General Industries Workers Union of South Africa

The #SouthPointStrike and Uniting Struggle

In September of 2021, the workers of South Point, organised under GIWUSA, embarked on nation-wide industrial strike action demanding higher wages, the insourcing of cleaners, medical aid and the full pay out of TERS funds.

Photo by Kaung Htet

A Short Background on the South Point Strike

In 2018, the workers of South Point secured a victory against the ruthless landlord corporation, winnning concessions including a provident fund, a 20% minimum wage increase to R22 per hour and a commitment to insource cleaners employed by Servest.

In September of 2021, the workers of South Point, organised under GIWUSA, embarked on nation-wide industrial strike action demanding higher wages, the insourcing of cleaners, medical aid and the full pay out of TERS funds.

GIWUSA on the ground

The exploitative labour practices of South Point represent a perpetuation of the Apartheid wage structure, with workers earning R2000/month as part of a rotating work regime. This while South Point executive directors earn at least R300 000/month. It would take South Point workers 12 and a half years to make the monthly salaries of their bosses! This same corporation then lies and claims that it is financially unable to accommodate wage increase demands, despite the fact that the company made a total net profit of R74,9 million in 2020 and R115,6 million in 2021. This is made more scandalous by the fact that South Point receives massive funding from the State, with a reported 70% of its revenue coming from NSFAS

Through its refusal to insource cleaners, despite previous undertakings to that effect, South Point devalues the labour of black women, who are placed in positions of precarity that are linked to the deepening crises of widening racial and class inequality, along with Gender-Based Violence at the workplace and at home.


South Point has responded to workers exercising their hard-won Constitutional and statutory rights to fight for better conditions by embarking on a co-ordinated campaign of union-busting, which intensified since GIWUSA obtained recognition. GIWUSA shop stewards have been victimised, with two shop stewards dismissed for fulfilling their mandate of representing fellow workers.

Ruthless, exploitative corporations like South Point pose a threat to the rights of workers and demonstrate the necessity of organising labour. We must meet these greedy Capitalists with a united front of trade unions, civil society organisations, students, academics and the broader working classes.

The Braamfontein Community Forum & The Socialist Youth Movement

On the 29th of May 2021, during the forced evictions and relocations of students by South Point, an exploitative and heartless landlord corporation, the inaugural meeting of the Braamfontein Community Forum (BCF) was held. The forum was organised by GIWUSA, along with the Workers and Socialist Party (WASP) and the newly relaunched Socialist Youth Movement (SYM).

GIWUSA on the ground

The BCF is a model - a War Council of the working class in Braamfontein, where the struggles of workers, students and tenants meet. Through the BCF, a call was made during the #SouthPointStrike later in 2021 for a rent boycott in solidarity with the strike, which was answered by NGOs who are tenants in South Point buildings.

The Socialist Youth Movement, which was reborn at the first meeting of the BCF, is embedded within the necessary and revolutionary task of uniting the struggles of students and the youth with the broader working classes. During the #SouthPointStrike, members of the Socialist Youth Movement across the country unconditionally and vocally supported the demands of striking workers, organised under the banner of GIWUSA.

SYM is lucid to the reality that convergences in the struggles of students, community organisers, the forces of social justice and climate justice, along with organised labour, are necessary if we are to take the fight to the Capitalist State. And if we are to win.

South Point Strike in the Media

Humairaa Mayet October 21, 2021

South Point workers to strike until demands are met

Since September 1, South Point staff have been on strike. Workers are demanding that the student accommodation company meet their demands before they return to work. Over a month since the strike began, workers are still taking to the streets. Workers are in negotiation with South Point but a resolution is yet to be reached.

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Sisonke Mlamla September 2, 2021

Employees at South Point student accommodation forge ahead with protest action

Employees at South Point student accommodation in different cities, including Cape Town, continued with their protest as the South Point management said they were unable to meet all their demands.

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Sisonke Mlamla September 1, 2021

Workers to protest over demands at South Point student residences

More than 100 employees at South Point student accommodation in different cities including Cape Town, have planned to protest over a long list of problems.

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Sumaya Mamdoo June 11, 2022

Version 3.0 of socialist youth party looks to shake up campus politics

The Socialist Youth Movement is reborn ahead of their public launch on June 16.

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