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The National Union Mineworkers (NUM) is concerned and saddened by Kumba Iron Ore intention to retrench workers at Sishen in the Northen Cape.
Kumba Iron Ore served the NUM with Section 189 notice of the Labour Relations Act to retrench 2 633 workers.
"It cannot be correct that as and when mining industry is under distress the first casualties are ordinary employees from the ground. The government must consider taking back mining licences of these mines who their objective is to exploit workers, maximize profit and when they are done they move away from their social responsibilities and leave some workers in bad conditions injured or sick," said Lucas Phiri, NUM Chief Negotiator at Kumba Iron Ore.
"These mines they just pollute the environment, open pit to distract iron ore and leave South African with no hope to come back. The dismissal of 2 633 employees is bad for the workers, community of Kathu, Kuruman and the surrounding areas this will add to the already unacceptable number of unemployment in the country which is sitting at 25,5%. One mineworker takes responsibility of 10 people and with this number it means 26 000 people will be without income and this risk to increase in crime," Phiri added.
The NUM will engage with the company to mitigate the impact of retrenchments. There is a need for a real transformation in the mining industry that emphasises on human development, not only profits.
The logic of capital requires constant growth in order to accumulate wealth, but this growth is, unfortunately, dependent on exploiting mineworkers who still earn poverty wages.
For more information, please contact:
Lucas Phiri: NUM Chief Negotiator at Kumba Iron ore: 082 883 7290Livhuwani Mammburu: Acting NUM National Spokesperson, 083 809 3257 Address:7 Rissik Street.Cnr Frederick,Johannesburg 2001Tel: 011 377 2111 Web: www.num.org.za Twitter: @Num Media Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NUM/100860023402167