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Press Statement, 10 December 2019
THE NATIONAL UNION OF MINEWORKERS POST NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING PRESS STATEMENT
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) held its last 2019 National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at Elijah Barayi Memorial Training Centre in Midrand from 05 to 06 December 2019. Among issues that the union deliberated on are as follows;
1. March to the ANC HQ
The National Executive Committee of NUM re-affirmed their previous resolution to continue with the march to the ANC headquarters (Luthuli House) to hand over a Memorandum of grievances concerning the continuous unbundling of ESKOM without labour being consulted upon. 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.
There is no way the unbundling of the power utility could continue or implemented without any buy-in by labour. We reiterate our position clearly and unequivocal that unbundling 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.
The date of the march to Luthuli House will be announced publicly as soon as possible once we have secured the date.
2. Closure of Richards Bay Minerals
The NEC has noted with grave concern that the safety of NUM members is at risk at Richards Bay Minerals. NUM supports community protests as per our posture of dispelling workerism tendency and will do everything possible to unravel the plight of communities to improve their livelihood. NUM strongly supports the notion that mines must be responsible to execute their social responsibilities in the community they operate within. The NUM condemns with the strongest term the torturing of busses transporting employees to and from work. The NUM pleads with authorities particularly the Minister of Minerals Resources and Energy and the state President to intervene and normalize the situation so that employees can safely go back to work.
3. Inhuman Testing of HIV by Harmony Gold
The National Executive Committee has noted with disgust the abuse of workers’ by Harmony management particularly in Beatrix operation in Free State where workers are subjected to HIV testing without their consent. NUM encourage employees to do voluntary HIV testing so that they must know their status but NUM reject the insinuation of vicious abuse by Harmony to force employees to undergo forceful testing. NUM calls upon Harmony to follow the right procedures to jointly do HIV testing without forcing workers.
4. Sale of Koornfontein and Optimum Collieries
The NEC is highly worried that the process of selling both Koornfontein and Optimum has taken excessive period irrespective of the fact that there were always potential buyers to both two operations since it was put on voluntary business rescue. The NUM urges the business rescue practitioners dealing with these operations to do justice and expedite and conclude the sale transactions of these two operations because this will mean the second black Christmas for employees.
5. Marikana Rally
The NEC is pleased to have held a successful rally in Marikana and further appreciated the COSATU resolution to contemplate holding the 2020 national May Day rally in Marikana. The NUM appeals to the law enforcement agencies in and around Marikana areas to arrest perpetrators responsible for the killings of our members in that area.
6. Fatal at Tau Lekoa Gold Mine
We demand an independent forensic investigation into the fatal incident that took place at Tau Lekoa Gold Mine in Orkney, Matlosana Region, where four of our members died following a rockfall. The NUM strongly believes that drastic action is needed to compel the mining industry to comply with safety standards and procedures. The NUM anticipates that in an effort to do public relations in the wake of its failures, the mining industry would continue with its lip service and propaganda and argue that it is doing more and would continue to do more whilst lamenting on loss of production due to mine closures as a result of fatalities. We call on the state to hold the industry fully accountable for its failures and adopt a no-nonsense approach when it comes to gratuitous mine deaths.
7. SACP Special National Congress
The NEC of NUM wishes the workers vanguard Party, the SACP, well in its Special National Congress. NUM hopes that the SACP will give direction to the current political landscape as the vanguard of the working class We further expect concrete resolutions post the undergoing congress which at the heart of it, lies the responsibility to resolve on the long-awaited resolution to contest state and popular power.
8. Festive season message to NUM members
Once again, the festive season is upon us. This is the time for workers to spend quality time with their families after a long stressful year. The NUM wishes to thank its members and staff for defying all odds in ensuring that this giant union continues to live and continues to lead the way in mining, construction and energy and society as a whole. You worked hard to preserve the dignity of this union and we pin our hopes on you for the continued survival of NUM.
Due to the current trade union climate in our country, each member and official of the union need to work beyond the call of duty to ensure that the NUM flag continues to fly extremely high.
For more information, please contact:
Makgabo William Mabapa,NUM Deputy General Secretary, 082 880 4439
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Twitter: @Num Media