The National Union of Mineworkers Youth Structure (NUMYS) held its Adhoc National Youth Committee (NYC) meeting on the 20-21 June 2020 at the NUM’s College Elijah Barayi Memorial Training Centre (EBMTC) in Midrand. The meeting had to continue during this period of the pandemic under strict precaution measures being followed. The NUMYS felt necessary to come out of the comfort zone and deal with matters that are affecting young workers during this period which our meeting resolved on the following :
We want to send condolences to all citizens that succumbed to this virus and we wish those who have tested positive of the virus a speedy recovery. This pandemic has changed our lives and it continues to have a serious impact on how we live, as it was said by the COVID-19 command council that this virus is here to stay and we believe that we need to find proper ways in living with it.
CONDITIONS UNDER COVID-19
Workers have been exploited and continue to be exposed to the virus by reckless decisions taken by the government through the advice of this command council. Workers have not been paid since the start of the lockdown and companies are taking advantage of the vulnerable workers, as the union structures across the country we are on the street with workers in fighting back.
We are very disappointed by the Department of Labour (DOL) in this regard as they gazetted very weak regulations that give employers an upper hand. Workers money are claimed by the same companies but not paid over to workers, we need DOL and the minister to up their game. Workers must not be taken for granted and this is their money not borrowed from the government.
We have observed that the majority of companies have taken advantage of the Coronavirus situation as they have issued retrenchments, liquidation and closing of companies. Our same government has folded their hands whilst people are sent straight to poverty land. Companies like VMR have failed to mine our minerals as we have seen mismanagement in their operations and now they claim to be bankrupt. We, therefore, call upon the shareholders of this company to handover the mining license and go back to China and give the mining license to other South African companies that are willing to mine those operations.
It is evident that as the country we have passed the lockdown period which majority of the economic sectors are opened but still, our members are left to die of poverty as they are not paid nor called back to work.
MINERAL COUNCIL OF SOUTH AFRICA
We are not shocked by the behaviour of this institution of rushing to open borders for workers outside the country whilst we have the majority of workers within the country who are not recalled back to work. We demand that the Mineral Council of South Africa must not rush but come to the table to negotiate with unions on the approach of their plans.
The current pandemic has made us put most of our youth programs on hold and we are to review our budget so that we plan for the rest of the year. We will continue with having speakers on our Facebook page throughout the month.
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL UNION OF MINEWORKERS
For more information, please contact:
Bonginkosi Mrasi: NUM Youth Structure National Secretary: 064 758 0661/078 188 4300
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111