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NUM Post-NEC media statement 23 November 2023
The NEC meeting continued on the 17 November 2023, and amongst issues discussed are socio-economic challenges faced by workers emanating from several notices issued by various companies with regard The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) concluded its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that had to be urgently adjourned last month (October) due to developments that were taking place at Modder East Gold One Mine to section 189A.
Retrenchments and Unemployment
As an organisation, the NUM is shattered and disappointed by the high levels of possible job losses due to retrenchments in some of the companies, in particular mining. To this date, closeto 10 000 jobs stand to be lost between now and January 2024. The NEC expressed its shock considering the levels of unemployment in South Africa. This is a huge blow. Our members and workers at large who are about to loose their jobs have nothing to celebrate this festive season. The recently announced slight drop of unemployment is likely to change from bad to worse as these planned retrenchments are to contribute to the increasing numbers.
According to the recently announced Quarterly Labour Force Survey unemployment rates has decreased by 0,3 of a percentage point to 32,6%.
The NUM is calling upon business to be considerate of the situation in the country as the level of poverty continues to be a worrying factor. As a trade union, we are ready to constructively engage in a process that will protect jobs and prevent future job losses, and prolong the jobs of those who are already employed. We call upon companies to launch new projects. These companies should not wait for the so-called right time while workers are struggling.
Most companies have cited load shedding and the continued increasing prices of electricity as reasons to issue out Section 189A notices. Clearly, for as long as there is still no solution on the electricity challenges, we will continue to loose jobs. We are calling on the government to proactively attend to this as matter of urgency. We will continue to fight for job security. Employers must always be prepared to find ways and means to reduce these huge numbers of unemployment.
Casting Product SA
There is one company called Casting Product SA which closed down operations earlier in October this year claiming bankruptcy. What is more irritating about the company is the fact that it was funded by the IDC, meaning that the very same IDC stopped funding the company after it had discovered some financial mismanagement and lack of accountability. The shutdown of the company’s operation left over 600 workers jobless with no income. The company is owing workers outstanding salaries and bonuses. Workers continue to be exploited, they remainvictims of the capitalist system that is prioritising profits over the well being and job security of the workers.
Health and Safety marches
The NEC expressed its gratitude to workers who came in numbers to attend and participated in the health and safety protest march that was organised in Carletonville. We will continue to demonstrate our displeasure with regard to the growing numbers of fatal accidents and injuries at various work places. Once again, we call upon the companies to show some commitment in addressing the issues of health and safety since the lives of mineworkers matters most. The regulator must hold the companies accountable and they must stop sleeping in one bed.
The NUM is always ready to work hand in hand with employers to ensure there is proper safety at the workplace and further on campaigns that will improve health and safety at various places of work.
Developments at Modder East Gold One Mine in Springs
The NUM has taken a decision to terminate the Close Shop Agreement at Gold One Mine. The decision or position was taken to safeguard the jobs and save the lives of innocent workers. There was a legitimate concern that if the violent acts continue, some of our members or innocent workers are going to get killed. The NUM has noted the judgement by the Labour Court that balloting must be held within 15 business working days in terms of CCMA guidelines The court did not gave reasonsfor the order accordingly. It is not clear on what basis the court made the order. The NUM will consult with its attorneys on whether the order can be appealed.
Planned Protest March Against Transnet’s Failure to Transport Minerals
The NUM is very disappointed with Transnet’s inability to smoothly transport minerals to the country’s terminal ports. Mining companies are sitting with stock piles of minerals that need to be transported to terminals in Richard’s Bay.
The NUM Highveld Region has taken a decisive resolution to march to the office of the Presidency and the Department of Public Enterprises. The march is about calling for the government’s immediate intervention. This crisis has resulted in a significant number of retrenchments in the coal mining areas throughout the country. The march is planned to take place in Pretoria on the 9th December 2023.
Transnet’s failures to transport the minerals is costing workers their jobs. All these Section 189A that we are seeing are caused by such failures. The NUM cannot sit idling while workers are losing their jobs day-in-day-out. The government must come on board and do the right thing by putting systems in place for the wheels of Transnet to start rolling.
National Trustee Forum and the Two Pot Retirement Pension Reforms
The NUM on the 15-17 November 2023, successfully hosted its three-days national trustee forum under the theme “Members First, Today and Forever”. Amongst other issues discussed is the proposed two pot pension reforms that seeks to assist workers to limited portions of their pensions without having to resign from their jobs nor cash out their entire retirement funds.
The NUM welcomes the latest decision for the two pot pension reforms to come into effect from 1 March 2024. This will provide welcome relief to millions of highly indebted workers, in both the private and public sectors. The NUM is pleased that members of the Standing Committee: Finance stood with workers in defence of the 1 March 2024 implementation date after some in industry in pursuit of maximising profits sought to delay these legislative reforms until 2025 and possibly even further. These reforms will have the added benefit of helping to boost savings in the longer term as workers will no longer be cashing out their entire pension funds but rather accessing a limited portion.
As the NUM, we are urging all the stakeholders, including the Treasury and the retirement funds administrators, to start now organising intensive workshop trainings that are aimed at equipping workers to understand these whole processes. It is important that workers are empowered so that they are able to decide on their future endeavours.
Sponsored Israeli war targeting the Poor Palestinians
The NUM is in support of the latest move by the country’s lawmakers who voted this week to close down the Israeli embassy in Pretoria and suspending all diplomatic relations until a ceasefire is agreed in its war with Palestinians. This move is very progressive. As the NUM, we should give credits to Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor. She did very well by leading this massive campaign for the people of Palestine and we are urging her to employ similar energy in African countries facing similar challenges.
The NUM fully support the initiative by the South African Presidency led by Cyril Ramaphosa to call on the ICC to probe and prosecute Israel for war crimes. The hypocrisy and double standards of the ICC should be exposed if justice is to be realised for all people regardless of race, colour and origin. The NUM equally calls upon the intensification of the global solidarity movement with the Palestinian people against apartheid colonialism, occupation and land dispossession.
For more detailed information, please contact:
Mpho Phakedi, NUM Deputy General Secretary, 082 882 3452
Livhuwani Mammburu, NUM National Spokesperson, 083 809 3257
Luphert Chilwane, NUM Media Officer, 083 809 3255
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