Reaction to Eastern Cape tragedy

The South African Parastatal and Tertiary Institutions Union (SAPTU) finds the Enyobeni tavern tragedy alarming and unacceptable and adds its voice to the chorus of voices that is looking for not only answers to what happened, but also possible solutions to stop this from ever happening again.

No less than 21 young people died in this unexplained travesty at the Enyobeni tavern in Scenery Park, East London.

“SAPTU would like to express its condolences to all the families and loved ones affected by this tragedy. There is nothing that will justify these deaths,” said Adv Ben van der Walt, the general secretary of SAPTU.

“We hope to get answers soon to all the questions, but just as important we hope to see measures put in place to make sure something like this does not ever happen again. It’s clear that even though regulations are in place and that licenses were up to date, that it was not followed to the letter of the law and people need to be held accountable. A strong message must be sent that our youth is not expendable.”

SAPTU is a politically neutral union for any employee working in South Africa. The union was initially established to serve members in the parastatal and tertiary institutions fields in 1993, but now represent a wide range of members from the agricultural, healthcare, hospitality, security and construction industries. The union is affiliated to FEDUSASATUCC, the ILO and ITUC-CSI. SAPTU and its members benefit from the collective knowledge of these affiliations, which contributes to greater participation and strength. Furthermore, SAPTU has the opportunity to influence legislation through FEDUSA and is represented on various national bodies, including NEDLAC. This enables SAPTU to keep abreast of all new legislation and essential labour developments.

Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash