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Unite the people’s camp, neutralize our detractors and destroy the enemy

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We take this opportunity to welcome you all to our headquarters and thank you for coming. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) held its Central Committee meeting on the 2nd - 4th July 2014. A report back rally was also held on the 5th July in Matlosana North West Province.

The Central Committee was attended by 750 delegates and international guests were also invited including leaders of the tripartite alliance. Leaders of the SACP, Cosatu, ANC, SANCO, youth and student organisations were part of the Central Committee.

The Central Committee (CC) is the highest decision-making structure between Congresses. The aim of the Central Committee was to reflect on key areas which are mainly political, economic, organisational, and international.

The CC was attended by delegates from 11 regions of NUM across the country who met for three days. The Central Committee was held in the in East Rand, Johannesburg-Birchwood Hotel. The galvanising theme for the Central Committee was “We are Stronger Together."

Furthermore, The Central Committee was graced by leaders from the tripartite alliance some of whom addressed delegates. For example comrades Blade Nzimande the General Secretary of South African Communist Party (SACP), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) 2nd Deputy President comrade Zingiswa Losi, and the African National Congress (ANC)’s Deputy Secretary General comrade Jessie Duarte. Attendance and address by these leaders was consistent with the spirit of the theme “We are stronger together."

The Central Committee was also visited by many Ministers such as former NUM president Senzeni Zokwana now Minister of Agriculture forestry and fisheries, Thulas Nxesi the Minister of Public Works, and Ngoako Ramathlodi the Minister of Minerals.

Succession and leadership
The Central Committee endorsed comrade Piet Thamsanqa Matosa as the Acting President of NUM until the next national congress in 2015.

Tribute to fallen heroes
The Central Committee paid tribute to all leaders, members, and shop-stewards who passed on in the period under-review. It also noted all those who were callously slaughtered during the platinum belt strike led by the vigilante trade union. Mrs Fundi and Langa story, their story has never been told.

Furthermore, the CC, expressed its grief on the passing on of NUM`s lifetime President, comrade Nelson Mandela including the death of its former Deputy President comrade Crosby Moni who both passed on at the end of 2013.May their souls rest in peace.

Unity of the left forces and role of SACP
The Central Committee took the view that the strengthening of a strong united working class Alliance is imperative at this stage of South African transformation. It believes that this will amplify the voice of the working class in South Africa. The CC resolved that in the current state the SACP remains the tried and trusted vanguard to lead such working class alliance and the left axis.

COSATU divisions and ANC mediation
This CC expressed its appreciation of the constructive mediation the ANC has undertaken to resolve the Cosatu challenges. While noting these interventions the CC believes that the unity of Cosatu cannot be pursued at all costs in a manner that compromises the founding principles of Cosatu. Therefore, the Central Committee calls for the speedy conclusion of the mediation process under the stewardship of ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. We will also communicate to Cosatu to implement some of the decisions of the last CEC.

The Positive story not sufficiently told
The Central Committee noted that some of the positive and optimistic story of South Africa is not appropriately told, a positive story why our people mainly the working class have given the ANC 62% electoral support because e.g. the ANC amongst other things saved the automobile sector in our country with a public investment of R22 billion in 183 projects.

This intervention preserved 46 thousand jobs. Adding nearly 10 000 new more jobs against what could have been a disastrous case of capital flight and retrenchments.

The CC further noted the progressive interventions by government in other industrial sectors like clothing and textiles through the imposition of 75 per cent local procurement prerequisites on the public sector.

It noted the removal of adverse credit information which came into effect on April1, 2014 impacting on some 10 million South Africans who were suffocated by high levels of indebtedness.

In this context, the ANC needs to develop community media to communicate its successes more clearly and effectively.

The ANC must deal with corruption and thieves decisively. Remove all elements or Deployees with dubious records from strategic deployment. Deployees who conveniently forget to declare their conflict of interests must be sanctioned by the organisation.

Deploy and Advance and Swelling the ranks
The CC once more appreciated and supported the swelling the ranks of the ANC, a Cosatu resolution. The CC noted that this resulted in worker leaders or officials within the federation assuming positions of leadership as preferred by members of the ANC.It noted that unavoidably this may result in individuals being deployed in a variety of strategic responsibilities in government.

10 Defending and advancing NUM interests
The CC resolved that NUM must undertake vigorous programmes of action and campaigns against both the state and capital to advance the interests of its members in mining, construction, and energy sectors.

  • 10.1 These would include the following campaigns:
    minimum wage to be legislated - 3 July 2014, Germany passed minimum wage legislation
    programme of action to demand living wage and right to strike at Eskom , removal of the Eskom Board
    demand transformation at Sibanye Gold
    mobilisation against government nuclear initiatives
    Push for full implementation of the Framework Agreement by both DMR and the Presidency, push for withdrawal of mining licences from companies that have failed to comply with Mining Charter targets.
    Full compliance with the Constructions Charter and punitive measures undertaken where there is failure to comply.
    improvement of health and safety
    demand the reviewal of job grading system
    fighting racism in the workplace
    Preservation of retirement funds will result to massive strikes and job losses
    Payout of outstanding moneys totalling R4.7bn
    Compensation cases Silicosis and TB

11. The CC rejected Eskom 5.6% salary increase
The CC has noted the arrogance showed by Eskom management in dealing with NUM during this year wage negotiations. As the NUM, we reject the 5.6% salary increase offer which is below the CPS on a three-year proposal that is being offered by the Eskom. The NUM is demanding one year agreement with a salary increase of 12% across the board.

Eskom has defined itself as forever disrespectful of worker rights and reckless with employer-employee relations and stakeholder relations generally. Our members are ill-treated and provoked by their employer simply on the basis that they are labelled essential services. Eskom management is refusing to listen to employees and thus creating anger and frustration in the parastatal's industrial relations. Eskom management is sitting on a time bomb waiting to explode anytime if they do not listen to worker's grievances. We reject Eskom three-year proposal and call on Eskom to meet the demands of our members.

12. No to Nuclear Energy
The CC has reaffirmed NUM’s resolution on nuclear energy. After careful engagement the CC has noted the challenges in financing nuclear energy projects, the apparent nuclear project management skills deficit – time delays and budget overruns, radioactive waste management and safety and health risks associated with nuclear energy, therefore concludes that South Africa is not ready to embrace nuclear energy.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 2011 is the fresh reminder of the risks to health and safety of citizens should a nuclear meltdown ever occur in South Africa. Nonetheless, NUM supports for medicinal and research purposes.

The CC emphasized that our position against nuclear energy is not a battle that can only be waged and won in air-conditioned boardrooms, but this is a struggle to be waged through the rolling-out of mass action across the country and will be mobilising resources and progressive forces to this effect.

13. Construction
The Central Committee welcomes the massive construction infrastructure currently underway in our country heralded by the people`s choice, ANC government. However, the CC calls on the new administration to push the transformation speedily and assertively within this industry including the full implementation of the Construction Charter.

The CC resolves to campaign against out-sourcing, casualization and labour brokering characterising the construction sector per the design of neo-liberal offensive.

14. The Farlam Commission
The CC appreciates the diligent work that the Farlam commission is engaged on. The CC is however concerned about the extension of the dead-line of the commission. This commission should have completed its work more than two years ago. Mr X evidence shocking.

15. The CC welcomes the sentencing of an Amcu shop steward
The CC welcomes the sentencing of an Amcu shop Steward Aaron Mavimbela to 20 years in jail for murder of Jacques Naude, an NUM shop steward at Woestalleen Coal Mine, Hendrina during an AMCU strike on 17 October 2011.

This heartless, cold-blooded killer should have been sentenced to life. The accused showed no remorse during the trial, this serves as an aggravating factor and was convicted of an atrocious crime. Union leaders and their members have no right to embark on violence during their industrial action and violence during strike action now occurs on a daily basis.

The NUM abhors violence and call on the Justice department to speed up other cases that involve the killing of our shop stewards and members.

In this context, the CC calls for arrests and prosecution of all those implicated in the killing of workers, destruction property belonging to workers in the platinum sector. We call on the government to protect all workers who are not on strike and wish to exercise their right to go to work. The time has come for the wheels of justice to roll over those who continue to prey on innocent workers.

Currently members who have rejoined NUM are intimidated and harassed at Impala in some cases in the presence of management at 11C and 6 Shaft, at Impala Platinum. Three of our members ended up in hospital.

16. Strike led by Numsa and the United Front for Socialism
The CC fully supports the strike as led by Numsa for a living wage, a total ban of labour brokering and improvement of the working conditions in the engineering sector. The NUM, therefore, calls upon employers to meet the demands of the engineering sector workers.

NUM also supports all constructive engagement and action against Eskom to reclaim the right to strike and a better wage deal.

The Central Committee acknowledged the following interventions which have secured the livelihood of workers led by NUM:

  • the intervention by NUM to save jobs by preventing retrenchments at Beatrix
  • improved benefits through MPF of R30 000 to the principal member and dependents
  • establishing youth forums across the country
  • fought for the creation of education trust (75 000 per family )after the 2014 Doornkop disaster and all companies to do the same
  • membership benefit extension
  • Secured compensation for ex-mineworkers suffering from occupational diseases.
  • JB Marks Bursary scheme

The Central Committee urge NUM to continue to support international initiatives in promoting international solidarity.

18.1 Thus calls for the following:

  • Support measures calling for the return of the Nigerian girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram
  • Start and support dialogue on the future of Lesotho into South Africa
  • Continue to support solidarity measures in Colombia, Swaziland, Mexico and Kenya.
  • 2022 Soccer World Cup-The Central Committee re-iterated its call against the hosting of the 2022 Soccer World Cup in Qatar. This call is, as a result, of the current offensive against the Qatar’s working class.

The Central Committee resolved to use all its resources both financial, personnel, and networks to make sure that a fighting union is able to rise up to the challenge and discharge its campaigns successfully. It will intensify all efforts to improve quality service to its members.

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