SACCI supports the appointment of a Judicial Commission to investigate the Marikane incident. When a nation experiences a tragedy of this magnitude, this is the type of response that is required from strong political leadership: a response that is immediate, empowered and transparent.
Although the news of the event has adversely affected perceptions of the South African labour market, the President’s response will do much to mitigate the perception “fallout” from the event. In organising protest action, clearly leaders are not being responsible or accountable for ensuring that discipline, the absence of weapons and violence is not an outcome, with the consequence that families lose parents and breadwinners.
The appointment of a judicial commission of inquiry will widen the scope for prosecution of those who must be called to account. SACCI hopes that as a further outcome of the commission’s recommendations, South Africa becomes better equipped to deal with both the organisation of protest activity as well as how we respond to improper behaviour when exercising the right to protest.
When President Zuma addresses the SACCI Annual Convention on 4th October, SACCI hopes that the work of the inquiry would have progressed sufficiently that the State President will be in a position to share at least preliminary findings with the business leadership of South Africa. This will facilitate business applying itself further on how unruly protest action and the perceptions of labour militancy in South Africa can be managed as a risk to job creation as a theme of the SACCI Annual Convention (see sacci.org.za).