Amcu failed to hold congress since 2013: labour registrar

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) last held an elective congress in 2013 and has “come up with excuses” for why it has not done so.

This is the reason provided by the department of labour in a statement on Thursday, explaining the decision of the labour registrar to issue a notice of his intention to deregister the union.

The move is set to result in a showdown between the union and the government on the cusp of a May 8 elections. In 2014, Joseph Mathunjwa — the head of Amcu — threatened that blocking it from functioning as a union would force it to become a political party.

The union — which rose to prominence during the labour unrest which led to the Marikana massacre in 2012 — began as a breakaway from the ANC-aligned National Union of Mineworkers.

The notice issued on Tuesday, said registrar of labour Lehlohonolo Daniel Molefe, was providing acting in terms of Section 106 (2B) of the Labour Relations Act to cancel the union’s registration. The reasons provided was that the union has “ceased to function in terms of its constitution” and that the “trade union is not a genuine trade union as envisaged in the Act”.


The union has been at loggerheads with the department over whether it complies with legislation to run a trade union since 2014. Requirements by law include having a constitution, audited finances and holding regular elective conferences.

Molefe on Thursday said Amcu’s failure to hold a congress was in contravention of the unions own constitution.

“Since 2015 up to 2018, there have been numerous letters to AMCU requesting the date of their National Congress without success”, Molefe said in a statement from the labour department.

“The Registrar said every time they enquired about the union’s national congress, AMCU has on several occasions come with excuses.”

Amcu had last year undertaken to hold its national congress in May 2019, but when contacted about this by the registrar in February, the union said it was concerned over the “unusual attention” the union was paying to it.

“AMCU accused this office of lacking consistency in the approach when it comes to unions”, said Molefe.

Amcu subsequently undertook to hold its congress in September, but the registrar said he was not convinced this would happen.

The notice of deregistration comes on the cusp of the opening of wage talks in the platinum sector, where Amcu is the major labour player. The union has some 200 000 members mostly in the platinum and coal sectors.

READ MORE: Retirement fund fracas splits Amcu

The Mail & Guardian reported on infighting in the union last year, after Amcu leadership was insistent on the transferring workers’ savings from the Impala Worker Provident Fund to the Igula fund.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Natasha Marrian
Natasha Marrian
Marrian has built a reputation as an astute political journalist, investigative reporter and commentator. Until recently she led the political team at Business Day where she also produced a widely read column that provided insight into the political spectacle of the week.
Advertising

Reinstated Ingonyama Trust managers hit with retrenchment notices

The effect of Covid-19 and the land reform department’s freeze of R23-million because the ITB didn’t comply with budget submissions are cited as some of the reasons for the staff cuts

Battle over R6bn workers’ retirement fund

Allegations from both sides tumble out in court papers

Nigeria’s anti-corruption boss arrested for corruption

Ibrahim Magu’s arrest by the secret police was a surprise — but also not surprising

Eskom refers employees suspected of contracts graft for criminal investigations

The struggling power utility has updated Parliament on investigations into contracts where more than R4-billion was lost in overpayments
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday