CORPORATE CARNAGE AND SOCIAL LAWLESSNESS MUST CEASE IN SOUTH AFRICA
- INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
The National Office Bearers of NUM met today at its Head-Office to discuss an array of issues to advance its conviction to the view of back to basics as heralded by its National Congress in June 2015. The NOBs discussed the following amongst other important issues:
1.1 CARNAGE OF RETRENCHMENTS
The National Union of Mineworkers welcomes the intervention by government in convening an urgent meeting to deal with the jobs atrocity unleashed by the mining industry against the working class and the workers.
The offensive is not only directed at the mineworkers but against the working class families who rely on these breadwinners.It is an attack that is intended to entrench the legacy of apartheid deprivation and colonialism which subjected African people to a permanent state of poverty.
The National Union of Mineworkers shall not stand idly hence it welcomes government intervention. The workers must be ready to defend themselves through the unions against these atrocities. Indeed, we agree with Minister Ramatlhodi that the mining companies should have pursued other alternatives than short-cut solutions.
1.2 SEARCHES FOR ALTERNATIVES PARAMOUNT
The NUM believes that companies should look at alternatives such as shifting workers to other viable operations.It is for this reason South Africans should view the retrenchments atrocities meted against 1000 workers and their families at Glencore as unpatriotic.
1.3 DECISIVE GOVERNMENT ACTION DEFINES A DEVELOPMENTAL STATE
The decision to revoke the Optimum Coal Operation licence is a decisive intervention by government and sets a good precedent for future endeavours. This will stop the scenes of corporate carnage in the mining sector.The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) did well to revoke the mining licence for the Optimum Coal operation on Tuesday. NUM believes that voluntary retrenchments and rehabilitation should be explored to save jobs.
- ARROGANCE OF MINORITY PARTIES
The National Union of Mineworkers is not surprised by the desperate interventions from the opposition parties such as the Democratic Alliance who only speak to defend business and say nothing about the plight of ordinary workers who are threatened with a bleak future by the mining industry`s posturing .
Other than welcome the decision of the Minister to defend jobs and save many South Africans they rebuke the Department of Minerals for taking the mining licence of Glencore for its failure to pursue alternatives.
The DA is not only a party defending the interest of a little minority of rich white people but by its behaviour it is promoting the undermining of the rule of law which it always professes.For example, Glencore has not followed relevant and required procedure.We call on its members who come from poor backgrounds to leave this self-centred political party.
- WAGE NEGOTIATIONS
NUM will continue to engage with gold producers on the 7th August 2015 as scheduled to advance the interest of its members and pursue better pay for workers. However, NUM views the concerns of the Chamber of Mines as crocodile tears in claiming that companies are facing a ‘perfect storm’ pertaining to weak commodity prices and spiralling costs. It is the Chamber of Mines which defends executive excess when there is a boom on mining commodities yet justify the retrenchments carnage levelled at ordinary workers when there is a challenge.
- CHAMBER`S HISTORICAL STRAIGHTJACKET IS STRANGLING ITS PERSPECTIVE
This kind of behaviour displayed by the Chamber of Mines reminds NUM that the Chamber of Mines has not freed itself completely from the historical straightjacket of being an institution of class exploitation, racial domination, and gender discrimination.
- 5. AUGUST, WOMEN `S MONTH
Today women across our country are celebrating August as a critical month dedicated to them. Women are meetings at Birchwood Conference Centre to look at ways to advance their integration into this hostile industry, mining.
Their dream of integration into the mining industry is not celebrated yet but they already have to deal with prospects of retrenchments which add to gender inequality in South Africa as unemployment will definitely disempower women.
In this regard, NUM has sent its senior leaders to contribute in whatever way possible in the struggle of total women emancipation in South Africa both in communities and the workplace.The National Union of Mineworkers wishes women at this conference success in their endeavours to re-shape the patriarchal shop floor of the mining landscape.
NUM further supports the ANC Women `s League as it meets in its Congress to forge a way forward which hopefully will contribute in reshaping society by incorporating women in all strategic spheres of South African lives. Thus, the organisation wishes ANCWL a successful event and expresses its appreciation of all women in South Africa.
- POLICE BRUTALITY
The National Union of Mineworkers has noted the un-abating attacks on Police Officers by criminal elements in our society. NUM believes that these attacks highlight the growing phenomenon of violence in South Africa which has gone unhindered and the killing of police is part of a bigger picture of the killing of ordinary unarmed South Africans.
The NUM is also concerned about the aggressive conduct by Police against ordinary citizens and the murdering of a Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia is a case in point.Mido Marcia was allegedly murdered by police officer who is now facing trial in Pretoria High Court for his murder .NUM is reminded of the killing of Andries Tatane in Free State and police violent conduct was alleged to be responsible though none of the suspects was found guilty in a court of law.
It is the view of NUM that all these incidents faced by ordinary citizens pertaining to police brutality and the attacks meted by criminals against police constitute a toxic mix of cruel slaughter South Africans should be worried about. The weakening of state safety and security institutions in our society is contributory including the wobbly prosecutorial arm of the judiciary, the NPA.
Thus, NUM calls for broad consultation in defending and preserving lives and property.NUM calls on the NPA to exercise its constitutional mandate without fear or favour to strengthen justice and build hope for South Africa.
The National Union of Mineworkers calls on the state to provide leadership before our society degenerates into a mode of total chaos.We call on the Tripartite Alliance to provide political leadership of society before all and sundry provides toxic leadership and take advantage of the vulnerability of the masses.
NUM calls on unions to show unity for a total defence of jobs against the brutality of multinational corporations that have run amok and ransack the economy and resources of South Africa.
For Further information, please contact:
David Sipunzi: NUM General Secretary : 082 880 1758
William Mabapa: NUM Deputy General Secretary: 0828804439
Piet Matosa NUM President: 0828093074
Joseph Montisetse NUM Deputy President: 0828092391
Livhuwani Mammburu Acting Spokesperson: 0838093257
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Tel: 011 377 2111
Twitter: @Num Media