The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Highveld Region is flummoxed and perturbed by the decision taken by Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) confirming and affirming that Optimum Coal Mine will cease exporting Coal through the terminal by the 31st January 2023.

The NUM is now more convinced than ever before that this decision has nothing to do with the issues raised in the letter by RBCT, in fact the NUM cannot be fooled by the RBCT because this decision is a decision of Capitalist Conglomerates who are expanding and maximising profits.

These rapacious capitalists will continue to expand while the downtrodden masses and the marginalised working class will continue to suffer. 

The question we are asking ourselves as the NUM is that what is it that is going to happen to the terminal that belongs to Optimum? Is it going to be distributed amongst Board Members whom in their own rights are also mining bosses? This is what we call rapacious capitalism as the NUM.

The NUM is calling for RBCT to review their stance, this decision will negatively affect the areas such as Middleburg, Hendrina and Pullenshope.

Furthermore we are calling for the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy not to be class neutral when the working class is ambushed by our permanent class enemy. The NUM will this week strive to meet with the Minister responsible. 

The NUM which is the true representatives of the workers will not rest until we expose the capitalist agenda which seeks to perpetuate triple challenges.

What is more perturbing is the fact that RBCT is hiding behind the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) actions, in that in its letter dated 20 January 2023 the RBCT stated that this matter is already referred to court of Law and as such it will be fatal to start engaging on it now.

We are also flabbergasted to see the NPA only resurfacing now with its enforced preservation order against Optimum mine.

As  the NUM that cares about its ranks and file we have since escalated this matter to all relevant government entities including the memorandum to the office of the State President and to date we have not been given any response.

A fundamental question therefore remains who’s class interest is NPA serving? The perpetual obsession by the NPA is very worrying.

If it needs be, the NUM will mobilise its members and camp at Richards Bay, We cannot be reduced and undermined by this Board.

For more detailed information, please contact:

Malekutu Bizzah Motubatse, NUM Highveld Regional Chairperson, 0822646533

Thapelo Malekutu, NUM Highveld Regional Deputy Secretary 0636019005

The National Union of Mineworkers

7 Rissik Street.

Cnr Frederick


Tel: 011 377 2111

Cell: 083 809 3257