PRESS STATEMENT, 07 January 2019
NUM is deeply angered that its members at Optimum and Kroonfontein operations have not been paid their salaries
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) strongly condemns the bad and evil attitude unleashed by the Business Rescue Practitioners (BRP's) with regard to the non-payment of employees salaries in the past two months at Optimum and Kroonfontein operations. It is sad and painful that NUM members and other workers had to go on black Christmas without being paid their salaries after rendering their service.
"As we begin 2019 employees will be going for the third months without being paid their salaries as the BRP's gave unlawful instruction that employees should not report to work which goes without saying that come end of the month employees will not be paid their salaries," said Tshilidzi Mathavha, NUM Highveld Regional Secretary.
"This, of course, becomes a burden to workers whom by nature and character survive by selling their labour to their employer.
What is of great concern is the fact that BRP's always gave false hope to the union as if the situation was under control only to find that there is no money," Mathavha added.
It remains questionable regarding the company stance that there is no cash flow to sustain the business after their commitment that for as long as there is production, the business can be sustained until the process of rescuing the business is finalized. The NUM is unable to accept the lip service from the employer since the operation is up and running.
The NUM is not convinced that BRP's are working in the interest of rescuing the business from the current financial constraints. We only see one agenda of running the company to liquidation as this will exonerate those who have conducted themselves in a corrupt manner leading to the current crisis.
In terms of the companies act, BRP's have to ensure that the business is rescued and adhere to the act in that they must scrutinize potential buyers if they meet requirements. To our surprise, BRP's preferred Project Halo to take over Optimum and Kroonfontein. Project Halo has no financial muscles to sustain the business and further to that they have no mining license which clearly indicates that BRP's are undermining the creditors and all they want is to further suffocate the business.
The NUM as the caring union for its members has gone all out to protect the jobs of its members by engaging the DMR on a possible way forward. The DMR as the regulator assured the NUM that the process has since been restarted which will be completed by end of February 2019.
The NUM is currently engaging the same BRP's to do what is expected of them and pay salaries to employees. The NUM understands that its members are very angry and frustrated with the current situation. The NUM also notes that schools are reopening and our members cannot be able to afford school fees, school uniforms, and stationery. As the NUM, we are angered by the BRP's and we want to make it clear that we have lost confidence in them.
"We are calling on our members not to listen and misled by demagogues and shenanigans who want to hijack the struggle and project themselves as messiahs. Members of the NUM should understand that only the NUM will save the situation. The NUM regional leadership collectively are putting necessary pressure to its head office to engage all role players and find a solution. This is a collective matter and members should desist from blaming an individual as the cause of delays. The deliberate sabotage by these BRP is a clear indication of the brutality of Capitalism, in its nature and character, it is exploitative, careless and rapacious," Mathavha concluded.
For more information, please contact:
Tshilidzi Mathavha: NUM Highveld Regional Secretary: 066 305 7424.
The National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3257
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