The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) welcomes the recent announcement my the Minister of Mineral Resources Msebenzi Zwane in appointing a Minerals and Petroleum Board in line with Section 57 of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002 (as amended in 2008). The Minister mandated the board to place special emphases on the current job losses plaguing the mining industry in line with Section 58 of the Act. This comes at a time when close to 32 000 jobs are currently affected and are in Section 189 A Labour Relations Act consultation process with various companies. These include 6000 with AMPLATS, 4000 with Kumba's Sishen Iron Ore, etc.
We are hoping that the Board will thoroughly investigate the causes of these retrenchments, with a specific focus on the lack of implementing the Industry Agreed Jobs Saving Declaration, Functional Future Forums, Pre and Post-Recession Financial Management and Marketing & Management Costs. The status quo cannot continue, with labour being the first casualty of low commodity prices and reduction of cost pressures. This process should also strengthen the DMR's role in Downscaling and Retrenchments in the industry, thus ensuring mining right holders and their contractors comply with Section 52 and Regulation 46 of the MPRDA.he NUM will fight hard to make sure retrenchment do not happen cheaply.
This announcement comes at a time when the industry is in dire need for collaborative initiatives from government, business and organized labour. We had hoped for the speedy implementation of the Mining Phakisa Resolutions, especially on interventions teams for distressed companies and re-alignment of Training Lay Off Schemes to ensure there are efficiently and effectively implemented as soon as possible.
We urge Minister Jeff Radebe and the DPME to act with the relevance urgency in finalizing outstanding processes, thus curbing the relevant job losses in the industry. All government departments and agencies should roll up their sleeves and contribute towards reducing these huge number of job losses. This includes the Departments of Labour, Economic Development and Trade & Industry.
The NUM is looking forward to being invited by the board to give input and participate in saving jobs in the industry, thus saving the livelihoods of thousands of dependents in host and labour-sending communities. We call on all CEO's and Chamber of Mines to provide this team with the necessary support and cooperation, but most importantly achieving the objective of avoiding job losses.
For more information, please contact:
Luthando Brukwe: NUM Head of Transformation Unit. 082 801 3604
Livhuwani Mammburu: NUM National Spokesperson: 083 809 3257
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
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