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PRESS Statement, 25 January 2019
NUM in KwaZulu-Natal is extremely angry with Somkhele Mine decision to retrench
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in KwaZulu Natal is extremely angry with Somkhele Mine following the company's failure to adhere to the Labour Relations Act of 1995, Section 189(A) when dealing with retrenchments. Somkhele Mine has not issued Section 189 notice to retrench and the NUM is not aware of retrenchment consultation meetings that we had with the company.
NUM has stated categorically clear that its understanding is that mining companies have an obligation to set up future forums as per (MPRDA No 28 of 2002) whereby unions are formally updated in terms of the future of the mine and possibilities of retrenchment but those meetings can never be regarded as section 189 notice consultations and MPRDA does not supersede LRA.
"The NUM is taking the company to CCMA for its failure to adhere to the Labour Relations Act on retrenchments. The NUM will also be approaching the Department of Minerals Resources (DMR) about the matter.NUM call for the company (Somkhele mine) to respect South African labour laws and the company must revisit its social and labour plan in order to convince local community about its intentions to mine in the area of Mtubatuba because failure to do that will negatively affect our members through retrenchments like this," Muzikayise Zakwe, NUM KwaZulu-Natal Regional Secretary
On the 23rd January 2019, the NUM met with Somkhele Mine and the company was represented by the HR Manager, the meeting was convened after the management sent a brief to workers inviting them to take Voluntary Separation Package (VSP). In that brief, the management alleged that the NUM agreed with them to retrench.
The NUM branch leadership raised its concern to Somkhele Mine and immediately another meeting was convened. During the meeting, we questioned the company the reason for sending a brief to workers with misleading information. The response of the company was that according to them they have done the consultation, therefore, they are now at a stage where they are offering VSP's. They said they sent the NUM the letter on the 30 November 2018 and claiming that they had other meetings through SBF. NUM disputed that however, the company continued saying that all the meetings they had with NUM were for retrenchments consulting purposes.
The NUM in KwaZulu-Natal has not received Section 189 notice of the Labour Relations Act to retrench at Somkhele Mine. The NUM is still waiting and urge the company to adhere to the due processes of the law in this country.
For more information, please contact:
Muzikayise Zakwe: NUM KwaZulu-Natal Regional Regional Secretary: 066 475 2246 or 072 359 6170
The National Union of Mineworkers 7 Rissik Street. Cnr Frederick Johannesburg Tel: 011 377 2111 Cell: 083 809 3257 Web: www.num.org.za<http://www.num.org.za> Twitter: @Num_Media Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NUM/100860023402167