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Press Statement, 02 April 2016
NUM Youth Structure Press Statement after its National Office Bearers meeting.
The National Union of Mineworkers Youth Structure (NUM-YS) held its normal monthly National Office Bearers (NOBs) meeting at NUM head office on the 31st March 2017 where the meeting dealt with all matters affecting young workers within and outside the NUM. The meeting further discussed or engaged on all other national matters happening in the country and we resolved as follows:
The NUM-YS is worried about the current decline of membership in the union due to a high number of retrenchments that are happening in our sectors and the Youth structure has the responsibility to defend the union and further recruit more workers to the organisation. The structure has formulated a strategy to unrest the recruitment issue and be on the ground.
The NUM-YS has observed that the increasing number of young people are joining the union and that clearly indicates that our union is getting younger and younger day by day, this sends a message that as young people we need to take control of the organisation and further occupy space in key leadership positions.We encourage all young workers to take part and dominate in all discussions in the union and take decisions that will favour young workers.
Our forbearers fought for our liberation and freedom in the past years through armed weapons and wild cats strike and to date, NUM is a transformed union. As young workers, we don’t need to carry armed weapons anymore to fight employers but we need to really make education a must to all young workers in the union and the country, currently we don’t need leaders who can sing better but educated leaders who will be able to analyze and articulate matters of workers.
The NUM-YS is worried about the slow pace of assisting or getting capital to recapitalize the UBank and this makes us have sleepless nights as we are worried about the future of the worker's bank. We call upon NUM to quickly fast track the engagements between Teba trust and all relevant stakeholders so that we save our bank.
The stands to support the call made by our mother body last week Wednesday during a press conference where the NUM declared war on the government regarding the implementation of IPPs by Eskom and we support the call of national protest march which will be directed to Department of Energy and Luthuli House. We will take to the street and if it means that we pledge support with everyone affected by the closer of five power stations we will do so for the benefit of workers, families and communities.
As the Youth structure, we are so disappointed by the behaviour of senior leaders of the ANC on how they do things nowadays. Some people have become bigger than the ANC itself and this must be a worrying factor for the upcoming generation. Our interest as young people is to inherit a solid and intact ANC not a factional or corrupt organisation and we raise this as members and leaders of the ANC because some people think ANC only exist at Luthuli House. The ANC must listen to the masses on the ground than individuals who do not have the interests of the ANC.
As the NUM-YS, we respect and understand the prerogative of the state president to appoint and dismiss ministers but that must not lead to anarchy as we have seen in the past days, the change of ministers must be purely be done in a view to improving underperforming departments, not reckless changes. We say this being sober-minded not even supporting any face of any individual but raising a principle matter, we are further disappointed in not seeing changes on the forever underperforming departments which are Water and Sanitation, Social department, Mineral and Resources, human Settlements, Labour, State Security to mention the few. We must dismiss any misleading utterance that is intended to blind the people of the recent reshuffling will really implement radical transformation and it can’t be the same radical transformation that comrade President presented at his SONA 2017 because what he said talks to the 30% out of 100% and for whose interest?
The NUM-YS is further shocked and outraged that the recent cabinet reshuffle by the President comrade Jacob Zuma, let alone the recent revelations that this decision was taken against the collective wisdom and responsibility of ANC through its officials. While the Constitution of the Republic empowers the President with the power to appoint or remove anyone from his executive, we find it very disturbing that the current Minister of Mineral Resource Mosebenzi Zwane was not axed. As he is the worst performing Minister in this portfolio since the dawn of the democratic government, a man leading a broken and dysfunctional department of the mineral resource. The NUM-YS would like to remind the President of the following failures of this Minister whom the President has kept in this critical economic pillar portfolio, for reasons only known by the Honourable President of the Republic:
This is the first Minister of Mineral Resources that has forced the NUM to approach the South Gauteng High Court to force him to implement Section 52 of Minerals and Petroleum Development Act 2002 to save jobs in Ezulwini Mining Cooke 4 a Sibanye Subsidiary, this is after the NUM wrote numerous letters to this Minister requesting his intervention. The court ordered him and the Minerals and Petroleum Board to intervene, which the union to date has not seen any movement from the Minister.
We are seeing an increase in retrenchments in the Mining Industry, unlike former Minister Ngoako Ramathlodi who called all stakeholders and developed a 10 point plan to ameliorate against job losses; the incumbent has shown little interest in saving thousands of jobs in the industry.
In the Mining Industry stakeholders formed a Mining Industry Growth, Development and Employment Task Team (MIGDETT) to deal with various challenges facing the industry, unfortunately, the current Minister has not convened this important forum even though the industry is facing many challenges including job losses.
Lastly, the conduct of the Minister in dealing with the Lily Mine Disaster, where he promised the workers and their families that they would be compensated. Till today the workers and their families are still awaiting delivery of those payments.
These are just a few incidents that warranted an immediate axing of the Minister, let alone the current exodus, chopping and changing in the departmental officials currently underway. As the NUM-YS, we are disturbed because experienced and knowledgeable officials are purged and replaced by questionable inexperienced officials that are aligned to the Minister. We are still dumbfounded by the recent appointment of a Director General with no industry experience, let alone the fact that he was chosen to be more suitable than the current Chief Inspector of Mines Mr David Msiza and former Acting Director General. The NUM and COSATU have been long calling for the removal of this Minister, but since our calls are falling on deaf ears, we might be inclined to believe even the President does not have the interest of mineworkers at heart. Let alone the negative effects of this reshuffle on members pensions or provident funds accumulated investments. We thus reiterate our call for the immediate removal of Mosebenzi Zwane as the Minister of Mineral Resources.
As the NUM-YS, we would like to call upon to those hooligans that are shouting and pointing fingers to the SACP to stop what they are doing but do self-introspection in their organizations (Hands off SACP-Hands off) but we want the party to put their money where their mouth is by recalling back their own deployees so that we plan on a way to be a vanguard of workers.
For more information, please contact:
Bonginkosi Mrasi: NUM-Yoth Structure National Secretary: 064 758 0661/078 188 4300
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Twitter: @Num Media