File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/marxism-international.9710, message 325

Subject: M-I: South African Workers Fighting Privatisation (fwd)
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 97 15:12:07 18000

Forwarded message:
> Date:         Wed, 15 Oct 1997 09:25:16 -0400
> From: "P. K. Murphy" <bi008-AT-FREENET.TORONTO.ON.CA>
> Subject:      South African Workers Fighting Privatisation
> SAMWU and COSATU are asking for international support, either through
> faxes of protest straight to the municipality concerned or e-mails (on
> letterhead) to SAMWU which will then fax them on. The municipality does
> not have an e-mail address.
> PK Murphy
> Freelance editor
> Toronto, Ontario, Canada
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 09:01:50 +0100
> From: Anna Weekes <>
> Dear Anti-privatisation comrades from around the world,
> It is our hour of extreme need!!! Nelspruit TLC announced that Biwater was
> the preferred bidder for the 30year privatisation contract for Nelspruit
> Council. The Council and Biwater now go into talks to iron out the details.
> Please note that even if these talks should by a slim chance prove Biwater
> to be unsatisfactory, Lyonnaise des Eaux is hot on Biwater's heels as one
> of the bidders. We strongly believe that pressure from the international
> community could derail this whole process. As you will read below, the SACP
> and COSATU are throwing their full weight against the privatisation. SAMWU
> wil release a more detailed statement later today. In the meantime, we
> urgently need faxes to be sent to the Town Clerk of the Nelspruit Council
> at +27 13 7592252. (Could you please copy them to us?) Unfortunately they
> don't have e-mail. If you don't have the resources to fax them direct,
> please e-mail me your strong message on your letterhead and I will
> immediately fax it to the Town Clerk. This could make or break the delivery
> of water to our disadvantaged communities.
> We salute the international community for their assistance to us so far!
> Forward to derailing the privatisation and implementing public service
> delivery!
> Fraternally yours,
> South African Municipal Workers Union
> SACP/COSATU press release follows.....
> COSATU and SACP statement against water privatisation in the Nelspruit TLC
> Press release 14 October 1997
> The South African Communist Party and COSATU in Mpumalanga Province would
> like to reject with uttermost contempt the announcement of the "successful
> bidder" for the management of Water and Sanitation in Nelspruit.
> We uncompromisingly reject the privatisation of water for 30 years. Moreso
> that we have noted that the process of reaching this decision whereby some
> key councillors have bulldozed the process even when some constituencies
> (like Matsulu) were objecting to the envisaged scheme. We cannot understand
> why, even if there were two marches - one led by COSATU President John
> Gomomo - the TLC still remains arrogant. It is unbelievable that some ANC
> councillors have defied their Provincial Leadership by calling on the
> leadership to suspend the process and consult communities instead. We are
> unfortunately beginning to confirm that certain key individuals are going
> to financially benefit in the long term. We cannot call such people our
> leaders.
> Our rejection is further informed by our belief that the privatisation
> scheme will affect our under privileged communities the worst. Some
> National Party Councillors have correctly confirmed that their
> constituencies will not be affected. To cloud this process, the council has
> identified a bidder in the name of black economic empowerment. It is
> continuously becoming a culture that a group of Africans with some links to
> the Mass Democratic Movement will be opportunistically used to violate the
> economic interest of the poor. We cannot support this emerging "unpatriotic
> bourgeosie".
> To show our course we call upon our alliance structures to support us in
> our action by:
> 1.      Unequivocally rejecting the influence of a small financial clique that
> runs the economic investment of Nelspruit to protect major property that
> they own. This clique of privileged whites should stop manipulating
> decision-making as they have done over the years.
> 2.      Joining us in the community meeting on the 19th of October 1997 in
> Matsulu, KaNyamazane and Pienaar areas to further expose the dnagers that
> lie ahead.
> 3.      Joining us in a stayaway and march to the Nelspruit TLC on the 27th
> October 1997.
> 4.      Supporting the ANC League standpoint on further rejection of the
> process.
> Issued by:      Norman Mokoena, COSATU Provincial Secretary,
>                 Tel +27 17 6851711
>                 Irvin Phenyane, SACP Provincial Secretary,
>                 Tel: 082 4521041 (cell)

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