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The National Union of Mineworkers was founded in 1982.

Its birth was facilitated by comrades Cyril Ramaphosa who rose to be its first General Secretary, James Motlatsi who turned to be its first President, and Elijah Barayi who became its Vice President and later the President of Cosatu in 1985 when the federation was formed. porn

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Press Statement, 01 December 2020




The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) wishes the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) all the best as it is celebrating its 35th anniversary.

The history of COSATU in itself is the history of the struggle against the apartheid regime and its unjust labour practices.

COSATU was launched on 1 December 1985, at the height of the struggle against apartheid. As a federation, it brought together many trade unions formed after the wave of labour related strikes.

The federation has, time and again, reaffirmed its commitment to some of its core founding principles of uniting the working class, and it is continuing to be preoccupied with the immediate concerns of workers and also remained a social force for transformation.

The unity of the workers and the working class, in general, remain paramount because the battles ahead are going to be hard and bitter. Only when the labour movement is strong can it reverse the setbacks that workers are currently experiencing.

As the NUM, we remain determined in our endeavours to assist the federation in seeking a practical and creative intervention strategies to respond to the changing global balance of forces, which include the changing nature of work places, the reality of 4th industrial revolution and reviewing the victories and set-backs of workers struggle for better living wages.

As an affiliate, the NUM will closely work with COSATU to defend and advance workers collective bargaining rights, including compliance with collective agreements and the workers’ rights to strike.

As we have witnessed recently, corruption and social ills continue to be major stumbling blocks in achieving what is due to workers across the Republic. The twin evils of corruption and job losses had cost workers their jobs and robbed people of much-needed services. Corruptions contributed enormously to the rise of unemployment which ultimately led to poverty.

We observed that spouses of highly connected people are being awarded millions of rand worth tenders to supply the government with services whilst our poor people are sleeping on the streets. The looting at Eskom continues unabated in the name of unbundling so that the public can get frustrated and demand that this parastatal be “privatized”.

The NUM urges the federation to continue fighting tooth and nail against such corrupt activities.

As the only home for thousands and thousands of poor workers in the country, we demand to see COSATU actively involved in exposing public figures who are out there enriching themselves through public funds. We demand to see the vigour and political appetite to investigate and prosecute those who are implicated in corruption from the state. The only acceptable place for criminals is a prison and the ANC and its government need to deliver on this priority.

"On behalf of the NUM membership, leadership and staff members, I would like to congratulate COSATU for reaching this milestone hoping that there will be many more years to come, Amandla!," said David Sipunzi, NUM General Secretary.

For more information, please contact:

David Sipunzi, NUM General Secretary: 082 883 7293


7 Rissik Street.

Cnr Frederick,

Johannesburg 2001

Tel: 011 377 2111


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