The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has 345 members in the employ of Brikor Limited (the company). This represents 59.6% of the total number of employees of the company.
The company defaulted on various loans made to it by First Rand Bank (the Bank) and the full amount became immediately repayable. The Bank placed the company into provisional winding up via an order of the KZN High Court on 30 July 2013. At that time, the company’s debt to the Bank amounted to approximately R32 million.
NUM, believing that it was just and equitable to do so and that there was a reasonable prospect of rescuing the company (which remained profitable) applied to place the company into business rescue. NUM’s application was launched on 18 November 2014 (a few days before the return date for the provisional winding up, enrolled on 21 November 2014). In its application to place the company into business rescue, NUM relied on an expert report that it had commissioned by Deloitte and Touché. The report indicated that the debt could be repaid; the company could be rehabilitated and could continue to operate on a solvent basis.
Section 131 (6) of the Companies Act, 2008 provides that the launching of an application for business rescue by an affected party (including a trade union with members at the financially distressed company) has the effect of suspending liquidation proceedings (even where those proceedings have commenced).
Later that same day (18 November 2014) a shareholder and creditor of the company, Mr. Garnett Van Niekerk Parkin (Parkin Snr) launched a further business rescue application. He brought the application as an urgent application.
On 21 November 2014, the Bank’s winding up the application and the urgent application brought by Parkin Snr were both postponed. 17 January 2015, tragically, Parkin Snr was killed in a motor vehicle accident. On 22 April 2015, an agreement was concluded
between the Bank, the liquidators, the executrix of the late Garnett Parkin Snr and Parkin Jnr. Essentially the agreement allowed the company to continue trading and to repay the debt in installments.
Yesterday, in the KZN High Court, the provisional winding-up order was discharged. NUM’s business rescue application played a decisive role in rescuing the company and saving the jobs of NUM members.
For more information: Please contact
Livhuwani Mammburu: Acting NUM National Spokesperson: 083 809 3257
The National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3257