Friday, 25 September 2009

Bra Hugh

Hugh Masekela, South Africa’s world class legendary musician received a special Labour Media Award at the cultural event of Cosatu’s 10th national congress at Gallagher Estate in Midrand. The award was presented to Masekela for his song “Stimela” which tells about story about migrant workers from neighbouring countries who travel on the coal train to work on South Africa’s mines. The song, a popular favourite and a regular on Masekela’s concert repertoire is heart-wrenching as it tells about the hardships and conditions that these mineworkers faced on the mines, living in flea-ridden compounds – especially during the Apartheid era.

In receiving the award he told the 3000 strong audience that he had not written the song but it was really a reflection of his experience and learning about the mine workers’ plight by fraternising with them in shebeens and hostels in places where he lived around Gauteng. He also made an impassioned plea to Cosatu to play a role in organising around music and cultural activities to revive and preserve our valuable musical heritage which was being eroded by Western commercial music. He expressed concern about the cultural taste and habits of our youth.

The labour media awards was initiated by Workers’ World Media Productions, a  non-profit labour media production house based in Cape Town and Johannesburg to recognise those who have made valuable contributions to labour media and art and to promote labour in the media.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Poor customer service

Why are we so poor when it comes to customer service? Me and my business partner expected some money from a deal and that money came in, our black sister at the bank told us we may not access that money because it need to stay for two day s in our business account. That made sense because it was a substantial amount, and then we opted to withdraw the one, which was already in our account just to secure the release of the work from our printers. My sister told us the money was there and available but she can’t access it. We had to fight so hard as to have her removed to another teller, which was also a long process, and a white sister did it in two minutes. Mind you this was our branch. Few days later we came in to withdraw substantial amount and the other black sister different from the one who failed us few days before told us she is waiting for authorisation which took more than half an hour and we had people service providers from that money. After half an hour we decided we had enough we drove to the Glen.

We were treated like kings there, they have dedicated tellers for business transaction not that they don't have a Carlton Centre but we were told to queue with everyone even if we are going to do business, with no questions asked at the Glen we got our money and left. Later we changed our Branch to the Glen.

Only today I was at one of those long queues at Shoprite, when I was just six people away from the cashier a new cashier opened and we were directed towards her. She was so slow all people who I was behind them in my previous queue they were all gone. The worse news were to follow, this cashier doesn’t take debit cards she wants cash only. As to why they didn’t explain that before we join this queue only they know.

Instead of transferring those with debit cards to the next cashier we had to fend for ourselves and as you can imagine no one will just allow people to come in front of them especially at Shoprite store because they are always full, so me and my fellow debit card holders has to start afresh on another long queue. Thanks goodness things went smooth until another poor person got the same thing on the cashier next to us. But funny enough it was written up there that she doesn’t accept credit cards and debit cards. Sanity prevailed the cashier asked me if she could accommodate him in front of if which I agreed, but the question is why didn’t the other cashiers did the same.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Rea Vaya

Rea Vaya (BRT) is on, now it is up to the taxi industry to shrug off their Mafia style of management for some more substance. This time they will have to have the plan. The government gave them ample time to improve this industry which is second to non based on it’s important,but the Taxi bosses failed to notice this. When they were told to buy new taxis with seatbelts they snubbed the government. Later the government introduced the taxi recapitalization and again they fought tooth and nail to have it implemented in their own terms. Their terms were to shrug of the demand for bigger taxi the size of a Quantum, they chose to buy iNyathi in Mass even those who bought Quantum’s knowingly bought converted panel vans and made the mobile coffins. Only last week a taxi belonging to an association that allowed it to be on the road killed two people-injuring scores. This taxi was not roadworthy with shock absorbers, brakes and windscreen in a shocking state, yet the Taxi bosses allowed that taxi to ferry passengers.

In all these years the taxi industry snubbed the government, but failed to come up with an alternative a plan to improve this industry. When government finally chose to introduce the bus rapid transport they cry fouls. We are still being treated like in the apartheid days when people did not have a choice at all. One lady was telling me that she was humiliated at a taxi rank for refusing to take a Taxi that was visibly unroadworthy. Instead of convincing her otherwise they chased her away, told her there is no taxi that was going to take her even if she stays there the whole day. Judging by their attitude she new she was not going to win.As for other passenger they were packed like Sardines so frightened by these gun toting marshals that they couldn’t say a word to defend her.

BRT is going to make them think properly. You can run a big business as this like a spaza shop in squatter camp. These are the same guys that when they have a dispute the very same people that they are fighting for they kill them by shooting at full taxis with innocent passengers. How is that for arrogance? We can let this guys run our lives. The Taxi industry is going nowhere they simply have to improve their customer care and treat us as their clients not as beggars. This is a wake up call I hope they will see it that way instead of spilling some more blood they did in Cape Town terrorising Golden Arrows passengers. They never thought this day would come one man once said “lidoda duvha”