The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) held its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on 28 – 29 April 2016. In that meeting crucial decisions were made and among them were the following:
The NEC has taken cognisance that membership decline is a continuous process. We attribute this loss of membership mainly to the decline of the mining industry itself although we cannot shy away from the fact that there is more competition for membership than it was a decade ago.
This is despite the claims by the Minister of Mineral Resources that employment in the mines has improved over the last few months. In order to address this, the NEC has decided to overhaul its membership system.
We are bringing in a new self-administered membership system to ensure that our subscriptions are strictly monitored. Secondly, we have decided to revise our recruitment pack in such a way that it makes the process of recruiting a member a very simple one.
The NEC has also agreed to bolster recruitment by contracting Recruiters for specific periods with specific recruitment targets.
- Collective Bargaining
The NEC noted with disgust the undermining of centralised bargaining by Sibanye Gold. Sibanye undermined their own voluntary bargaining council which is the Chamber of Mines and followed the behaviour that triggered labour unrest in the Platinum belt in 2012/2013.
However, it should be known that what was scored by AMCU in those bi-laterals was only R25.00 as opposed to the R675.00 NUM achieved at the Chamber of Mines negotiations last year.
Furthermore, this R25.00 must be seen for what it is – a bribe to avert a strike, as they themselves call it “a stability premium.”
We are saying to Sibanye, “be warned”. You have started it, you must stand for it. The NUM is not going to amend a Chamber of Mines agreement outside that forum.
- Four major banks’ decision against Oakbay
We have observed with grave concern the meddling of commercial banks into politics. The banks’ decision to cut ties with Oakbay Investments related companies is not going to affect only their target persons but also the poor workers working for those companies.
We say that if banks want to influence the political direction of the country, they must not do so at the expense of workers. Workers must not be pawns in the war of who succeeds in capturing the state between Standard Bank, Nedbank, ABSA and First National Bank (FNB) on one hand and Oakbay Investments on the other.
It is clear that what we thought to be apolitical banks can collude against a perceived competitor in order to bring the perceived competitor to its knees as is shown by this “caucused” decision in order to capture the State themselves.
We say to the banks, do your dirty work, but do not deliberately increase unemployment in the country. You have a more noble task than that.
- Constitutional Court judgement on Nkandla
We have observed the Constitutional Court judgement on Nkandla. We have also noted that parliamentary processes to impeach the President of the country were followed by the opposition parties and were unsuccessful.
We believe that they must be satisfied that they have exhausted all constitutional means to remove the President and anything else they do will be undermining the very constitution which they purport to be respecting to the latter.
Although we agree with the federation, COSATU, that the apology by the President is sufficient and is accepted, we believe that the ANC must do an introspection and the leaders must cease to puncture the organisation in the public domain.
All views by self-respecting leaders must be voiced within the organisation and majority decisions must be respected. We also appeal to the veterans of the ANC to help the organisation not by playing into the public gallery but by advising from within.
We cannot go to the extent of sleeping with the enemy against the organisation because we want to be seen to be proponents of good governance by opposition parties whose sole agenda is to destroy the ANC.
In all respect, it cannot be the Democratic Alliance (DA) that tells us when to remove a leader we have elected. If they want to influence the removal of any ANC leader, they must join the ANC and be active in ANC branches. We have never advocated for the removal of a DA leader even when she called Black people refugees in their own country.
- Local government elections
The NEC has reiterated its unwavering support for the ANC in the forthcoming local government elections. Twenty-two years is a very short time for our people to have forgotten the pain and suffering caused to South Africans and the diaspora by the apartheid government that seeks to come back through a disguised form.
We urge our members to vote ANC on August 3, 2016. Lest we forget that the damage ANC detractors expect the ANC to undo in just 22 years was done over a period spanning more than 300 years. The ANC government has managed, in a short space of time, to remove racially based laws which saw a Black person as sub-human. It is a pity that today those who supported those laws need our vote, probably to repeat the evils of the past. We are unshaken in our support for the ANC.
- Janus Walus parole
We acknowledge that the granting of parole to convicted people is within the laws of this country. However, it was a shock for us to hear a judge, while presiding over such a sensitive matter, saying the Hani family must move on.
If the judiciary expects to be respected, they too, must respect the feelings of victims of crime. As Mrs Hani has correctly alluded to, no one dares to tell the victims of the holocaust to move on even more than 70 years later.
After all, Janus Walus was saved from the gallows by the ANC government as the apartheid government had sentenced him to death. This judge is treating Janus as a hero of some sort.
He is a murderer and nothing else. He deserves the same treatment the apartheid government, apartheid judiciary and apartheid community gave to Dimitri Tsafendas. He belongs in jail and deserves to rot there.
- Health and Safety
In collaboration with the Mine Health and Safety Council we will be commemorating the Coalbrook disaster in a venue to be communicated later in the Free State.
We intend to ask government to open an inquest on the disaster, as many mineworkers were buried alive and their remains were never recovered.
We will also, on our own, in the month of October commemorate other mine disasters like the Vaal Reefs disaster, Kinross disaster and many others.
For more information, please contact:
David Sipunzi: NUM General Secretary: 082 883 7293
Ngoako Matsha: Media Officer: 083 809 3251
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3251