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Press statement, 20 August 2018
NUM Youth Structure (NUM-YS) media statement
The National Union of Mineworkers Youth Structure (NUM-YS) held its quarterly National Youth Committee meeting on the 16th to 17th August 2018 at the Elijah Bharayi Memorial Training Centre. This is their first meeting post the National Union of Mineworkers' National Congress where a new leadership was elected. The NUM-YS would like to congratulate the newly elected leaders and to declare its support to the collective leadership.
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 would like to appeal to the employer not to initiate any disciplinary action against its employees with regards to the wage negotiations. If Eskom discipline one of our members the country will be dark without electricity. We do not care whether Eskom is an essential service or not. Eskom is the one that provoked our members when it tabled an offer of 0% and refused to pay a bonus. That decision angered our members. The NUM has been calling for Eskom to sign a Minimum Service Agreement (MSA) with unions that will clearly states which employees are essential or not essential.
A march will be organized against retrenchments in South Deep that has recently announced to retrench 1 560 mineworkers. However, we will also make a call to COSATU to have a nationwide, sector-wide march since retrenchments are not only in the sectors that we organize in. We are going to fight the mining companies head-on when it comes to retrenchments. It seems the only language that they understand is anarchy. The majority of young workers are being affected by these retrenchments and it cannot be business as usual.
Political climate and governance
We have noted that monopoly capital intention to make the country ungovernable through retrenchments ensuring failure in both the private and public sector. Retrenchments are done to deliberately reduce the votes of the ANC government and cause instability before the 2019 general elections. The intention is for the South African electorate and society at large to see the ANC-led government as a failed government. Capital wants to lead us to have coalition governments knowing very well that this kind of government is unstable. We are observing this and we stand against this tendency.
The NUM-YS is angered with how quickly "Thuma mina" government signed the IPPs. It was a reckless decision by the Thuma Mina government to sign the IPPs without properly consulting stakeholders like the unions in the energy sector. The job losses that will come as a result of this will have a huge economic impact on society at large especially in mining towns like Witbank. 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.
4th Industrial Revolution
The NUM-YS would like to confirm that preparations to hold a job summit in the first quarter of 2019 are underway. The intention is to engage in the 4th industrial revolution, mechanization and the impact it will have on job security.
Africa needs young leaders
Africa's population is getting increasingly younger. Africa does not need leaders who are 60 or 75 years old. The continent needs a generation of young leaders who will be able to create prosperity. The problem of Africa, in general, is leaders who want to overstay in power forever. Uganda President Yoweri Museveni amended his country’s constitution in 2005 to eliminate presidential term limits. Africa does not need presidents for life.
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