The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) held its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at Elijah Barayi Memorial Training Centre in Midrand from 24 to 25 October 2019. Among issues that the union deliberated on are the following;
1. Youth Structure National Conference
The NEC got a briefing on the state of readiness for the Youth Conference which will take place from 20 to 22 November 2019 in Bloemfontein. This structure is a nursery from which the NUM hopes to draw its future leadership. The draft report is already in circulation. After being rejected by the IEC, we managed to, just in time, secure the services of SEBS to run our elections. Expected at the conference are 300 delegates, both voting and non-voting. A total of seven positions will be contested. Other than elections, the conference is expected to deal with policy issues pertaining to the young workers, political and economic landscape.
2. NUM Rally in Marikana
The details of the rally planned for Marikana on 17 November 2019 were tabled to the NEC. This is a rally that is jointly organized by COSATU and NUM. The aim of organizing the rally in Marikana is to try and resuscitate the NUM in the platinum belt. Since the start of the rampant killings of our members there in 2012, we have never held a national rally in the area. Our members have long been calling for such a rally but due to logistics, we have been unable to hold it. COSATU affiliates from the surrounding areas will be in full attendance. The rally will also be addressed by Alliance partners. We are expecting between 15 000 and 20 000 members to attend from the NUMregions such as Free State, Carletonville, Matlosana, North East, Highveld, Kimberley, and PWV.
3. NUM march to the ANC
The NEC took a decision to hold a march to the ANC NEC forthcoming meeting. 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. In the process of engaging Eskom on these matters, we realized that by shouting at Eskom Board and Management we are barking at a wrong tree. The real culprit is the ANC government – our own government that we put to power and is now in the business of destroying jobs in order to appease the so-called rating agencies and investors. Who are these Independent Power Producers who are so ruthless and greedy? As NUM, we agreed early this year to suspend action against the unbundling of Eskom so as to allow the general election process to go on smoothly. Now, with the government’s intent to go ahead with unbundling unwavering, we feel obliged to intensify our opposition to that. When your car has a troublesome engine, you don’t break the car into three pieces. You either fix the engine or buy a new one and fit it into the same car. Why break Eskom instead of fixing what is wrong? The unbundling of Eskom into three separate entities is going to create three separate boards, three new CEOs, three new CFOs and so forth. Is this cost-cutting or further bloating the workforce at the highest level at the expense of lowly paid workers? As if that was not enough, Eskom has recently created a position of COO and Chief Restructuring Officer whereas on the other side they talk of a bloated workforce.
4. The JB Marks Education Trust
For the academic year 2020, the JB Marks Education Trust has approved 199 new bursaries for tertiary education. This is in addition to the 800 who are already in the system. From January to September 2019, the Trust has already paid R50 250 529 towards registration, tuition fees, books, accommodation, meal projects, and student support. Twenty postgraduate applications have also been approved for the academic year 2020. Since its establishment, this Trust has produced more than 1 200 graduates being either members or beneficiaries of members of the National Union of Mineworkers.
5. NUM affiliation to the World Federation of Trade Unions
The NEC has resolved that NUM disaffiliate to the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). This is after COSATU has officially affiliated to WFTU. Therefore, NUM will affiliate to WFTU under the umbrella of COSATU and not as an individual union. The World Federation of Trade Unions has an estimated membership of 92 million globally.
6. Ndizani Trust in Samancor
The NEC deliberated on the media speculation regarding mismanagement of off-shore investment and shares in Samancor wherein workers are underpaid in the Ndizani Trust scheme. In the light of these allegations, the NUM is calling for thorough investigation by a reputable company of Auditors or Investment Fund Managers. Correspondence to this effect has already been forwarded to Samancor. Should it be found that there is, indeed mismanagement, the law must take its course.
7. The behaviour of Sibanye Stillwater
This is one company that has all signs of being unpatriotic. In the last six months, Sibanye Stillwater has retrenched more than 6000 workers across its operations. This is despite our endeavours as the union to assist them by agreeing to their proposed plans to save the company. Having bought some LONMIN operations has not assisted much in saving jobs because as we speak we are in a Section 189 process in the very same operations. Sibanye is acting in bad faith. Given this kind of behavior, the NEC was left with no choice but to declare war on Sibanye. The NUM will be marching to Sibanye head office on a date yet to be decided to raise our concerns against the company.
8. Xenophobic attacks
The National Executive Committee condemns with the contempt it deserves the attack on foreign African nationals who irk a living in South Africa. This is an embarrassment of unparalleled proportion to us as a nation. We tend to forget too soon. During the years of the brutal apartheid regime, we were in exile all over the world. We were never attacked in this fashion by our hosts and it is a myth that we were all confined into camps. It is soldiers who were in camps, not civilians. Many of us were in schools in those foreign countries. No amount of frustration should lead us into committing this kind of crime and leaders on the opposition benches should cease behaving towards fellow human beings like a one Donald Trump. No African can be e foreigner in Africa.
For more information, please contact:
David Sipunzi: NUM General Secretary: 082 883 7293
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111