The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is deeply concerned and worried that several mining companies in South Africa continue to operate at greatly reduced staffing levels during the 21-days of lockdown.
“It is worrying and disturbing that these companies are still operating on reduced staff. It shows that these companies don’t care about the lives of their employees. They care about profits. Profits cannot outweigh the lives of mineworkers. The decision to continue operating is barbaric, reckless, inhuman and irresponsible, said NUM President, Joseph Montisetse.
“We want to know as the NUM who gave these mining companies the right to operate during the 21-days of lockdown. It is clear that someone has given these companies the regulatory green light to operate during the lockdown,” Montisetse added.
The NUM is also extremely unhappy with some companies who have resorted to no work no pay during the 21-days of lockdown. It is clear that they are undermining the directive from President Cyril Ramaphosa of a 21-days of lockdown.
The Coronavirus is a way more dangerous than just the flu and it is killing thousands of people around the world. Many countries have declared war on the virus including South Africa.. The whole world is grappling with the coronavirus crisis while some mining companies are busy making profits at the expense of poor mineworkers . We are hoping that these mining companies will respect the directive from President Cyril Ramaphosa of a 21-days of lockdown. NUM members and other workers cannot be sacrificed for profits during this crisis.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Special National Executive Committee (NEC) last week pronounced that the coal mining companies that supply Eskom Power Stations with coal 24/7 will be regarded as essential service during the 21 days of lockdown. Those that do not supply Eskom with coal will be going for a 21 days lockdown except the care and maintenance employees. The rest of the mining industry will remain on care and maintenance.
Workers that would remain in the care and maintenance of the mines should be provided with basic necessities such as sanitizers, proper food, water, protective clothing and medical care. The mines should ensure that they are not exposed to any kind of risks to the virus.
For more information, please contact:
Joseph Montisetse, NUM President,082 809 2391
Livhuwani Mammburu, NUM National Spokesperson,083 809 3257