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Thursday, October 29, 2020
16.1 C

    Police fire rubber bullets at protesters

    The people are tired of hearing excuses and want answers.

    On Wednesday, 26 September, the GMM Community Forum protested in front of local businesses to have their questions answered as to why the companies do not employ locally and why people would get entrance badges to the Sasol plant but still have not been on site to work.
    The Bulletin was allowed access to these protests and the people spoke to the reporters on site. A source in the Forum said that the people are tired of hearing excuses and want answers. The source added that they would not be aggressive while protesting and would always keep it peaceful.
    The local businesses locked their doors and the SAPS Public Ordinance Protection (POP) from Secunda and local Secunda SAPS were on the scene to monitor the situation.
    The Forum moved to another local business after agreements were reached at the first local business.
    The situation worsened when the Forum peacefully gathered across the road from another business. Unfortunately, a stun grenade was lodged into the crowd to disperse them. When that failed, rubber bullets were shot into the crowd and a few of the Forum members were hit. The Bulletin arrived minutes after this had happened.
    The Forum took off to the Secunda SAPS station to lodge a complaint against the police.
    SNC – Lavalin’s office in Secunda was one of the businesses visited by the GMM protestors. Lauryn Joseph, Sub-Saharan Africa Administration Coordinator, later issued a media statement that read as follows:
    “Local interest groups in Secunda, South Africa, have made demands of SNC-Lavalin regarding recruitment from the local community surrounding the Sasol, Secunda site.
    SNC-Lavalin has been recruiting locally for over twenty years. Our recruitment processes are benchmarked with industry standards and comply with the Department of Labour’s legislation and regulation.
    The facts are that SNC-Lavalin has met with representatives of the local community Forums on numerous occasions over the past months to address their concerns. The outcome of these discussions was positive.
    SNC-Lavalin registers job vacancies with the local Department of Labour offices as positions become available in order to ensure transparency in the local hiring process. In addition, an easily accessible drop-off point is available for applicants to deliver their curriculum vitae’s at SNC-Lavalin’s Recruitment Centre in Secunda and representatives from the local Forums deliver curriculum vitae’s directly to SNC-Lavalin offices.
    Another meeting will be attended by SNC-Lavalin and the Forum on the 1st October 2018.
    SNC-Lavalin has committed to engage with the Forum to compile a Memorandum of Understanding that addresses local employment, local supplier development, skills development and community development.
    SNC-Lavalin has continuously and will continue to undertake transparent dialogue sessions with the various interest groups in the region to illustrate our social investment and development initiatives over the years, including plans for the future.
    On Wednesday, 26th September 2018, protesters gathered outside SNC-Lavalin offices in Secunda, blocking entry and exit from the office park. After discussions with SNC-Lavalin representatives, the protesters dispersed peacefully.” – Ané Prinsloo

    Police fire rubber bullets at protesters