UTATU gives statement regarding Transnet strike

 When is the strike scheduled to begin?

Transnet’s workers will go on strike from midnight (00H01} on May 10. Transnet is to be given a strike notice to this effect.


What are the issues?

The central issue is the basic wage. Management is offering 8% while our demand is 15%.

Other items that are still in dispute are :-

• Contract workers to be made permanent. There are currently over 5000 contract workers, largely concentrated in Transnet Capital Projects, who are employed on annually renewed contracts year after year without benefits. This has to stop. Management’s proposal to appoint only 850 of these workers is not acceptable.
• Management’s offer of extending a medical aid subsidy to additional service providers to be agreed with labour must have a timeframe of a maximum of 3 months. The subsidy must also apply if a spouse is the principal member. 
• Equal maternity benefits, whether bargaining unit or management
• Two days paternity leave 
• Lift the cap on overtime in TFR to R149,736 and in other Divisions increase it by the across the board increase
• All allowances to increase by the across the board increase
• The incentive bonus must be negotiated
• There must be a guarantee of no retrenchments for the next year
• The settlement must be backdated to 1st April 2010

Who will be affected?

50,000 employees across Transnet.  
– All rail freight services operated by Transnet Freight Rail, including the coal and iron lines. Passenger rail services will not be directly affected by this strike. (There is a separate negotiating process with PRASA which may or may not result in industrial action.)
– Shipping and materials handling at all of the country’s ports.
– Pipelines carrying fuel to the hinterland.
– Transnet Rail Engineering’s rail maintenance and manufacturing services.
– Transnet Capital and Infrastructure Projects scheduled to do important maintenance work on the Coal line.
– All administration and Security staff.
 Note : 87% of Transnet’s workforce is unionized. Non members have the legal right to participate in the strike and will be encouraged to do so.

Issues that are fuelling the dispute

– Transnet’s workers feel cheated.
– Worker morale is the lowest it has been in 40 years.
– Never before have Transnet’s workers been so united and resolute.   
– Central to their stand is their determination to have their eroded salaries brought back to 2006 levels
– No notch increase for five years in Transnet Freight Rail after the company withdrew from its 25th percentile agreement. 
– The huge salaries and incentive bonuses paid to top managers. It would take the lowest paid Transnet employee 121 years to earn the annual salary and bonus of the Acting Group CEO.
– Of the total bonuses paid last year, 51% of the amount paid out went to 4,500 managers and 49% was shared between 49,000 bargaining unit workers  
– The broken promise that Transnet’s downscaling from 200 000 to 50 000 employees would yield a smaller, more fairly remunerated workforce.

Apology to the public

We want to put on record that going on strike is not any decision to make. However circumstances have forced the unions into this position. The public and media must look to Transnet to resolve the impasse. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.

Google announces more high quality 3D imagery in Nashville, Indianapolis, Charlotte and Dallas

 Washington, USA – Google Earth updated large parts of Nashville Indianapolis, Charlotte and Dallas in the United states on the high quality 3D imagery.


We’re happy to announce that Nashville, Indianapolis, Charlotte, and Dallas are the newest additions to the family of Google Earth cities with high-quality 3D imagery. Exploring some of America’s most well-known cities from the comfort of your own computer just got even easier, and it also got more fun!

Whether exploring Nashville’s music venues along 2nd and Broadway, Indy’s Monument Circle in the heart of downtown, Charlotte’s diverse and numerous museums, or Dallas’s architecturally rich historic districts, the updated high quality 3D imagery will make you feel like you’re really there.

Noah’s Ark found on Mount Ararat – Press Conference

Almost everyone has heard of Noah’s Ark some believe it a work of fiction while others believe in the Ark and all it stands for. Here is a summary of how the story goes:

It is a story about God who made man but realised that man has become wicked beyond redemption and decided to wash the earth clean and start new. He picked Noah and for a hundred years Noah and his three sons built the Ark according to Gods instruction and preaching to the people to repent. The world laughed at him. God sent animals to the Ark most two by two so that life would go on after the flood. Then one day God told Noah it is time and when everyone was in the ark and God sealed the door the floodgates of heaven opened it rained for 40 days. After a time (150days) God calmed the waters and sent a wind over the it causing the water to draw back. After forty days Noah opened the window and sent out a raven but the raven just kept flying, he sent out then a dove but when the dove could not find resting place came back. After seven days Noah tried again releasing the dove who returned with a olive leaf so Noah new the waters has retreated. He stayed another seven days then released the dove once again and when she did not return he knew the ground was dry. God told Noah, he and his family and all living things can leave the ark and breed upon the earth and multiply. Noah made a sacrifice of thanks giving and God was pleased giving the sign of the rainbow that He shall not again destroy the earth again by water and will not curse the ground because of man’s sins. And when we look upon the bow in the cloud we are reminded of the covenant made by God with every living creature. For full account read Genesis chapters 6-9

In scripture there is made reference to where the Ark found it’s resting place, Mount Ararat. For over 2 000 years there has been a local saying that ‘There is an ancient boat on the mountain’. There have been numerous reference to a flood and a man on a boat who preserved mankind from all over the world. And many believe that this is indeed fact not fiction as the scientist of today would like us to believe. There is proof all over the world of major flooding and unexplainable things that would make sense if there was such a flood. And so over the years many people have gone in search of the ark some to prove the tale true others to prove that it is as insane as it sound and others to prove that Noah was real but a nut case. All those reasons seem insignificant in the light of the find.

It started in 2003 when the Noah’s Ark Ministries International sent their first expedition team at Mount Ararat with the help of the Turkish people. In 2004 they returned more prepared for the expedition at the altitude of 4 200m. They observed a broken opening and managed to take a video but unable to get a sample from it. (Remember on Mount Ararat there are no trees and no villages or settlements, so as you will hear in the video, there is no  reason for anyone to have build anything at that altitude with heavy wooden beams). Since then they have returned each year more prepared, seeing and documenting more and more findings. On the most resent press conference they have shown that they have found seven different spaces each consisting out of wood. Here are a description of each space according to Noah’s Ark Ministries International site:

  1. One of the spaces discovered is frozen by ice. Under ice is wood with wood beam above. There is tenon construction on the wall and it is obvious artificial structure.
  2. The space witnessed by Panda Lee is L-shaped. This is the first discovered space. It’s L-shaped and its features match well with some spaces discovered later, like tenon construction. We concluded that it was originally a box-shaped room and heavily decomposed.
  3. This space stands at more than 5 metres high. Team members had to get through a broken opening and abseil down to get inside. All walls are wood and the space is not box-shaped. Strictly speaking, the walls are not vertical but rather curved and inclined. The small door on one side, of dimensions one meter high and half meter width, presumably leads to another space but our team did not risk going further due to the lack of oxygen.
  4. This room is box-shaped, having a dimension of height, width and length of more than two metres. There is a wooden beam with wooden nails on one side of the wall. It is believed that a rope was hooked on these nails to keep animals in place. On another side of the wall, there are racks.
  5. A very small tunnel-like space connects two spaces.
  6. A few wooden staircases were found inside the structure, which seemingly craved by tree logs. Our team climbed one and found a door in the ceiling and concluded the wood structure has more than one floor. We tried to open it but failed. Since we did not want to destroy the structure, we will try again with appropriate equipment in the future.
  7. The team has not entered this space. They viewed and took shots from a small opening above. The height and width are estimated to be 5 metres and 12 metres respectively. ”


Soon after the press conference a man called Randall Price who is an archaeologist who worked with the team in 2008 said that it is a hoax, saying that Turkish labourers was hired to haul seven beams from a old structure close to the Black Sea. Also stating some of the pictures has cobwebs that is ‘impossible’ in such conditions.

 "My problem is that, in the end, proper analysis may show this to be a hoax and negatively reflect how gullible Christians can be."

There are a couple of problems with his analysis, firstly this structure is obviously been frozen in place, that cannot be done easily. Secondly how are they suppose to trek enough wood up 4 200m to make such a elaborate design as seen in the footage. As explained by Dr. Ahmet Özbek, a Turkish geologist:

“In present days, the permanent snow line on Mt. Ararat is 3,900 meters. The wood structure was found higher than 4,000 meters.”

That has been confirmed by Professor Oktay Belli at the press conference:

“The search team has made the greatest discovery in history. This finding is very important and the greatest up to now. On Mount Ararat, human settlement has never reached up to 3,500 m. Mount Ararat is a holy place and has rich historical accounts about Noah’s Ark on the mountain. Many people have searched the mountain for the holy Ark. This time’s discovery is the first serious search that the team found a wood structure under ice.”

Randall Price’s arguments so far has made no sense. But this is to be expected until there is more evidence and a full reveal of the ark there will still be many who would doubt the find, seeing as so many have been convinced in the past that they have found the ark and been proven wrong. This time however there is actual substantial proof at least enough to make proper judgements to believe or not to believe.


WAKA WAKA – Official anthem for the 2010 soccer world cup featuring Shakira and Freshlyground

This is the official 2010 FIFA World cup South Africa anthem that features Shakira and Freshlyground’s song called Waka Waka. It will be performed live on the 10th of June at the official opening of the FIFA World Cup. The concert will kick off at the Soweto Stadium in Johannesburg.

The song is also part of the Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Album which will be released by Sony Music.





Two and a half tons of explosives seized in Johannesburg

 Johannesburg, South Africa – Police arrested two people and seized two and a half tons of explosives from a house in Johannesburg. The police got the tip off anonymously via an emergency crime report hotline.

The police believe that the explosives would be used to blow up ATMs but with the world cup soccer coming up and thousands of tourists flooding into South Africa it may of well be used for any type of terrorism.

With threats from Al Queda police will have to make sure that the arms cache was to be used on ATMs and not people. The arms cache consists of almost 100 cases of explosives.

The border which were also opened for a few years now is supposedly closed now and there’s guards watching the border but claims still come in of thousands crossing the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Al Quada did issue a terrorist threat.

NASA captures new images of oil spill closing in on the Mississippi Delta close to the Louisiana coast

 The MODIS image on the Terra satellite captured a wide-view natural-color image of the oil slick (outlined in white) just off the Louisiana coast. The oil slick appears as dull gray interlocking comma shapes, one opaque and the other nearly transparent. Sunglint — the mirror-like reflection of the sun off the water — enhances the oil slick’s visibility. The northwestern tip of the oil slick almost touches the Mississippi Delta. Credit: NASA/Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of the University of Wisconsin’s Space Science and Engineering Center MODIS Direct Broadcast system.

Transnet plans to strike, could lead to fuel shortage and disruption of food supplies

Johannesburg, South Africa – Up to 50 000 Transnet workers will strike from May the 10th over a wage dispute. According to the general secretary of the United Transport and Allied Trade Union it will be a big strike, his exact words were "biggest strike in the history of South Africa".

But what does that mean if they strike? Well to start with it will stop ships, it can disrupt food supplies and can also disrupt ports as well as fuel coming into the country. 

There is no word yet on how long the strike can last but if it lasts long it can basically bring the country to a standstill, at least according to the general secretary.

The unions want a full 15% increase while Transnet only offers around 8% increase of wages.




Pietmaritzburg farm attack leaves man in serious condition

A 61 year old man is Pietermaritzburg Hospital in serious condition after being attacked on his farm in Thornville last night.

Two men broke into his home while he was asleep, he awoke to find the two in his room and a fight broke out between them. The savages then stabbed the man several times. 

The attackers seems like they wanted to kill him but the man got hold of a panic button next to his bed, he then pressed the button and the savages fled the house.

When Netcare911 arrived at the house they found the man in serious condition, he had facial trauma from being hit with a blunt object and three stab wounds to his arms and back.



Adopt a baby in Italy, you cant choose the race

Italy – People in Italy that want to adopt a child will be found guilty of racism if they reject black or non-European children according to the highest court in Italy. The court was backing the petition by "Italy’s friends of Children association of adoptive and foster parents".

This came after a couple wanted a european child and resisted to adopt a black child. The prosecutor on the case said that it breached international human rights.

The prosecutor also said people like that should be "disqualified" from adopting children.

So if a couple wants to adopt a child and they are given a black child when they wanted one of European descent they will most likely have to keep the child or face racism charges. 

Oil spill Gulf of Mexico – Video

In a day and age where the world revolves around the black gold called oil a spill of this magnitude is always bad news. Especially for Barack Obama who recently signed a deal for offshore rigs to be built and more drilling on United States coastline. This spill has far reaching ramifications more than people will expect. A already over fished marine life will need to be cleaned up and then have time to recuperate leading to fishermen not being able to fish. Not only are the environment in clear danger but also a lot of peoples lively hood. It will also cost millions to sort out never mind the millions the oil company has already lost with first the blast and now the oil spill.

Everyone will agree that something like this should not have been able to happen.

Crews rush to contain oil spill off US coast

US oil spill crisis continues



Coast Guard video shows part of oil spill burn




Video – New Volkswagen bike – Bik.e

 Volkswagen released a new bike called the "bik.e". The bike can fit entirely into a boot of a car. The electric bicycle can drive up to 20km on one charge which makes it perfect for riding around town although you need to make it through the taxis and bad Cape Town drivers.

There is no word yet if the bike will actually go into production but if it does it would be a entirely new kind of electric bike.

See the video bellow 


Belgium's lower house of parliament votes to ban burka in public

Belgium voted to ban the burka and anything that obscures the identity of a person in public like the burka. The lower house of parliament in Belgium voted for the ban, not on person voted against the proposed law.

The law is now heading to the Belgium senate where it might become law by the end of the year.

While the burka would be allowed on certain occasions it would not be allowed in any public places including the streets or shops and even parks. 

Muslims in Belgium are apposed to the proposed law.


Another person dies of Rift valley fever in South Africa, in Oudtshoorn

 Cape Town, South Africa – Another person has died of Rift Valley Fever in South Africa yesterday. The death occurred in close to Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

The disease that now lurks in all provinces of South Africa infected more than 150 people thus far and affected live stock and disrupted farms.

Most people that are infected are those that work directly with animals according to South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

Giant Gulf of Mexico oil spill on Google Earth

NASA released a image of the giant oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico which is said to be one of the worst oil disasters in history. Las Angeles now also declared a state of emergency as the oil slick is moving to their coast.

You can see the massive image from NASA as an overlay on Google Earth by clicking HERE

M.I.A releases new music video called "born free"


M.I.A released her new video that shocked even her fans but the music video called born free sends a strong message. We just dont know what that message is yet.

The video was banned from youtube and we can understand why but as usual her music is good. Check out the video but we have to warn you that IT IS NOT SUITABLE FOR ANYONE SENSITIVE TO NUDITY OR OTHER GRUESOME STUFF.





Siobhan Magnus says goodbye to American Idol with a shout

Siobhan Magnus will definitely leave a mixed opinion about whether to like her or not. She is like a acquired taste: you like it or you don’t, personally I don’t. There is nothing wrong with her as a person, I like her wacky sense of style but her voice just annoys me. It was really her time to go.

Siobhan Magnus – Any Man Of Mine (American Idol Season 9 – Top 6) 04/27/10

Stellenbosch woman stabbed to death on train

A woman has died after being stabbed on a train at Muldersvlei Train station in Stellenbosch. A suspect was arrested. When ER24 got to the scene the woman was already dead, laying face down on the train floor. The motive for the stabbing is not known yet.

The trains in Cape Town is not safe and tourists being used to their country’s railway lines might mistake South Africa’s railway for being the same reliable and safe way of transport like they have in their countries.



Violent Political brawl in Ukraine Parliament – video

Ukraine has had a long and troubled history with Russia and it all came to head this Tuesday at parliament when as Russia’s navy base has been allowed to use their ports for 25 years more. There was punches, hair pulling, egg throwing and even smoke bombs during the proceedings. As if the trouble was expected as soon as the pelting started the speaker was protected with umbrella’s.

Political Brawl – Ukraine Parliament Members throw Blows- HIPHOPNEWS24-7.COM

Video of smoke bomb egg fight in Ukraine parliament


Mississippi Tornado damage summary – video of tornado

This is video taken by storm chasers of the tornado that hit Mississippi. The tornado was very large and the damage quite extensive. It was much broader than a average tornado and much stronger. People has started clearing up already and is still searching for injured and missing people. So far there have been ten fatalities two of those children.

Path length: 97 miles… this length will increase as more
damage is surveyed east of today’s survey
maximum width: 1.75 miles
rating: EF4, with maximum winds of 170 mph
casualties: 10 total fatalities with dozens of injuries

A number of areas of EF3 damage with estimated winds of 150 to 165
mph were found along the path. Two areas of EF4 damage with maximum
winds of 170 mph were found… one in Yazoo City… and the other in
Holmes County.

Tornado hits Mississippi killing ten people

Saturday Mississippi was hard hit by Tornado and storms devastating the Yazoo county claiming ten lives including three children. Rescuers was seen combing the wreckage for more injured. The number of injured and the extent of the damage is still unknown.

They are unsure of if it was just one large tornado or a series of small ones, meteorologists said it is to early to tell. Storms raged across that part of America and there has been more tornado warnings in the Maryland area.