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Spring Queen Pageant at GHC under threat

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The decision by the City of Cape Town to lease the Good Hope Centre to a film company has jeopardised the 40 year old Spring Queen Pageant, which has for decades been hosted at the iconic venue. That was according to the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, following on the outcomes of its Special Extended Regional Executive Committee Meeting. The Special Extended REC meeting was called to finalise a strike mandate concerning the City of Cape Town’s decision to rent the Good Hope Centre to an international film company.

“This year is quite significant because it is our 40th anniversary of the pageant and we do not yet have a venue to host the event,” SACTWU general secretary Andre Kriel explained.

SACTWU says that the city has offered the union alternative venue options for the pageant, however due to the location, size, costs, security or the event being open air, none of these venues are a suitable according to the union.

On April 15t, SACTWU held a warning protest where signatures of over 5000 workers were collected over two days. A memorandum was handed over to the city with one of the demands including that the city allows SACTWU to use the Good Hope Centre for their annual event this year, but according to SACTWU the mayor has yet to respond to the memorandum.

“The union will now take the necessary steps to file the section 77 notice with NEDLAC and this process will be completed no later than Monday,” Kriel went further.

SACTWU will file the notice with National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) in order to make their grievances heard and possibly go forward with intended protest or a possible strike action should there be a deadlock with the NEDLAC notice.

“Before the end of October we could call on strike action and we can guarantee that thousands of our members will participate,” Kriel continued.

With regards to the annual spring queen pageant the union says it will go ahead with the planned event even though they have not found a suitable union yet.

“We have not yet found a venue for event, but with or without the help of the city the event will take place,” Kriel stated. VOC (Umarah Hartley)

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