NUM Press Statement, 11 March 2018
NUM Youth Structure media statement
The National Union of Mineworkers Youth Structure (NUM-Y) held its first national youth committee meeting for the year 2018 on the 07-09 March 2018 at the NUM College Elijah Baraji Memorial Training Centre (EBMTC) in Midrand. The meeting was attended by youth leaders from all 11 NUM regions and national structure. The meeting deliberated on several matters that affect the union and politics in the country. The meeting resolved on the following issues:
The NUM-YS welcomes the election of comrade Cyril Ramaphosa as the ANC president and as the president of the country. We wish him well in his responsibilities and we have trust in his leadership. We are definitely sure that the country will achieve stability and economic growth.
The NUM-YS welcomes the appointment of comrade Gwede Solomon Mantashe as the new minister of Mineral and Resources and we wish well in his new role in government but we will monitor his impact or vision on the mining charter that has been rejected by employers.
The NUM-YS is worried about the actions or motives of the new Eskom board which includes this taxi owner who goes around with pride of planning retrenchments at Eskom.
The NUM-YS is calling upon everyone and the ANC, in particular, to join us in ensuring there should not be retrenchments at Eskom.
It cannot be that our ANC is going to destroy jobs at Eskom and sentence young workers and other workers to unemployment. We want to warn President Cyril Ramaphosa and Eskom Board that we will not tolerate retrenchments of workers and the NUM-YS will fight tooth and nail to protect jobs. The NUM-YS want to see the ANC in the forefront defending jobs of energy workers. The NUM-YS will stand firm and fight. This is something we have to fight and we have to win.
The implementation of IPPs by government
We are worried of the quick speed of implementation of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) by Eskom and especially after the appointment of comrade Cyril Ramaphosa as the state president and we want to ask our government that who is really benefiting from these IPPs?
The most painful thing is that the renewable energy produced by the IPPs is going to be sold through Eskom. We are saying and we have said that Eskom is a government entity, if the IPPs have got power to generate, let them stand alone and compete with Eskom. We must defend these jobs. If the IPPs have got their own energy, we are not against renewable energy, but we are saying that anyone who has energy must compete with Eskom. Eskom cannot be used to promote people who want to destroy jobs.
As the NUM-YS we are not against energy mix but however, it must not be at the expense of the workers as they will lose jobs and it allows privatization of Eskom.
The NUM-YS is agitated by the conduct of the Eskom board which is busy implementing changes willy-nilly without engaging stakeholders in the sector. We are aware of these units that are on cold reserves in various power stations with the aim of closing them and this is one step in retrenching our members.
The relationship between Lonmin and AMCU
The NUM-YS is angered and disturbed by the so-called marriage between AMCU and Lonmin in Rustenburg to destroy the NUM. We would like to warn the CEO of Lonmin Ben Magara that we are coming for him and we will make him run. Magara is a NUM-despiser and he wants to make sure that NUM is annihilated at Lonmin. NUM members at Lonmin have painted a damning picture of collusion between Magara and AMCU to destroy the NUM at the company. We demand that Lonmin must respect freedom of association of its employees and allow employees to join unions of their choice. NUM members will not be forced to join any union.
The 1% VAT increase
We are very concerned like Cosatu, SACP that the increase in the VAT will hurt workers and their families by taking money from their pockets and making basic food and other living expenses more expensive.
We want to reaffirm our support for the current revised mining charter and we want the mining charter to be implemented without any changes. We welcome the opportunity afforded to the Chamber of Mines to be consulted as they have been complaining about not being consulted. The Chamber of Mines is opposed to the 30% Black ownership of the industry.
Strike at Optimum Coal Mine
The NUM-YS is pleased that workers have been paid their outstanding salaries at Optimum Coal Mine and Koornfontein Mine. But we are worried that contract workers have not been paid their salaries. Our members and other workers have lost confidence with the current owners and they feel it is time for the new investors to take over. The Gupta's must just sell the operations and leave.
Retrenchments at Koornfontein and Evander Gold Mine
We are disturbed by a growing tendency by the mining companies of retrenching workers when they feel the pinch in production and we want to warn the following mines Koornfontein Coal Mine and Evander Gold Mine that made the announcement of retrenching employees. The NUM is going to organize all affected stakeholders in the area and calls for a total shutdown. We call on the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to take mining licences of these companies who had failed to mine and give it to investors that are willing buy these mines
The NUM-YS is furious and angered by the new proposals by the government to introduce new Labour law amendments which will weaken the unions. It cannot be our ANC led government doing this. It is uncalled for and is undermining the working class in this country. The new pieces of legislation include stricter regulation of strikes and will weaken collective bargaining.
The NUM-YS supports COSATU as it lambasted the ANC failing to implement the national conference resolution on the South African Reserve bank status. The ANC last year December resolved that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) should be nationalised and the existing structure of private shareholders within the central bank should be done away with.
The structure celebrates the International Women Day with all women in the world and encourages all our mothers and sisters to keep on fighting for a better world. We are disturbed that even at this date of time we still find women rights being undermined just like recent incident at Topbet in Germiston where female employees were forced, allegedly by management, to undress and undergo inspection after a small amount of blood was found in a staff toilet.
For more information, please contact:
Bonginkosi Mrasi: NUM-Youth Structure National Secretary: 064 758 0661/078 188 4300
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Twitter: @Num Media