The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is extremely unhappy and shocked by Eskom Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brian Molefe's decision not to renew contracts with individual mining companies to supply coal to its power plants. The decision not to renew contracts by Eskom will lead to the shedding of jobs in the mining industry and mineworkers are going to be affected by this decision.
We want to put it categorically clear as the NUM that we are not defending or speaking on behalf of the individual mining companies affected, but we are defending thousands of our members who are going to be retrenched because of Eskom's decision not to renew the contracts. NUM is a worker controlled union and we will defend our members who are affected by this decision.
The NUM is informed that thousands of its members and other employees at Exxaro Arnot Coal Mine in Mpumalanga are facing possible job losses after Eskom has informed the company that it will not renew the contract. If Eskom does not renew the contract, Exxaro Coal Mine will be closed on the 31st of December 2015.
"Our members are facing a bleak future and there are possible job losses of 1139 permanent employees excluding contractors with 546 employees at Exxaro Arnot Coal Mine. This is a calamity. We view this as a serious concern taking into account that the current rate of unemployment is 25% in the country," said William Mabapa, NUM Deputy General Secretary.
"Glencore Optimum Coal Mine is under business rescue and the company pointed Eskom as the main factor that led to the job losses in the company. We urge Eskom to resolve its problems or differences with individual mining companies amicably than to take drastic actions that will lead to massive job losses," Mabapa added.
The NUM humbly request Brian Molefe to reverse the cancellation of these contracts with individual mining companies because it is ordinary workers who are going to be negatively affected. If his job is to shed jobs, he must go. We are very unhappy with him. We are aware that Molefe used the same strategy at Transnet of shedding jobs instead of job creation. The NUM will fight tooth and nail to save the jobs of its members. The NUM is deeply worried because unemployment has remained as catastrophic as it was since he took office. We expect Eskom to play a role in job creation in South Africa than shedding jobs. The NUM wrote several letters to Brian Molefe requesting to meet and discuss these burning issues, but he has not replied. We are still waiting to meet him.
The NUM will embark on a massive national strike to Eskom head office if Brian Molefe does not address concerns of our members.
For more information, please contact:
William Mabapa: NUM Deputy General Secretary: 082 880 4439/082 414 8276
Livhuwani Mammburu: Acting NUM National Spokesman: 083 809 3257
The National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3257