The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Highveld Region has noted with regret the decision taken by the Richards Bay Terminal Board that seeks to indicate that Optimum Colliery that is under Business Rescue will no longer be allowed to export coal using the Terminal that is allocated for Optimum. 

This decision will have negative impact on the livelihood of employees and the community in Steve Tshwete Municipality in Mpumalanga. 

What is disturbing more is the fact that the Richards Bay Terminal Board did not even bother to engage with the NUM, the recognised labour union in Optimum Colliery. The board decided willy-nilly to take such a resolution that in our view as the NUM, is detrimental and regressive. 

While we note with anger and sadness the decision of the board, the NUM is of the view that Business Rescue Practitioners are not assisting the situation,  these BRPs are no longer serving the interest of the workers by rescuing the Business. 

They are now behaving like rapacious capitalists that serves its own narrow and myopic interest. Where have you seen the business being rescued permanently?

The NUM will not allow BRPs who are permanently rescuing the business. In fact in our view as the NUM these BRPs are now business people aiming for profit and are masquerading as BRPs.

They have taken the advantage of the coal price and embarked in making profit for themselves and their families instead of rescuing the business. 

The NUM will be requesting to have a meeting with the BRPs, the Board and the Department of Mineral Resources. We can longer allow the situation where our members who are former employees of Optimum Colliery continued to suffer and remained unemployed while BRPs are enjoying the money with their families in Sandton.

The NUM which is clear and unequivocal by reiterating that the first beneficiaries should be former employees of Optimum Coal Mine. The primary focus of the BRPs is to ensure that these employees are employed so that they can continue to feed their families.

For more detailed information, please contact:

Malekutu Bizzah Motubatse, NUM Highveld Regional Chairperson, 0822646533
Thapelo Malekutu, NUM Highveld Regional Deputy Regional Secretary 0636019005

The National Union of Mineworkers

7 Rissik Street.

Cnr Frederick


Tel: 011 377 2111

Cell: 083 809 3257