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Press statement, 27 March 2019
NUM is concerned that its members at Kroonfontein mine have not received their salaries since November 2018
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is deeply concerned that its members and contractors at Kroonfontein Mine in Mpumalanga have not received their salaries since November 2018. On the 16th February 2019, the workers marched to Union Buildings in Pretoria demanding an end to unending toucher of workers by the Business Rescue Practitioners (BSP's).
"Workers are angered and concerned that Kroonfontein and Optimum were all operations of TEGETA when these two operations were placed under the BSP's . During trying times when there was production at Kroonfontein its profits used pay salaries of both Kroonfontein and Optimum employees with the understanding that the two operations are one entity. Recently BRP’s sold a Dragline Machine to Glencore at an amount of R80 million and decide to pay only Optimum employees and it was this point where NUM was told that the aforementioned operations are detached from each other. It should be noted that BRP’s continued to pay one month salary to Optimum employees despite an objection from the NUM as anticipated that will bring about division amongst employees, in particular, Kroonfontein and contractors who haven’t received any salaries since November 2018," said Tshilidzi Mathavha, NUM Highveld Regional Secretary.
"NUM position was clear that BRP’s should mobilize enough resources to accommodate all employees before any payment could be made. The BRP’s also went on to have separate offer to purchase of these two operations, to this end Optimum has a potential buyer whereas the status of Kroonfontein is not known to the union and as such, there is no feedback to workers," Mathavha added.
The NUM views this action as previously said that BRP’s sees this as an opportunity to make money because the longer the rescue process the more money they make as they are earning close to R17 000.00 per day.
It is important to highlight that ESKOM has been in the centre of delaying this matter because to date there is no coal supply agreement between potential buyer and ESKOM. Initially, Eskom requested a postponement of creditors meeting in December 2018 citing that they still want to check the credibility of the preferred bidder with the undertaking that this matter should be brought to finality by February 2019. Failure to conclude this agreement by Eskom brings about unending toucher to workers since workers cannot go back work until this agreement is signed.
The NUM has been in engagement with Eskom without fruitful results. The Minister of Public Enterprise has not been available to deal with this delicate matter even after COSATU intervention on behalf of NUM tried to reach out to his office.
After the march on the 16th February 2019 at Union Building in Pretoria, DMR started to convene sessions with all affected parties, at that time it appears that parties were to find a solution. It is, however, perturbing that the department has abandoned this program and NUM is left on the dark without any updates making it difficult to interact with members. Workers are calling for the Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe to intervene and resolve the challenges and problems that they are facing at Kroonfontein Mine.
For more information, please contact:Joseph Montisetse: NUM President: 082 809 2391Tshilidzi Mathavha: NUM Highveld Regional Secretary: 066 305 7424
The National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3257