The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) North East Region will this week celebrate the union’s 40th Anniversary as part of the build up to the national celebration on the 4th December 2022 in Peter Mokaba stadium in Limpopo. 

Established in 1982 in Klerksdorp, now known as Matlosana, the NUM has throughout the years been the only voice of the voiceless workers in the mining, construction, energy and metal sectors.

The NUM had since survived the storms and all kinds of weather and came out more as a united and wiser trade union with clarity of purpose. The NUM’s history is a history of class war decorated with victories born from the brave struggle of the working class.

Its history began when Cyril Ramaphosa, a young inexperienced legal officer with the Council of Unions of South Africa (CUSA) was assigned a task of forming a black mineworkers union in July 1982. 

He mobilised around him a small group of senior black workers from Anglo American Corporation gold mines particularly in Carletonville, Klerksdorp (now Matlosana), Welkom and Westonaria as the launching pad for this mighty union. 

The NUM became the fastest growing trade union in the world and was able to grow to 1 4000 members within twelve weeks of its establishment and had four regions which are Carletonville, Free State, Klerksdorp and Westonaria and had eight branches established at its first elective National Congress.

In less than a year of its formation, the NUM was recognised by the Chamber of Mines as the union representing categories one to eight mining Industry in August 1983.

It extended its scope of operation to cover, energy particularly Eskom and construction in the early years of 2000. 

It further extended its scope to the Metal Sector from 2019 and now operates in the Mining, Energy, Construction and Metal and allied industries.

The NUM since formation aligned itself with the African National Congress, in its struggle to overthrow the apartheid government and formally adopted the Freedom Charter as its political guiding in its National Congress in 1987 and adopt Comrade Nelson Mandela as its honorary lifetime President during the height of the apartheid regime and when it was not fashionable to do so. 

It played a critical and unique role in that process that ended with the first democratic elections in South African history on 27 April 1994.

It is through its gallant fight that miners who have for many years of service given only a helmet and a pair of boots on their retirement and are today able to receive retirement benefits.

“As the NUM North East, we feel very honoured for being given this opportunity to organise and celebrate this historic moment in our region. South Africa is where it is today because of the brave struggle of the working class. It is not by accident that this mighty union continues to be the grooming institution for the country’s leadership found both in government, business and within communities at large,” said NUM North East Regional Secretary Phillip Mankge.

Members of the media are invited to come and celebrate with us.

Details with regard to the regional celebration are as followed:

Date: 17 September 2022

Venue:       Lulekani Stadium in Phalaborwa, Limpopo

Time:         10am

For more detailed information, please contact:

Phillip Mankge, NUM North East Regional Secretary, 076 053 3401

Livhuwani Mammburu, NUM National Spokesperson, 083 809 3257

Luphert Chilwane, NUM Media Officer, 083 809 3255