Mineworker dies at Impala Platinum today

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has learned with shock the death of a mineworker at Impala Platinum number 20 shaft yesterday as a result of rock fall. As the NUM, we are deeply concerned about these fatalities happening at Impala Platinum. NUM calls upon the company to pull up its socks and improve its health and safety system.

NUM members and other mineworkers are extremely worried about health and safety standards at Impala Platinum mine. The NUM is of the view that one death in the industry is just one death too many, production should not and must not be at the expense of mineworkers’ lives. The NUM would like to convey its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family, colleagues, and friends of the deceased during this difficult time.

Cosatu and SACP’s grievances legitimate, say analysts

The Citizen writes that nationwide marches on Wednesday by labour federation Cosatu and the SA Communist Party (SACP) were about genuine issues that affected the whole country, Ebrahim Fakir of the Auwal Socio-Economic Research Institute said. Fakir said the majority of South Africans were impacted by corruption, state capture, job losses and underperformance by the country’s economy under Zuma.

“It is easy to say that the marches were not about substantive issues, but no one must underestimate the impact of state capture. The call for Zuma to step down is appropriate and Cosatu is entitled to voice out how they feel about him,” Fakir said. Many employers released their workers to participate in the protests showed their support for the action.  The labour agenda was said no longer to be only about wages and jobs, but had become highly politicised.

by Eric Naki

COSATU members protest in cities across the country

GroundUp reports that on Wednesday, thousands of Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU) members marched in city centres across the country in support of the federation’s call for a national strike day against state capture and corruption. The marches were supported by trade unions NEHAWU and SADTU, as well as the South African Communist Party (SACP), the South African National Civics Organisation (SANCO), and the ANC Women’s League.

The march memorandum stated: “Economic Development continues to be obstructed by the systemic capture of the state by a well-organised predatory elite”. It called for President Jacob Zuma to agree on a date to proceed with the Commission of Inquiry recommended in the Public Protector’s State of Capture report. It also called for the state to “cancel all commercial dealings with the Gupta family with immediate effect.”

by GroundUp staff

COSATU National Strike today – 27th September 2017

COSATU’s 27th  September National Strike Programme and Deployments

Gauteng – Johannesburg 
Gathering at COSATU House in Braamfontein @ 10h00 and march to hand over memorandums to City of Joburg, DOL, Chamber of Mines, FNB & other Banks, Premiers Office. Bheki Ntshalintshali (COSATU General Secretary), Mugwena Maluleke (SADTU General Secretary), Zola Saphetha (NEHAWU General Secretary), Clyde Mervin (CWU President), Cedric Gina (LIMUSA General Secretary), Rankele Msinto (POPCRU Deputy GS) and Ben Venter (SASBO Deputy General Secretary).

KwaZulu Natal Durban
Gather at DinuZulu (Bothas Park) and march to City Hall to handover memorandum to the Premier. Sidumo Dlamini (COSATU President)
Joe Kokela (SASBO General Secretary), Themba Khumalo (SACTWU President) Mabutho Cele (SADTU Deputy President), David Siphunzi (NUM General Secretary), Siboniso Mdletshe (LIMUSA President), Cassim Lekgoathi (DENOSA Deputy General Secretary).

Eastern Cape  – East London
Gather at North End Stadium and march to City Hall where the memorandums will be handed over. Oscar Phaka (DENOSA General Secretary), Mike Shingange (NEHAWU Deputy President), Thandeka Msibi (DENOSA 2nd Deputy President).

Mthatha
Gather at Freedom Square and march to DOL to hand over the memorandum. Malesela Lekota (SASBO President) and  Manamela Kwena (DENOSA Deputy GS).

Queenstown
Gather at Indoor Sports Center and march to DOL and Ploice Station to hand over the memorandum. Aubrey Tshabalala (CWU General Secretary), Zacharia Mosothoane (SATAWU Deputy GS).

Port Elizabeth
Gather at Mangoza Jebe (Centenary Hall) and march to Vuyisile Mini Square to handover memorandums. Bones Skulu (SACCAWU General Secretary), Nkosana Dolopi (SADTU Deputy General Secretary), Susan Khumalo (SACTWU 2nd Deputy President).

Limpopo – Polokwane
Gather at SABC Park and march to Shoprite, Premiers Office and Anglo Platinum to hand over memorandums. Magope Maphila (SADTU President), Simon Hlungwane (DENOSA President), Lydia Makhubelo (NUM Women’s Structure), Pule Molalenyane (SAMWU President), Angie Phethle (SACCAWU Deputy President).

Western Cape – Cape Town
Gather at Keizerkragt and march to PRASA, Provincial Government and National Parliament to hand over memorandums. Freda Oosthuysen (COSATU National Treasurer)Veronica Hofmeester (SADTU Vice Education)Mike Tau( SACCAWU Deputy President), Andre Kriel (SACTWU General Secretary), Kate Matlou (SATAWU 2nd Deputy President )Coockie Nkambule (DENOSA Treasurer).

North West – Mafikeng
Gather at Montshiwa Stadium and march to Legislature to hand over memorandums to Premier, Business Forum and Chamber of Mines.
Solly Phetoe (COSATU Deputy General Secretary), Louisa Thipe (SACCAWU President), Makgabo Mabapa (NUM Deputy General Secretary), Nomalanga Mabokela (POPCRU 2nd Deputy GS), Moses Miya (SAMWU Deputy General Secretary), Gloria Kgoleng (SADTU Vice President SAC), Kgomotso Makhuphula (NEHAWU Treasurer).

Mpumalanga – Nelspruit
Gather at Nelspruit Showground @ 09h00 and march to Government Complex to handover memorandum to the Premier. Zingiswa Losi(COSATU 2nd Deputy President), Lindiwe Motshwane (SADTU National Treasurer), December Mavuso (NEHAWU Deputy General Secretary) David Macatha (NUM National Treasurer), Mduduzi Mbongwa (SACCAWU Deputy General Secretary).

Emalahleni
Gather at Lynville stadium @ 09h00 and march to ESKOM Park to handover the memorandum. Piet Matosa (NUM President), Chris Gina (SACTWU Deputy General Secretary), Modise Letsatsi (DENOSA 1st Deputy President) Nathi Theledi (POPCRU General Secretary).

Northern Cape – Kimberley
Gather at Kemo Hotel and march to Premiers Office (JB Sauer Building) to hanover memorandums to Premier, DMR, Banking Association and SALGA. Mzwandile Makwayiba (NEHAWU President) Peter Bailey (NUM H & S Chairperson), Simon Mathe (SAMWU General Secretary), Mpho Pooe (SAMA President).

Free State – Bloemfontein
Gather at Batho Community Hall and march to Provincial Government (Lebogang Building) to handover memorandum to the Premier. Tyotyo James (COSATU 1st Deputy President), Dorcas Sekabate (SADTU Vice President), Nyameka Macanda (NEHAWU 2nd Deputy President), Joseph Montisetsi (NUM Deputy President), Bonny Marekwa (POPCRU 2nd Deputy President).

Cosatu ups ante on PIC ‘capture’ by calling for moratorium on funding for any govt. institution

BusinessLive reports that Cosatu has called for a moratorium to prevent the use of Public Investment Corporation (PIC) funds to finance any government institution. The labour federation said on Tuesday that it would also explore the possibility of “depoliticising” the PIC by stripping the finance ministry of the powers to unilaterally appoint board members of the fund manager.

Cosatu indicated that it had requested an urgent meeting with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to express its “grave concern” on reports that the “Gupta network” was trying to lay its “grubby hands” on workers’ retirement savings at the PIC.  The federation added that it would not allow the PIC to be “looted” the same way that Eskom and other state-owned enterprises had been.  “We are also concerned to learn that Gigaba is going ahead with his attempts to use workers’ retirement savings to bail out the captured state-owned enterprises,” said Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali.

by Theto Mahlakoana

NUM signs three-year wage agreement

ANA reports that the National Union of Mineworkers in the Northern Cape, working together with trade union Solidarity in Assmang’s mining operations in Beeshoek, Blackrock, and Khumani, has signed a three-year wage agreement with the company. The agreement entails increases of 8% for the lowest earners in the first year, 8% in the second year, and 7% in the third year. The lowest paid employee was currently paid R15, 284.88 on a total package, which would see an 8% increase in the first year to R16, 507.67, the NUM said in a statement.

“We have also secured a once-off R10, 000 cash tax-free (ex-gracia allowance) to our members. The company will also pay an underground allowance of R600 for the first year, R650 for the second year, and R700 for the third year. These achievements were not in existence but have been pushed for the members working underground.” Other issues agreed upon included maternity leave and family responsibilities leave and medical-related travel assistance to specialists, the statement said.

Ref: SABC News

COSATU wants urgent meeting with Gigaba over PIC-SAA bail-out claims

EWN reports that as various formations hit out at the National Treasury over allegations it wants to use public sector pensions to save ailing state enterprises, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is calling for an urgent meeting with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. The federation says it doesn’t believe the minister’s denial of reports that his department intends using R100 billion of pension funds held by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to bail out South African Airways (SAA).

The minister issued a statement on Monday describing the claims as malicious. On Sunday, PIC CEO Dan Matjila reportedly confirmed that there’s attempt to remove him from his post in order to access almost R2 trillion in pensions.An urgent meeting with the PIC has been called, scheduled to take place on Tuesday and Matjila is expected to be asked by the minister where the information is coming from.Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla says they want to meet with Gigaba as soon as possible.

by Clement Manyathela & Mia Lindeque

Schools‚ mines and municipalities to be disrupted by Cosatu’s strike on Wednesday

TimesLive reports that schools‚ municipalities and mines are expected to be disrupted on Wednesday as members of labour federation Cosatu march against state capture and corruption. The one-day strike is aimed at making the ANC address workers’ concerns over the looting of State coffers.  The strike will be followed by another in October‚ when Cosatu members plan to take to the streets over job losses which have been attributed directly to state capture.

This week’s strike‚ to be supported by off-duty police and nurses‚ will see people march on the country’s various city halls‚ banks‚ the Chamber of Mines‚ Eskom, the offices of provincial premiers and the SA Local Government Association.  Sadtu’s Mugwena Maluleka said all schools would shut down, while the NUM’s David Sipunzi said they were expecting a total shutdown of mines.  Samwu spokesman Papikie Mohale said only municipal staff who were part of emergency services‚ would be at work “and then it will only be skeleton staff shifts”.  Denosa’s Sibongiseni Delihlazo said all staff not working would join the strike.

by Graeme Hosken

NUM & AngloGold agree on retrenchment payouts

City Press reports that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and AngloGold Ashanti have reached an agreement in terms of which all workers at Kopanang mine will be paid their retrenchment packages before the company finalises the sale of the mine. The sale of the North West mine is expected to be finalised soon.  Joseph Montisetse, NUM deputy president, indicated that the union had signed a memorandum of understanding with the mine in this regard.

He went on to say:  “This is an achievement for NUM members and other workers because the union did not want to see a sad and painful experience like that which happened to Aurora workers.  The payout will not be provident or pension, just retrenchment packages.  We have agreed that workers will get their money before October 16.”

by Lesetja Malope

NUM to embark on strike at Petra Diamonds Koffiefontein Mine

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has served Petra Diamonds with a 48 hours notice to embark on a protected strike at Koffiefontein Mine in Northern Cape. The strike will be in the form of a total withdrawal of labour of all NUM members working in Petra Diamonds at Koffiefontein Mine. The strike will commence on Saturday 24 September 2017 starting with a morning shift at 6 am and include every shift that follows thereafter and will continue indefinitely until the NUM demands are met. The purpose of the strike is to compel Petra Diamonds and its management to accede to the demands of the NUM.

The NUM demands are as follows:
Wages – we demand a 10% wage increase across the board to be paid every month for three years. Housing – we demand a housing subsidy and living out allowance of R1 500 to be paid every month for three years. Medical Aid – we demand an increase of R1000 be paid to all employees who are part of the in-house medical aid scheme and 100% medical aid subsidy to employees who do not belong to the in-house medical aid scheme. Family responsibility leave -we demand that family responsibility leave to be increased from 3 to 5 days and 4 days must be fully paid and 1 unpaid. Annual leave- we demand that annual leave days must be increased from 19 to 21 days for Petra Diamonds Ekapa and Koffiefontein operations.

Pension Fund – we demand that the pension fund must be increased from 7,5% to 9% per employer’s contribution. Unequal pay – they demand equal job value as per employment equity act. Long Service Awards – we demand that employees who have worked for 10 years must be paid R5 000, 20 years to be paid R15 000, 25 years to be paid R35 000 with R7 000 for a spouse, 30 and 40 years to also be paid R35 000, NB: grandfather’s current Section 197 employees as per their conditions of employment for the 25 years and 40 years beneficiaries.