The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in KwaZulu Natal is concerned about the malicious and persistent attempts by the Minor Holdings which intend to retrench and close down two companies (Zululand Anthracites coal and Kangra coal). These retrenchments will results in more than one thousands job losses while both companies will be placed on “Care and maintenance” for an indefinite period.
On the 14th April 2020, we received section 189 notices which cited the following as the rationale for retrenchments on both coal operations.
Depleted coal of the active mining areas. Inability to conduct mining on their mining right areas due to occupants refusing to sign a lease agreement and as a result thereof the relevant statutory approvals cannot be obtained for the new mining areas. The current cash position and the cash forecast of Kangra Coal. The effect of COVID-19 has had on the operations and the markets. The markets for coal which are limited and the international coal price make it unprofitable to mine at the current cost of mining.
“The NUM has disputed the consultation because according to the lockdown guidelines no company is allowed to retrench workers as a results of lockdown and both companies were told to suspend consultations during the lockdown period. Both processes were called off after the intervention made by NUM’s president Joseph Montisetse after he engaged the office of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) Minister Gwede Mantashe,” said Muzikayise Zakwe, NUM KwaZulu-Natal Regional Regional Secretary
“Both companies (ZAC and Kangra) have resuscitated their retrenchments pursuits during the stage 4 of the lockdown and we are concerned about the timing and implications of these retrenchments because it will contribute towards the unemployment rate in South Africa. We have met with members in small groups as per Lockdown guidelines and they mandated us to verify the rationale and to double check with DMRE in terms of whether mining companies are allowed to continue with retrenchments during the stage 4 lockdown period,” Zakwe added.
The NUM is opposing these retrenchment consultations until DMRE gives us a mandate to proceed with the process.
For more information, please contact:
Muzikayise Zakwe: NUM Kwazulu-Natal Regional Regional Secretary: 066 475 2246 or 072 359 6170