in Nkomazi organised by PRET.
The Premier’s spokesman Zibonele Mncwango said PRET was formed to help young people “work closely with the economic development department and create employment”.
“The Premier wants it to be all over the province for young people. It must work closely with the economic development department and create employment, organise young people and establish businesses for themselves,” Mncwango said.