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Newsflash: Grooms delay Summer Cup Day

First race delayed indefinitely

While Phumelela have failed to respond to a Sporting Post request for clarity, a Grooms protest has threatened to disrupt the Turffontein Summer Cup day meeting today.

A similar incident occurred at last year’s meeting when the Grooms invaded the  track in the home straight.

It appears the protest is about wage demands and the Grooms, who apparently were generally peaceful, were armed with pangas and spades.

Reports of police firing runner bullets could not be verified.

Social media activity from Turffontein said ‘that  it is about to go down’ at just after 09h00.

The first race was due off at 12h15 but has been delayed indefinitely.

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27 comments on “Newsflash: Grooms delay Summer Cup Day

  1. Vish says:

    Grooms are a very important part of the racing industry and their working conditions including wages has always been a point of contention. All race winnings should have a percentage set aside for grooms upliftment.

  2. des says:

    yep few bullets sprayed to disperse them

  3. Bj says:

    If they don’t like the conditions or the pay, leave ….. find another job ….

  4. Blomelom says:

    I agree with you Vish. This is a very good and fair incentive. This will ensure racing will stay fair, ethical and on time, which is not the case today at Turffontein. Sad, how things have turned out. Let’s hope we can get the racing off soon.

  5. Phil says:

    Agreed. with 25% unemployment,I am sure there are lots of replacements!!! they get free accommodation as well.

  6. Ross says:

    Shame this only happens on the big Group 1 days. It garners the most attention, sure, but it also has the most adverse negative impact on the industry. Phumelela is already going belly up, this really is the last thing the industry needs.

    This isn’t happening in the Cape or KZN. If pay and conditions are legal and the same as in other provinces, Gauteng trainers need to bite the bullet, lay these protesters off and find/train workers that agree to work for the pay that is offered in the job description.

  7. J j Cale says:

    Break ,destroy burn and we must give more Let them eat cake

  8. Punter says:

    No guys the issue of the Grooms today was asking from NHA to register them as one of the stakeholders like,jockeys etc.

    But the NHA dark and diving long time ago so they divided to protest as they did.

    1. Editor says:

      How long has this been on the table, Punter?

  9. Haydon williams says:

    Any sign of racing at all today as there is 12 races

  10. Concerned says:

    I agree nobody forcing them to work
    Fire the bunch
    They just want abd want while we all suffer to make ends meet in this flippen game

  11. Heather McCulloch says:

    I’m sure the Phumelela shareholders did very well this year… for NO work!

  12. Robert says:

    Punter for 30 years. Like SAA will go belly up in today’s economy. Many other race meetings in other countries to bet on. Good luck with your future job opportunities. Grooms are easily replaceable with people that want a job.

  13. Vinesh says:

    Fire the lot. easily replaceable, unemployment at 30%, there will be queues of people waiting to take their jobs

  14. Yuvo says:

    It’s sad that trainers can encourage people to invest In the racing and buy horses that are expensive many over 1 million rand ..yet their cannot pay the grooms adequately. .like the saying goes Racing is for Kings and idiots. .

  15. Lionel says:

    Look at those that have milked Phumelela dry, the executives in suits sitting in air conditioned suites. Money for nothing. G
    Tenders & jobs for pals. The chickens have come home to roost.

  16. Loyiso says:

    That’s why they don’t do anything to combat unemployment, with armies of labour reserves itching for an opportunity, they can keep the wages of the groom’s as low as possible while they take millions from the sport of kings


    Good on you Lionel & Loyiso

  18. Therese says:

    Totally Agree with you Lionel –

  19. Sandy says:

    What happened at Turffontein race course today left me cold. I do not condone what the grooms did. What the police did reminded me of the apartheid era. There were many spectators that were to close for comfort and could easily have been hurt. Marikana sprung to mind when I realised what the police were going to do. The police were not interested in arresting anyone. Their objective was to disperse the grooms, use force if necessary and to instil enough fear in the grooms to prevent them from returning. I doubt that any groom was arrested today. If there were no arrests, the police and Phumelela need to give answers.

  20. Philip Norman says:

    Flew down from JHB this morning and spent an hour or so at Kenilworth Racecourse this afternoon. It was quite surreal:

    – There must have been about fifteen people on the grandstand.
    – They didn’t even bother to switch on the infield Tote board.
    – Went to the toilet for a ‘number 2’ – there wasn’t even any toilet roll.
    – There was one person attending to the World Sports Betting Betting cubicle track side.
    – The place felt more live a graveyard than a racetrack.

    Unbelievable – What a shambles – say no more – and you wonder why the industry is dying.

    1. Editor says:

      We have passed that on to KR for a comment, Philip

  21. Geoff says:

    Why is it that tab online deposits have to be manually cleared. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to phone Telebet to request deposit be cleared into my account about an hour or two after deposit was made. Internet, Hollywood and even Bettin World bets deposits are cleared timeously even after hours. Sorry state of affairs. No wonder Phumelela cannot survive without yearly Govt. handout.

  22. Brian says:

    Quite right Geoff. And then you beg for your payment. That’s why I closed my account. Telebet is a good example of a perfect mess.

  23. George Ellis says:

    Racing industry is gone for a ball of sh1t.

  24. Stuart says:

    The way I understand the Grooms strike, is that when PHM was started there was a R18mill fund set aside for the Highveld Racing Development Fund and of that R18 mill, R17.5 mill was allocated for the improvement of the Grooms accommodation (currently they are sleeping 5 to a room and +/- 20 people sharing a bathroom). PHM took this money and paid this out as dividends to their shareholders and therefore none of the R17.5 mill has ever been spent on the Grooms accommodation.

    When the recent Public Protectors report came out, she said that PHM had acted illegally and that the Grooms should be paid this money back and with interest, naturally after +/- 20 yrs that money with interest would now be +/- R60 mill. The Grooms have been chasing this money for +/- 20 years now. PHM are trying to have this report overturned so as to avoid having to pay this money.

    PHM are the ones that called the police out to try and disperse the strike action.

    Very easy to call the Grooms out because of their actions, but get the background as to why they have taken it before commenting

  25. Mazempie says:

    25 years into democracy and still the horseracing in South Africa remains untransformed, benefiting only a white minority group all to the total exclusion of black people. Grooms to date are still expected to work more than 12 hrs in a day, they are still travelling in truck carriages with horses for longer distances, in 2019!!. As the article states, the same thing happened last year but the article fails to mention how the matter was resolved without any police intervention. A member of the stipendiary board at the national horse racing authority brought calmness to the whole situation last year. Grooms call this man Mr Langa, sportingpost please investigate Mr Langa’s absence from yesterdays race. I strongly believe that NHRA declared war on grooms yesterday, hence the show of force by the police. Here is a question to NHRA, “What would have been the outcome, if this Mr Langa was present yesterday?”.

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