NUM calls for more work
Mining, energy and construction sectors seem to be disregarding their social labour plans
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.”
YOUNGER SLANT: NUM wants more youths employed in the mining and construction sectors with young entrepreneurs awarded contracts.