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NUM supports Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe on the future of coal mines in South Africa

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NUM supports Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe on the future of coal mines in South Africa

Press Statement, 02 February 2022

NUM supports Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe on the future of coal mines in South Africa

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) vehemently supports the stance taken by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe that there would still be a lot of coal generation in South Africa by 2030 or even after that.

The NUM is clear on its position that the country has an abundance of coal reserves and it will be very irresponsible and reckless for the country to stop the use of coal.

"As a developing country, you have the developed and the underdeveloped cities or villages. The coal industry has played a vital role in developing most Western countries, and with this in mind, South Africa cannot afford to close those coal mines.One cannot just wake up and conclude that you are doing away with the coal mines. That cannot be correct and God was never stupid in giving us such precious resources. As a result of being reasonable in his defence to save the future of coal mines from extinction in the country, the Minister is now being called names such as a “coal fundamentalist" by the imperialists. Minister Mantashe was a mineworker and he understands the industry very well," said NUM President, Joseph Montisetse.

"We have always suspected that there is an imperialist agenda in this whole thing. We are fully supporting Minister Gwede Mantashe despite him being called names. We have examples of places like Pennsylvania in the United States, after closing the coal mines, people got trapped in poverty. It is a reality that many communities stand to suffer the consequences," Montisetse added.

The NUM is resolute in rejecting the government acceptance of an R131 billion climate financing pledge from the European Union, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

As the NUM, we are saying let us start building environmentally friendly power stations and investigate all technologies, which can reduce the pollution of greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon capture and storage. There are different ways in which coal can be made clean by the process of carbon capture and filtration. Let that money be invested in technologies to clean coal.

The closure of the power stations in Mpumalanga and other areas must never be unnecessarily rushed as that on its own would have a devastating socio-economic impact.

The NUM is not opposed to renewable energy and believes ESKOM should be involved in its development, which can give rise to a low carbon industrial path where the inputs are produced locally.

Developed countries have been using fossil fuels over the years to build their economies. They are responsible for the climate change crisis that we are now facing. It cannot be the responsibility of South Africa to sacrifice our economic development so they can continue to pollute.

"We are not going to allow a situation where several communities are left in poverty. We have started a process of mobilising communities to resist and oppose the move of getting rid of coal mines. Why do you have to appease the capitalists?," Montisetse concluded.

For more detailed information, please contact:

Joseph Montisetse, NUM President, 082 809 2391
Livhuwani Mammburu, NUM National Spokesperson, 083 809 3257

Luphert Chilwane, NUM Media Officer, 083 809 3255

The National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street.
Cnr Frederick Johannesburg
Tel: 011 377 2111 Cell: 083 809 3257
Twitter: @Num_Media



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