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Media Statement 29 October 2023
NUM-Post NEC media statement
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) convened its ordinary National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at Elijah Barayi Memorial Training Centre in Midrand from 25th to 26th October 2023. The NEC meeting dealt with a number of issues pertaining to the four sectors that the union is organising.
Amongst the critical issues discussed are as follows!
Sibanye-Stillwater’s planned restructuring of 4,095 employees
The NUM NEC is extremely disappointed that Sibanye-Stillwater’s planned restructuring exercise could result in the retrenchment of 4,095 employees at its South African platinum group metals operations in the North West Province. This evil and heartless decision will bring a bleak, dark and difficult Christmas for our members and their dependents. This company has been retrenching thousands of mine workers each year since it was founded way back in 2013. The only year that it did not retrench was the year 2021. This is capitalist barbarism at its best.
The hostage situation ends at Gold One Mine
The NUM NEC is relieved that the hostage situation at Gold One Mine has ended after all 563 mineworkers held underground by criminals masquerading as workers resurfaced (Wednesday) this week. This was a well-executed and planned hostage of over 500 mine employees which included NUM members, Solidarity members and sub-contractors, paramedics and security personnel providing services for the Gold One Mine.
The hostage situation started on Sunday the 22nd of October 2023 around 18:00 when ring leaders held mine employees hostage underground. This includes some employees who had been on day duty on the 22nd and those who had just reported for the night shift. The barbaric act resulted in over 500 employees being forcefully kept underground for 3 nights and 3 days, the 500 employees included over 60 women, people with chronic illnesses and employees who are closer to pension. Employees were assaulted, intimidated and threatened and not given food and drinks only those who formed part of ring leaders were given food and sanitary towels by these criminals. The NUM is shocked that 28 women out of 67 who were held hostage were over the age of 60 years. Some people were going around telling the public that the workers were staging a sit-in underground.
The NUM NEC calls for law enforcement agencies or SAPS to arrest the criminals who are responsible for this hostage drama or criminal act. These criminals must not be allowed to walk free and continue to intimidate and threaten our members. The hostage situation that happened at Gold One Mine was a pure act of criminality.
Mafube Colliery Strike
The NUM NEC calls upon Exxaro and Thungela to refrain from being arrogant and address the workers' demands at Mafube Colliery. The NUM in Mafube Colliery, which is a joint venture of Thungela and Exxaro, is currently embarking on a strike that is entering its second week.
The NUM members are demanding R100 000 which was given to all Thungela employees through the Employee Share Ownership Plans (ESOPs). The NUM believes that Mafube, being part of Thungela, is equally deserving to be given the R100 000.
An ESOP is an employee benefit plan that enables employees to own part or all of the company they work for. ESOPs are most commonly used to facilitate succession planning, allowing a company owner to sell his or her shares and transition flexibly out of the business.
The NUM branch in Mafube Colliery will intensify its strike to make sure that the conglomerates are listening and taking the employees’ demands seriously.
Cast Products South Africa was placed under a questionable business rescue.
The NUM NEC is highly concerned about the plight of workers at the foundry group, Cast Products South Africa after the company was placed under a questionable business rescue in February 2022 by the board.
As a result of this decision to place the company under business rescue, workers have been subjected to rolling lay-offs and short-times that have plunged them into a deep financial crisis. Furthermore, the company has failed to pay workers' salaries in full for several months.
Cast Products South Africa is a manufacturer of cast products for the mining, railway, power and general engineering industries. The company specialises in metallurgical and foundry to design and manufacture a wide variety of products which include car frames, freight car components and highintegrity cast steel railway wheels, gear segments, large high chrome white iron coal pulverizing wear parts, mill liners, slag pots, locomotive frames, railway bogie components and cast mono-bloc railway wheels.
To further make matters worse the BRPs resolved last week Friday that the business would be closed indefinitely while at some point they did acknowledge healthy order books. This in our view is self-inflicting on the part of the company which may lead to liquidation.
The NUM had instructed its legal department to initiate a process to engage the BRPs to get to the bottom of the issues and explore legal avenues on behalf of members. The NUM will also engage other creditors and stakeholders to look at the possibility of removal of the BRPs or any other options that will rescue the company to protect the job security of our members.
Palestine / Israel Conflict
NUM is consistent with its position; regarding its support to the people of Palestine. The invasion by Israel undermines the principle of democracy; this is an old war between the two nations. Lead- ers of the world must provide leadership and bring this conflict to an end. We call upon the UN to provide rational leadership without fear or favour. We further condemn attacks on civilians; vulnerable & innocent children and women by both Palestine and Israel.
The NEC condemns the carpet bombing of Gaza and attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank. In 19 days half of Gaza has been destroyed, and 1,4 million of the 2,3 million are in tents or in the open air. More than 7028 civilians have been murdered in the bombings, including over 3000 children. Whole families have been wiped out. 24 journalists have been killed and their families have also been targeted. Gaza and the West Bank have been reduced to concentration camps. Why is it not possible for such integration of all the Jews, Muslims, Christians and other groups in one democratic state? We note that every year US imperialism gives $3 billion in arms towards Israel to act as its regional policeman.
It is a fact that the masses of Palestinians are largely unarmed. They have no air force, no navy nor even a regular army. They only have lightly armed militias. To call this a ‘war’ is a complete misrepresentation. It is the 5th biggest army in the world that is slaughtering a largely unarmed population. In this mass killing it is noteworthy that the US, the UK, France, and Japan stand united against any ceasefire. This makes them complicit in the daily massacres that are taking place.
The NEC note with concern that coal from South Africa, Russia and Colombia keeps the Israeli power stations going. This is while Israel has cut all fuel, water and food to Gaza. This has led to the collapse of the hospitals and is directly contributing to the death of patients.
We also note with concern that Anglo-American supplies most of the SA diamond production to Israel for cutting and polishing. This is an artificial subsidy to the destruction of Palestinians. Shir Hever, an Israeli economist, explains that diamonds from Anglo-American and other sources contribute over $1bn to the Israeli arms industry every year.
We need decisive action. The NUM NEC calls on all mine workers, transport and freight workers to discuss ways to take decisive action to block diamond and coal shipments to Israel. It is our responsibility to embark on joint action to stop the genocide. We call on our government to take practical steps to assist the Palestinians, by expelling the Israeli ambassador and suspending all trade and diplomatic ties until the Palestinians achieve their freedom.
Springbok victory against All Blacks.
The NUM NEC congratulates the Springboks after they clinched a record fourth Rugby World Cup title by beating a 14-man New Zealand. The Springboks beat the All Blacks 12-11. No one had ever won four men’s Rugby World Cup titles. The Springboks have successfully defended their crown and any arguments about the most dominant rugby nation on earth can be temporarily laid to rest.
For more detailed information, please contact:
Mpho Phakedi, NUM Deputy General Secretary, 082 882 3452
Livhuwani Mammburu, NUM National Spokesperson, 083 809 3257
The National Union of Mineworkers7 Rissik Street.Cnr Frederick JohannesburgTel: 011 377 2111 Cell: 083 809 3257Twitter: @Num_Media
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