The Congress of South African Trade Unions wishes the National Union of Mineworkers a successful and productive 17th National Congress at the Birchwood Conference Centre, in Boksburg starting today.
We congratulate the NUM for reaching a milestone of celebrating its 40th Anniversary and the sterling role it has played in leading the workers in the mining energy and construction sectors.
The Federation wishes all delegates constructive deliberations geared towards deepening the Back-to-Basics Campaign and consolidating the struggle for the National Democratic Revolution towards Socialism.
This congress is an important gathering for the NUM that showcases its unwavering adherence to the federation’s founding principles of worker control, internal democracy, and internationalism.
This congress should work to ensure that these values and principles are consolidated at all levels of the organisation. Coming out of this congress, we expect a united and fighting NUM that will ensure that we never experience a tragedy like Lily Mine in Barberton where up until today mineworkers are still trapped underground.
For over forty years of its existence, the NUM has fought vigorously for the safety of workers in the sectors where it is organised and this work should be strengthened.
This Congress also takes place at a time when South Africa is struggling with energy shortages that is essential for the resuscitation of the ailing economy. This has exacerbated our unemployment with the latest statistics showing that we are sitting with the record unemployment rate of 35.3%.
We trust that the NUM will discuss these matters and come out with resolutions that will help the nation find solutions. The Federation is counting on a strong and solid NUM that will contribute to the cause of liberating the working class from the shackles of oppression and exploitation.
The NUM should lead in the fight against privatization of the power utility. It is critical that NUM continues to work tirelessly with COSATU to ensure that no workers or communities are left behind as transitions occur in their economic sectors, in particular energy. Any transition that takes place must be just and based upon creating and saving jobs and not sending workers into the unemployment queue or creating ghost towns.
We wish all the delegates cordial and productive deliberations.
Long Live NUM, Long Live!
Issued by COSATU