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Press Statement, 27 February 2016
The National Union of Mineworkers Youth Structure (NUM-YS) structure held its 1st National Youth Committee Meeting (NYC) for the year of 2017 at the Elijah Baraji Memorial Training Center Midrand from 25-26 February 2017, this platform where regions have an opportunity to engage on all matters affecting young workers in the organization and the country.
The structure had an opportunity to reflect on the previous national youth conference that took place late last year from 17-19 November 2016 at St Georges Hotel in Pretoria under theme “#Conscientise Youth to Advance Workers Power and the Revolution whereby the structure took several and sober decisions that seek to address the current challenges facing our giant union, most importantly the structure came out united and strong.
The NUM-YS structure takes note of the SONA that was delivered by Comrade President Jacob Gedlihlekisa Zuma. However, we must share our disappointments and strongly condemn the unacceptable behaviour by the opposition parties who always pretend as if they are victims of abuse whilst they are looking for media attention. We must equally condemn the unbecoming behaviour by ANC MPs of insulting and turning the parliament into a crèche or pre-school. If they missed or passed that stage they must leave and allow comrades who will lead us with dignity.
We further welcome the progress done by our government on several programmes that seek to address the previous inequalities done by the apartheid regime and mostly we welcome the step taken on education matters even though it’s not enough and does not really address the call of free quality education for the poorest of this country.
The NUM-YS has noted with sadness and disappointment of actions that seek to attack our African brothers and sisters who are residing in the country, these actions seek to undermine the unity and progressive gains our continent has gained for the past years. The worse part of these attacks they are directed to black Africans only not white people but we also don’t condone the selling of drugs, human trafficking by other members from SADC countries and other African countries.
2. LILLY MINE
As the structure, we sadly note the one year period of three trapped mine workers at Lilly Mine and saddened by the fact that till to date workers have not been rescued underground and the country continues to live as if is its normal. We are disappointed by this fly-by-night company that is failing to rescue the lives of our comrades due to financial constraints but they have been making billions when the mine was operating.
We are not amazed by the lies that were uttered by this non-visionary Minister Mosebenzi (Zupta) Zwane with a forever misleading President of Amcu Joseph Mathunjwa of promising to reward families of the affected workers and payment to all workers. We call for national treasury to allocate monies to rescue the three trapped miners underground at Lilly mine. As the structure, we are going to mobilise workers and community on a strategy of getting government attention on this matter.
The NUM-YS is worried of the high victimization of union leaders the youth in particular in the sector as they have tried means to create non-existing charges to dismiss our fellow comrades and as the structure we will take Eskom to task on several exploiting systems in place in their company such as Reviewed of Energy Policy and union leave days.
The NUM-YS will be embarking on solid recruitment campaign in all of our three sectors to make sure we recruit new members to the books of the union and further bring back those members who left the organisation, especially in the mining sector.
The structure further reaffirms the NUM position that clearly indicates to all vultures that were expecting to buy the workers bank as we reiterate even now that UBANK is no for SALE and we urge the NUM NEC to quickly seek intervention on challenges facing the bank and further tell Pravin Gordan not to be in rush to take away from workers.
6. NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE
We are disappointed with our government and other labour formations who proudly signed the national minimum wage agreement as if it is a victory for the workers of this country. To us, that marked an extension of exploitation of workers in the country and that is purely an insult to the hard working citizens of this country. We further call for our beloved federation Cosatu that it must not even consider the signing of such agreement.
The NUM-YS has noted the high numbers of retrenchments process that are taking place in our country and especially in the mining sector, these retrenchments are mainly targeting lower earning workers and young people in particular through the Last In First Out (LIFO) criteria. The NUM-YS has taken a decision to engage relevant stakeholders at strategic forums to make retrenchments very expensive for these capitalists.
As the structure, we are going to take this battle out to the street and organise every worker and members of the community to assist us in fighting this brutal exercise against the working class. Our point of departure will be a march to Anglo Gold Ashanti and SIBANYE Resources and if it needs be we will organise a stay away.
We call upon COSATU CEC that will take place from the 27 February 2017-01 March 2017 to clearly take a decision to speedily implement the 2012 Congress decision to establishment COSATU Youth Structure as early as May 2017 and further launch provincial structures. The establishment of this structure will talk to all young workers in the country as the old generation leadership is not relevant on issues affecting the youth.
The CEC must further deal with the total scrapping of tax amendment bill as we are approaching 1st March 2018.
We further reaffirm our clear and sober decision to support comrade Cyril Ramaphosa the current Deputy President of the African National Congress to the be next President of the party and this call, is purely informed with the capacity, credibility of the comrade and by culture and practice of the organization that says when incumbent leaves the office the Deputy President should take over.
We were further disturbed by the statement by the President of the ANC speaking contrary to this culture as we remember his speech he delivered at the University of Fort Hare stating this as such by the time he was the Deputy President.
Gender card should not be used to distort this culture and capacity of female comrades should speak for themselves, to those who are driving factional position calling for a female president indicating that is the time for female comrades to lead as if there was a time where female comrades were not ready because female comrades have led in various strategic positions in the organization.
For more information, please contact:
Bonginkosi Mrasi: NUM-YS National Secretary: 064 758 0661/078 188 4300
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Twitter: @Num Media