Sunday, March 16, 2014

Prolonged Strike a Burden to the South African Mine Workers

COSATU Press Statements

Protracted prolonged strike a burden to the workers

11 March 2014

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West is inundated with calls from workers in the platinum mines who have been on strike for the past seven weeks.

The workers, in particular those who are in the Impala area, are indicating that they want to go back to work but they fear for their safety, as there is a lot of violence in the area.

COSATU has noted that the strike is putting serous economic pressure on the workers and the surrounding towns and villages. COSATU believes therefore that it is time to break the strike or this will give rise to criminal activities in the area and in the province at large.

COSATU calls on the employers and the South African Police Service to devise some safe way for the workers in the platinum mines to go back to work and start earning salaries for themselves and their families.

As the federation we believe that the action taken by Impala management of putting all workers on special leave without payment is putting workers under economic challenges which they are facing today.

We call on those workers to approach their employer and demand their work back as we prepare to engage the mine management on their request.

We are also calling for all the negotiating teams, both management and trade union leaders, to resolve the strike before it gets worse. They must think about the future of those learners who are chased away or are not able to go to school due their parents not being able to pay for transport.

The mine workers are also called to unite against the employer for destroying their future.

A protected, prolonged strike is a burden to the mine workers and their families.

For more information contact Solly Phetoe the Provincial Secretary of COSATU North West at 082 304 4055

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Press Statements

Hungry mineworkers face a bleak future at Blyvooruitzicht mine in Carletonville

12 March 2014

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) notes with serious concern that the situation at Blyvooruitzicht Mine in Carletonville has taken another turn in that the workers of this company and the surrounding communities are facing a bleak future.

A plethora of woes continue to haunt the operations such as the non-payment of the workforce since September 2013 until today

The current situation can be narrated as follows:

The new owners of Blyvooruitzicht mine under the new name called Goldrich failed to fulfill the promise to take under their employment 400 people for the commencement of the operations.

The promise of medical examination for 132 workers has grind to a halt.

What has come out lately is that there is a fight between the liquidators and the Goldrich owners through the court of law.

The liquidators are now nowhere to be found and are untraceable.

The pumping of water by AGA has been stopped due to failure by Goldrich to pay R5 million per month as they committed to do for the services of the water pumping.

This has led to the flooding of 9 and 35 levels at Blyvoor number five shaft. If this is not stopped it poses a danger to flood the whole shaft and possibility of spreading to other nearby mines.

Workers doing essential services work are not being paid as promised and are taken from pillar to post.

An HR personnel who is doing the HR work for the liquidators discovered an amount R162, 000.00 in cash in the office of the Engineering Manager Mr Ettieen Erasmus on the 07 March 2014. This money was used to pay those workers who complained about non - payment and each was given R2000 Mr Erasmus is currently in custody in connection with charges of theft, illegal possetion of gold nuggets, fraud and defeating the ends of justice.

The promise by the liquidators that workers will be paid their services money in March 2014 is a doubtful fact.

On the 10 March 2014 the security companies known as Lwazi and Masakhane which are giving service to Goldrich embarked on a protest demanding their salaries. This matter was temporary resolved by the newly appointed Business Rescue Practitioner who promised to take up their complaint as he claimed to be in charged.

The company which has taken over Blyvoor village has also threatened to talk to Eskom to stop power supply if residents are not able to pay R3, 500 per household on monthly basis for electricity. It must be remembered that residents of Blyvoor Villages have been without jobs and salaries since September 2013.

We are now told that Goldrich management has appointed business rescue practitioner and the liquidators are opposing this in court. The people of Blyvoor are living in fear as zama zamas knock in their doors during the night demanding money and if this is not given they resort into raping, and threaten to kill the occupants. This matter requires serious attention of the law enforcement agencies.

We call on the liquidators to take decisive action on the Blyvoor situation and to bear in mind that thousands of the workforce currently live in a dire situation. The NUM is extremely saddened of this calamity facing our members.

The Blyvoor workers are still waiting for Godot to come with their hard earned cash to no avail. Instead, it has been one empty promise after another.

For more information, Please contact:

Livhuwani Mammburu: 083 809 3257 (Acting NUM National Spokesperson)
Frans Baleni: 082 375 6443 (NUM General Secretary)
Richard Xati: 072 757 9222(NUM Carletonville Deputy Secretary for Education)

National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street
Corner Frederick
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3257

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Flood leaves North West communities devastated

11 March 2014

The past two weeks have been rainy throughout the North West province and this has caused areas to flood, leaving community members devastated. The Congress of South African Trade Unions wants to send a word of caution to those who are in low lying areas and those near river banks and dams to take caution of the situation they are in; if there is a need they must relocate as soon as possible to avoid further disasters.

COSATU would also like to plead to those who are able to assist those who are affected by the floods to do so, and for government to intervene speedily in particular in those areas where there is infrastructure damage.

As the federation we want to applaud the municipalities that have acted by assisting poor affected communities with food and blankets and relocating the affected families to places of safety.

COSATU has also noted that some children cannot go to school due to the damage to the infrastructure and their scholar transport not being able to reach them. COSATU therefore pleads with the educators to develop some means to assist those scholars with a catch-up plan as soon as they will be able to be at school and also the parents to be part of their children`s education program in dealing with those challenges.

We call on all our members and other stakeholders to join all our affected municipalities and government to help with all they can for our poor communities.

Our message of condolences go to the families of those who lost their lives due to the heavy rain

For more information feel free to call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary, Solly Phetoe, on [0832044055]

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