Thursday, 11 August 2016
# Strike - did you hear?
Chatter inside the taxi as the people discuss the Strike Action. As we near the Power Station the travel comes to almost a standstill. Taxi’s and cars are both moving forward at a snail’s pace, and reaching the main road toward the station we see a tree stump placed across the road. No one can drive through it forcing the taxi’s and cars to drive on the side of the road into the open veld.
Our taxi drives makes his way up the road but cannot go much further and finally coming to a halt. The doors are opened and we get out of the taxi, walking up towards the main gate, people have gathered on both sides of the road, to my left and to my right people have parked their cars and standing outside waiting to see what is going to happen.
I look for some familiar faces and walk over towards them as I approach them we chat about the strike. I ask one of the ladies ‘So what time will this be over, do you think we would be able to go in?’ She laughs at me and shakes her head as she answers me ‘No, it will never, never be over today.’ All the girls laugh as they carry on talking. One of the young girls recites ‘My father was a gardener and my mother worked as a kitchen maid. That’s why I am striking’ Ha ha all the girls laughed and danced. Wow, this was interesting; I have never been so close to a strike in my entire life.
While we were standing next to the road, paper and beer bottles were strewn on the road, green broken glass everywhere. I thought I would not drive here; I would want to puncher my cars wheels. But I could hardly believe it when one of the protestors came racing up in a bakie and threw tires on the ground, not more than 5 meters away from us. The next thing I see them lighting the tires, hmm this is serious.
I text my boss’s secretary that I am outside and cannot come into the property hoping she can do something from her side. She texts me that I should walk up to the main gate my boss is there and will let me in. Ha ha what a joke as I approach the protestors I get stopped ‘mam turn around and go back’.
The day drags on and the people increase in numbers when the police arrives they speak to the protestors and then drive away.
Now think on this for a minute there are no facilities to go to the bathroom. I ask one of the girls so where do we go to the bathroom? I need to go now. They all pack up laughing, there is a tree, go behind it. Hmmm that’s not nice, no I will hold it. It’s only been 3 hours I am sure I will make it. I hope.
Finally our taxi lets us know the guys want to leave I tell the girls that are with me the guys want to leave. We all start walking down the road towards the taxi. As I take my seat I must tell you it was a welcome feeling to actually sit down again. I could feel my legs shaking, I am obviously not built to stand and more than 3 hours is definitely not my thing.
We leave the Power Station and go back home. When I get home I feel a little guilty for not staying and trying to get into the Power Station.
This morning on my return to work I heard reports of people being shot, and locked up. I was so glad we left at the time we decided.
The strike is still continuing and we are waiting to see what happens next.
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