Strikes and riots at 2010 World Cup building site

Workers have still not resumed work at Mpumalanga's 2010 World Cup stadium after workers downed tools in a wage protest.

Submitted by Ed on July 4, 2008

The workers picketing the Mbombela Stadium site outside Nelspruit include 500 dismissed last Monday, after appealing directly to President Thabo Mbeki to intervene when he visited the site. The Mbombela Stadium Joint Venture fired the workers for an unprotected strike in defiance of earlier agreements. The workers responded by rioting, burning a tipper truck, security guards' motorcycles and a security office.

Police have since maintained tight security. Four NUM members are to appear on charges of public violence, malicious damage to property and arson.

"Negotiations are still taking place... until a settlement is reached" said a National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesperson. The demands include bigger nightshift allowances and better performance bonuses.

Management have threatened further repression in response to the delays caused by the disturbances. "It all depends on when they go back to work. And, when they do go back, they will need to work double shift, day and night, just to catch up."

Elsewhere in Nelspruit, security guards at the largest mall, Riverside Mall, have embarked on a wildcat, unprotected strike for more money.