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Press Statement, 28 February 2020




The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) held its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at Elijah Barayi Memorial Training Centre in Midrand from 20 to 21 February 2020. Among issues that the union deliberated and resolved on are as follows:

COSATU' proposals on Eskom

The NEC has thrown its weight behind the noble idea by COSATU to allow workers' pensions to help to lower Eskom debt by around R250 billion. The Eskom debt crisis presented a serious threat to the economy and the country where workers and their families will be direct victims. The NEC viewed this as a noble idea, particularly if one considers the fact that for years the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) was used before to bailout private companies owned by whites without any noise. Why the noise now with Eskom? Our view is that there are selective views on this matter coming strongly out from people who want to see Eskom being privatised. The only thing that we should be discussing about is assurity that there won't be anything reckless to the pension monies, but our view is that that the workers hard earned monies would be safe since the very same government will act as assurity.

Constitutional Amendments

The NEC agreed and resolved to revisit the constitutional amendments as discussed and agreed to by the Special Congress held in September 2019 in Durban. The purpose among others was to deal with the bolts and nuts prior submitting same to the Department of Labour for endorsement.

Retrenchments in various sectors of the economy

The NEC vehemently denounces and rejects the vicious tactics by employers to always make workers their own scapegoats. The NEC noted with dismay the continuing declining of our economy which places serious morass in the shoulders of young workers and dissipates any future job prospects.
The future of Village Main Reef mine was probed with the primitive stage embroiled by the likes of Richard De Villers among other employers who destroyed many jobs in the mining industry. The NEC further noted the subtle union bashing tendency in this company inter alia by masquerading with demeaning economic manacles in order to dismiss the workers with meagre packages, if not expounding the vicious circle of unemployment. The NEC further noted the derision exert by this company to contemplate retrenching workers in the higher categories while in contrast pronounced to freeze some of the benefits attributed to workers without paying particular regard to the plight of the toiling masses.
The NEC further noted with the strongest term it deserves the Coal industry's intention to decentralize the bargaining councils or negotiation processes. The NEC noted the forthcoming meeting with Mineral Council on the 9th of March 2020 and mandated the NOB's to make sure our posture finds solace in the deliberations.

Regional Conferences:

All NUM regional conferences are supposed to be held before the end of 2020 as prescribed in clause 7.1 of the NUM constitution. The NEC welcomed the Secretariat report commanding the regions to convene their conference in 2020 to avoid any unwitting overlap.

Conferring of honorary degrees to former NUM leaders by UNISA

The NEC acknowledged and welcomed the gesture shown by the University of South Africa (UNISA) on conferring honorary doctorate degrees to former NUM leaders, Comrade James Motlatsi and posthumously to Comrade Elijah Barayi. The ceremony would take place on April 24, 2020. The NEC sees this as a gesture of goodwill and agreed to extend invitations to the former NEC members who served during the time of these gigantic leaders of our revolution.
In the same breath, the NEC resolved to implement an intensive political school programmes in all the eleven regions. We would expect regions to solicit and/or negotiate community or mine halls where these trainings could be conducted.

Union competitions

The NEC noted with grave concern how NUMSA members are ill-treating our members in some part of the country without singling out Rustenburg area where NUMSA has staged sit-in underground demanding that NUM's offices should be closed. The NEC, in the light of these glaring challenges, agreed to mandate National Office Bearers to convene a meeting with NUMSA among others to raise these issues and further give a very clear warning moving forward. The NEC inter alia subscribe to Karl Marx's notion that says "workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains".

March to the ANC' Luthuli House

The NEC gave a green light to NUM members to continue with the massive march to the ANC headquarters (Luthuli House) in Johannesburg. The march will take place on March 20, 2020 where a memorandum of grievances concerning the continuous unbundling of ESKOM without labour being consulted will be handed over to the ANC National Office Bearers. This is at the backdrop of the ANC's decision to unbundle Eskom and opening up Eskom to be milked of millions through the IPPs. We unequivocally reiterate our position that the unbundling of the power utility is not an end by itself, but a means of engaging private capital. We demand an honest and open engagement with the government and Eskom board.

For more information, please contact:
Makgabo William Mabapa,NUM Deputy General Secretary, 082 880 4439
Livhuwani Mammburuu, NUM National Spokesperson, 083 809 3257
Luphert Chilwane, NUM Media Officer, 083 809 3255


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