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Press Statement, 13 August 2021
NUM rejects section 189 process issued by China Africa Precious Metals company in Matlosana to retrench 200 mineworkers out of 301
The National Union of Mineworkers is disturbed and aggrieved by the intentions and the decisions taken by the brutal bloodsucking capitalist owned company called China Africa Precious Metal (CAPM) that has issued Section 189 to retrench 200 mineworkers out of 301. This uncaring exploitative company is Chinese-owned and is situated in Orkney no7 former Aurora mine shaft at Matlosana Local Municipality in the North West Province.
"The NUM disagrees with CAPM for cutting jobs by 80% of their current workforce. NUM is prepared to fight tooth and nail against this onslaught. We are disappointed that it is the same former Aurora workers who would be affected by these retrenchments. The NUM hoped that when the mine re-opened in November 2012, the unemployment in this region would be reduced and that the conditions of workers in this mine would be aligned to those of the industry as undertaken by the company. We are very much disappointed to find ourselves back paddling as the mine faces closure and going into care and maintenance," said Masibulele Naki, NUM Matlosana Regional Secretary.
"Among the promises made by CAPM was to FastTrack the maintenance of the shaft, engage in water pumping from underground but up until now, the company has not implemented as per its promises. CAPM further committed to reducing unemployment by employing more than 10 000 mineworkers. However, about 200 workers of the 301 employed will lose their jobs. Both NUM and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) have awaited the plan of 2000 workers to be employed soon, which has now fizzled in the air," Masibulele added.
It is disappointing that as a country, we have allowed Chinese owned companies like CAPM to come and exploit our people without showing the slightest respect for the basic labour laws of our country. During 2018 the NUM went on strike for Health and safety conditions at that mine where there were no risk assessments done to resume production mining. Workers were forced to work in dangerous workplaces underground as it is a common attitude of most Asian capitalist companies.
Instead of creating employment, CAPM continues to shed jobs and throw workers in the streets already struck by youth unemployment. This uncaring company has stockpiles ready to feed the mine bosses while workers will be in the streets. NUM will not sleep but continue to fight for workers, against all employers that seek to reverse workers gains by exploiting their labour-power.
NUM demands that CAPM puts all workers on rotational layoff during the period whilst the company will be fixing and maintaining the winder headgear. This will allow workers to at least earn 50% of their salary, as it appears that their problem is temporary. Secondly, NUM demands that CAPM must apply for an employee relief scheme (UIF TERS) approved by the government for all companies struggling like them for whatever reason during the period of the pandemic.
We further call on the DMRE under Honourable Minister Gwede Mantashe and Ministry of Employment and Labour under Honourable Thulas Nxesi to intervene when mining companies are shedding jobs because of their mismanagement and or management incapacity to run the mine production and cost thereof.
Our call also goes to the South African Communist Party (SACP) as the worker's party in this country. SACP must stay alive to the fact that workers are still suffering in this country and that they are looking for political interventions that should come through biased working-class economic policies. The current policies are not in the interest of the people of our country but elites who seek to maximize wealth at all costs. The SACP must intensify its programmes of building socialism now.
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL UNION OF MINEWORKERS.
For more information, please contact:
Masibulele Naki: NUM Matlosana Regional Secretary: 073 333 7745.
The National Union of Mineworkers7 Rissik Street.Cnr Frederick JohannesburgTel: 011 377 2111 Cell: 083 809 3257Twitter: @Num_Media