NUM calls for more work

Min­ing, en­ergy and con­struc­tion sec­tors seem to be dis­re­gard­ing their so­cial labour plans

The New Age (KwaZulu-Natal) - - North West News - CHARLOTE HLANGWANE char­loteh@the­newage.co.za

RUSTEN­BURG lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity has been urged to help cre­ate more op­por­tu­ni­ties in the min­ing, en­ergy and con­struc­tion sec­tors.

The call was con­tained in a mem­o­ran­dum handed to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, fol­low­ing a march by hun­dreds of Na­tional Union of Minework­ers (NUM) Youth Struc­ture mem­bers.

The na­tional sec­re­tary of NUM Youth Struc­ture Bonginkosi Mrasi said they are con­cerned, that min­ing com­pa­nies, are flout­ing their so­cial labour plans, with im­punity. “We have raised an is­sue here of min­ing com­pa­nies get­ting min­ing li­cences but they don’t com­ply with ser­vice lo­ca­tion pro­to­cols, DWSPs and young peo­ple don’t even get jobs.

“So we are say­ing to­day enough is enough. Young peo­ple have been un­em­ployed for a very long time. We need them to get em­ploy­ment,” Mrasi said.

How­ever, speak­ing to The New Age ear­lier this year, a min­ing ex­pert Mamokgethi Molopy­ane said the state of min­ing in the prov­ince “is slow­ing, not at­tract­ing in­vestors, there’s a de­clin­ing con­tri­bu­tion to pro­vin­cial GDP and it em­ploys fewer peo­ple”.

Even though the NUM said jobs can be cre­ated, Molopy­ane said there are fac­tors that con­trib­ute to the job losses in the min­ing sec­tor, par­tic­u­larly the plat­inum belt in Rusten­burg with the sell­ing of as­sets.

“Some com­pa­nies are putting as­sets on sale and Rusten­burg is af­fected, with the deep min­ing in­cluded,” he said.

In ad­di­tion, Rusten­burg mu­nic­i­pal­ity spokesper­son, Thapelo Matebesi said there is a low de­mand for plat­inum as a commodity, forc­ing mines to scale down their oper­a­tions. “Long in­dus­trial strikes in the mines cause huge fi­nan­cial losses, forc­ing the in­dus­try to re­trench. Commodity prices fluc­tu­ate,” he said.

The NUM Youth Struc­ture wants con­struc­tion projects in the prov­ince to be awarded to young en­trepreneurs, to al­le­vi­ate un­em­ploy­ment among black youth.

The 2016 Stats SA quar­terly labour force sur­vey of un­em­ployed youth aged 15-34, ac­counts for 38.6% of the na­tional over­all un­em­ploy­ment rate.

NUM also wants the gov­ern­ment to pu­n­ish min­ing com­pa­nies which do not com­ply with their so­cial labour plans.

In­dus­tri­ous youth de­manded their fair share from an in­dus­try reap­ing huge prof­its from the coun­try’s min­eral re­sources.

The move­ment is also call­ing for pro­tec­tion of their mem­bers, who are no longer in the ma­jor­ity.

The As­so­ci­a­tion of Minework­ers and Con­struc­tion Union is now the dom­i­nant minework­ers union in the Rusten­burg plat­inum belt.

Rusten­burg lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity MMC Nosipho Babe said: “You will get your re­sponse be­fore 14 days. The mayor Mpho Khu­nou is not un­der­min­ing you, he is com­mit­ted, that is why I am here as a mem­ber of the may­oral com­mit­tee.”

PIC­TURE: AFP

YOUNGER SLANT: NUM wants more youths em­ployed in the min­ing and con­struc­tion sec­tors with young en­trepreneurs awarded con­tracts.

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