NUM members march on Northam Platinum offices

Northam Platinum workers belonging to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) marched on the company's offices in Dunkeld West on Tuesday to hand over a memorandum of demands related to their strike, which has lasted since November 3.

The workers are demanding wage increases of up to R2 100 for core workers and a living-out allowance of more than R3 700. The strike at Northam Platinum has, according to Northam Platinum, cost the company over R200-million in lost revenue. The company's wage offer so far has been 7.5% for non-core workers and 8.5% for core workers. It is also demanding the resignation of chief executive Glyn Lewis, for failing to transform the company and his "weak" leadership during the yearly strikes.

Speaking to Mail & Guardian earlier this week, the NUM’s Northam Platinum chief negotiator Ecliff Tantsi said the company had been dragging its feet with regards to the negotiations, hence the march.

"Northam has been refusing to negotiate on time ever since May this year. They have timed the negotiation to start towards the Christmas break. They want to emotionally blackmail the workers to think of the Christmas break. We're on strike now and they're still refusing to negotiate.

"If we don't fight that attitude, there is nothing to stop other employers from using the Christmas break as leverage against the strike."

Workers handed over a memorandum to finance director Ayanda Khumalo ​at the company's offices. Among the demands is a hydropower allowance of R1 000 to compensate for what the workers said were the adverse effects of hydro-powered mining equipment.

Workers also demanded four months of paid maternity leave, which they said was the industry standard, as opposed to the one-month paid leave they were currently receiving.

Workers also bemoaned "the company's cowardly strategy" of open letters to the NUM general secretary Frans Baleni, which they said was wasteful expenditure.

This strike is widely seen as one of the most pivotal in the NUM's recent history as it seeks to reinvigorate its image having suffered massive losses to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union​ (Amcu) at Rustenburg mines such as Impala, Amplats and Lonmin.

The union is effectively demanding increases of up to 40% at Zondereinde.

Earlier this month, Amcu, which is holding wage talks with the three platinum producers, capitulated from its stance of R12 500, the rallying cry emanating from the ill-fated Marikana strike where 34 Lonmin mineworkers were killed by policemen on August 16.

Amcu was understood to be asking for R8 600 in basic wages, a R3 000 increase over current basic wages.


Sandf colonel accused of swindling colleagues in UN business scam

A senior soldier who is part of South Africa’s peacekeeping missions is accused by her colleagues of swindling them out of of hundreds of thousands of rands in a nonexistent business deal

AU pushes the frontiers of transitional justice

Now these important policy developments must be implemented

Mass store and job cuts at Massmart

Changed market conditions and an appalling economy has hit low end cash-and-carry outlets

Courts to guide land expropriation

Two bits of law need to be approved before a court can decide if land owners will be compensated

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.