The Congress of South African Trade Unions wishes its affiliate the National Union of Mineworkers a successful 16th national congress starting tomorrow, 20th of June 2018. We wish the delegates fruitful deliberations and hope they will use this opportunity to come out with strategies, plans and tactics to defend the workers. Workers are facing an onslaught from a cynical and sinister alliance of both government and big business and they need to work together to pushback..
COSATU is proud of the NUM and its record of more than three decades of unrelenting and uncompromising fight in defence of workers. The NUM is not just only known for its militancy but it is known for its political and ideological clarity. It was the first union to adopt the Freedom Charter and went on to influence COSATU to adopt a similar progressive position.
This congress takes place at a time when workers are under siege. The mining sector has lost more than 85 000 since 2012 and there are still thousands jobs on the line. The investors in the mining have already predicted during their Mining Indaba that by 2025, there will be less than 70 000 in the sector because of mechanisation and automation. The number of mine accidents and fatalities has been steadily going up over the last couple of years and we still have situations like Lily Mine, where the remains of the workers are yet to be repatriated after a couple of years since the accident.
This congress also takes place in a world in which the rich 10% owns 90% of global wealth, 71% of the population lives on less than R100 a day and 780 million people have no access to clean drinking water
In South Africa more than 9million people are unemployed and over 5O% of them are young people. We have 16,5 million income earners , while we have 17 million people on welfare. All of this is happening while we have our economy that is continuing to shrink and is continuing to haemorrhage jobs at an alarming rate.
This congress needs to grapple with all of these challenges and come up with answers that will help our organisations to do a better job of defending our members. Coming out of this congress, we expect to work with a united NUM to intensify our Living Wage Campaign through intensifying our struggle to combat unfairness in the workplace.
What is happening at Eskom should ring alarm bells for all workers because Eskom is the engine of our economy. The reckless and irresponsible introduction of Independent Power Producers without a jobs plan will need a comprehensive response from a united labour front.
We wish NUM a successful congress and productive session of a workers parliament.
Long Live NUM! Long Live!
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794