The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) welcomes President Jacob Zuma's State Of the Nation Address last night when he mentioned or reminded mining companies that 2014 is the deadline for them to improve housing and living conditions of mineworkers.
Mineworkers cannot continue to be housed in single sex hostels. It is time for mining companies to provide a larger degree of family housing to Mineworkers. It is very sad that 20 years into democracy in South Africa mining compounds remain the main mining accomodation possible for mineworkers.
NUM is also happy that government had promised to monitor and enforce compliance on both the company's social and labour plans and Mining Charter targets.
The Union noted with concern the cocktail Black Economic Empowerment put together by Goldfields. NUM demands a proper explanation on why the deal was put together in the first place by a shady character with no track record in mining as well as full disclosure of the terms of the transaction. This deal is not going to help the mining industry achieve the mining charter targets.
NUM continues to support beneficiation of South African minerals for the country to achieve its developmental needs and benefit its people and the surrounding communities and labour sending areas around the country.
NUM will continue to cooperate with other stakeholders in the process led by the Deputy President of the Republic in facilitating discussions between government, mining companies and labour with the objective to stabilise industrial relations in the mining industry which has been very wobbly in recent times .
Most importantly the killings ,intimidation,and displacement of workers should be stopped and we are happy that already some suspects have been arrested and prosecuted for criminal conduct. We still believe that all participating stakeholders should be treated equally such that all must be committed to this process by way of signing the framework Agreement without exception or special favour.
As the NUM, We also welcome President Jacob Zuma's concern with the manifestation of violence in some of the protests taking place in our country.
Our concern as the NUM is that the current strike in the platinum industry has not been peaceful. NUM members are not on strike and they have been intimidated and severely assaulted when they try to go to work. Their cars have been burned and damaged.
The NUM will not allow a situation where it's member's lives are at risk.Thus We are still calling on police and mine security to protect our members and all who have not joined the strike actions of other unions.
NUM still maintains that violence strikes are unnecessary and they should never be allowed to replace effective dialogue and negotiations. It is possible for workers to lead a peaceful, bloodless and effective legal strike and NUM talks from experience and not from some detached theoretical postulation . We did at Northam Platinum and every mineworker and mining union can do it.
For more information, Please contact:
Livhuwani Mammburu: 083 809 3257 - (Acting NUM spokesperson)
Frans Baleni: 082 375 6443 - (NUM General Secretary)
National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3257