The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) led by its General Secretary Cde Jack Mazibuko, yesterday the 11th of May 2023, held a lengthy and difficult meeting with the management of Transnet to discussed what the management calls ‘Transition’ and the Private Sector Participation within the entity, at the Transnet Durban Port Terminal. The meeting was initiated by the entity, SATAWU maintains, this is not ‘Transition’ but privatisation of the entity. The union has been and still very vocal against privatization of Transnet. Our members and workers will be the ones who will be negatively affected and facing retrenchments during this process. It is only the minority that will benefit from this.

The union wishes to state that it refused to agree and to take critical decisions as the management failed to answer questions tabled by the union. We had so many unanswered questions, such as the future of the workers and what is the participation of the Private Sector exactly, those are amongst the unanswered important issues that were not discussed at all. As things stand at this current moment, there was no consensus reached by the two parties as a results SATAWU and the Management agreed that the legal transition team must be brought back to address these challenges as the management has failed.

As a recognised labour union representing thousands of workers at Transnet, we have raised serious concerns and unprofessionalism of how the management dealt with this ‘transition’ and how the labour is left behind. SATAWU holds a strong view that we are far from any fruitful results in this regard, and we are determined to fight until the end.

It is also very important to highlight that the union’s delegation at first was intimidated by the management after they tried to manipulate the union to sign confidentiality documents, meaning that the union must not disclose some of the issues that were to be discussed at the meeting to its members and workers. SATAWU is against that kind of behaviour as the union takes mandate from its constituency. The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union made it clear that it won’t sign, and it will not filter anything discussed at the meeting as it is in the interest of the workers. Both parties have agreed to meet again in the next coming two weeks. We will keep our members and workers updated as the talks continue.

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