The Tshwane EFF labour desk protested at the Huis Herfsblaar old age home on Wednesday morning in support of workers embroiled in an alleged racism dispute with their employer. Around 100 members of the EFF marched to the Huis Herfsblaar retirement home in Queenswood to protest over what it called racism and unfair labour practices.
This comes after the manager of the old age home allegedly called security on protesting employees who were demanding an increase last week Tuesday. While the EFF were marching, a number of residents and members of the Afrikaner group, Bittereinders (to the bitter end), led by pop singer Steve Hofmeyr’s son, Devon, gathered outside an open field adjacent to the old age home. As the EFF arrived, the residents and Bittereinders formed a barricade in the middle of the road just past the old age home.
The co-ordinator of EFF Tshwane’s labour desk, Baatseba Nchabeleng, said the old age home has employed qualified nurses and pays them just R3,200 a month – “way below the minimum wage for qualified nurses. “So the ‘bouncers’ were called for the employees when they were demanding an increase and they got shot at. The employer is still arrogant and adamant not to make the wage adjustments,” she alleged.
Roads and schools in Queenswood were closed as the EFF members marched to the old age home. The police confronted the group, members of the community and the neighbourhood watch, who formed a barrier. Nchabeleng said 58 employees from the old age home approached them for help. After the memorandum was handed over, the party wanted to make good on their promise that they would march through the community blockade. Because their buses were between the blockade and the old age home, EFF members instructed the drivers to park on the other side of the blockade. Police, who had a heavy presence at the protest, were seen speaking to the community and the Afrikaner group, explaining that the EFF was going to march through.
Receiving the memorandum, the CEO of the old age home, James Black, thanked the protesters for keeping their demonstration peaceful.