NUM Special NEC Press Statement, 27 June 2015
Back to Basics-Siyaphambili
NUM Special NEC Press Statement
1. BACKGROUND AND INTRODUCTION
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) recently convened a Special National Executive Committee meeting to discharge the mandate given to it by the recent 15th National Congress held from the 3rd - to 5th June 2015.The meeting was held at Elijah Barayi Memorial College Midrand Campus.
The meeting was convened to conclude the business of the congress in relation to resolutions and declaration including an overview of the Congress.
2. OVERERVEW OF CONGRESS
Overall it is the view of the NEC that the Congress was a success. However, it also felt that Regional Committees must have time to make comprehensive assessment of the Congress so that a consolidated overview is done for the benefit of the union with regard to future events.
2.1 COURTESY AND FAREWELL
The NEC bid farewell to comrades Frans Baleni (former General Secretary) and Tshimane Montoedi (former Deputy General Secretary) for their service and dedication to the workers struggles and commitment to fighting for NUM members. In appreciation of their contribution to NUM and long years of service, the NEC charged the Presidency and Secretariat to extended special courtesy to both of them.
2.1.1 Smooth Transition and organisational cohesion
In the spirit of building unity and creating a smooth transition, the NEC resolved to mandate the National Office Bearers to manage the transition between the former Secretariat and the incoming Secretariat. This process is already in motion and other collaborative arrangements that constitute smooth transition. The Presidency is managing the collaborative interface between the former secretariat and the newly elected national office bearers to ensure proper induction of incoming leaders and properly managed the exit of former leaders.
3. 1976 Youth Day Commemoration
3.1 Right to education
The NEC acknowledged the important and gallant role played by the youth of 1976 in fighting apartheid and waging a struggle for a free education for all in democratic South Africa. In a demonstration of conviction to this cause, they faced the might of the racist apartheid regime with stones and will to mark a historical phenomenon on the imperative role of youth in the anti-apartheid struggle.
3.2 JB Marks Bursary Fund
It is the view of the NEC that the establishment of entities like JB Marks Bursary Fund by NUM to assist children of workers to access financial assistance for further education and empowerment is an important institutional legacy in respect of the gallant fighters of 1976.
The JB Marks Bursary Fund was established by the National Union of Mineworkers to support children of its members to go to universities targeting particularly the historically inaccessible professions to black people such as engineering, medicine, accountancy and etc. The NEC emphasises the fact that success in this regard is a continuing memory for the historical fight waged by 1976 fighters.
3.3 National Youth Forum
The NEC asserted that the creation of the National Youth Forum to cater for young workers within the union is a further recognition of the historical and contemporary role played by this crucial motive force(young people) of our revolution and an important player in democratising the workplace across mining , energy , and construction .
4.1 Expulsion of NUMSA and dismissal of Vavi
The NEC once more embraced the Congress decision to support the decision of Cosatu to expel NUMSA and dismiss its former General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. The NEC appreciated the fact that the expulsion and dismissal of both entities respectively was a difficult but necessary decision.
This was a consequence of continuous engagements traversing eighteen months by the Central Executive Committee of Cosatu and those affected in finding a workable and lasting progressive solution. In this regard the NEC thanks, everybody who played a part to assist Cosatu to fend off its internal challenges. NUM thus thanks the ANC for taking courage, energy, and leadership contributing towards a solution.
4.2 Detractors celebrate fictional rupture
The NEC further condemns reports in the media platform and public forums to link the democratic outcomes of NUM Congress with prospects of NUMSA and Vavi return to Cosatu. These elements have deliberately ignored the fact that Vavi and NUMSA were expelled and dismissed by Cosatu and not by NUM. The outcomes of NUM Congress can only serve to consolidate the effective functions of Cosatu leadership and nothing to the contrary.
4.3 Endorsement of LIMUSA
Most importantly, the NEC further commits to implement the endorsement of LIMUSA by Congress in line with Cosatu CEC decision by working closely with this new affiliate so as to prevent the reincarnation of the tensions that existed between NUMSA and NUM on the energy sector around Eskom members.
4.4 Malicious role of agent provocateurs
The NEC has noted with concern allegations of malicious plans to capture and train and condition members of Cosatu affiliates to defy and disobey leaders in the Special Congress of Cosatu with the intention to collapse congress and in the midst of this contrived chaos the launching of so-called new Federation will be outlined.
4.5 CALL FOR RESTRAINT
In recognition of the above the NEC urges all members and leaders of NUM across the sectors Mining, Energy, and Construction not to participate in any activities or meetings convened by either NUMSA , United Front , or Vavi that are intended to undermine or violate the congress mandate and NUM Congress decisions .
5. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
5.1 Gold, coal, and construction wage negotiations
The NEC has urged negotiating teams to engage robustly and soberly and fight without shame to extract the best outcomes for workers in line with the living wage vision of Cosatu. The NEC further committed itself towards supporting the negotiating team in the construction sector to ensure that NUM comes victorious in its dispute with the construction sector.
5.2 Team Work and cohesion
The NEC has urged members of negotiating teams to work through team work and resolved that team members should support the new chief negotiators in both gold and coal sectors. General Secretary David Sipunzi will lead Gold negotiations while Peter Bailey leads Coal negotiations.
6. UNITY OF THE ALLIANCE
6.1 Swelling the ranks of the ANC
The NEC in line with Congress decision shall continue working closely with the ANC including supporting the movement in the forthcoming local government elections in 2016.The NEC further encourages members of NUM to continue to join and participate in the ANC. The NEC understands this continued support and participation as part of the resolution of Cosatu to swell the ranks of the ANC. This collaboration and participation in alliance structures further means a continued support and working relationship and strategic partnership with the SACP.
6.2 Release of Clive Derby-Lewis racist criminal
In this context, NUM registers its disappointment on the release of Clive Derby-Lewis, a racist criminal and murderer who has resisted declaring others who were behind the killing of the late Chris Hani. Thus, NUM will work with the SACP in exploring legitimate avenues in challenging this outcome.
7. PRIVATIZATION OF STATE ENTITIES
The NEC noted with concern plans by the government to pursue privatisation of state-owned entities such as Eskom, SAA, PetroSA and Nuclear Energy Cooperation of South Africa.The NEC reasserts its rejection of privatisation which could open up the state once more to corruption.
It is the view of the NEC that such moves are not only driven by a neo-liberal agenda that has gripped government but also the conviction to subvert prospects of building a developmental state in South Africa which will possess capacity to drill in radical elements of radical phase of economic emancipation. The NEC once more wishes to reinstate the obvious that privatisation will add to increased levels of retrenchments, unemployment while worsening poverty and inequality in South Africa. As part of back to basics, NUM shall fight all attempts to deprive its members job security.
8. PROLETARIAN INTERNATIONALISM
The NEC shall promote proletarian internationalism by way of continuing to liaise and participate at international level.Thus, NUM commits itself to continue working closely to IndustriALL, BWI, WFTU, ZEWU, BMU, BEWU and many more revolutionary and progressive entities to advance international solidarity and struggle.
Furthermore, the NEC commits itself towards supporting progressive international struggles such as the struggles of the people of Palestine, Western Sahara to mention a few. The NEC in line with Congress decision welcomes the resignation of Sepp Blatter and the investigations of corruption within FIFA and there must be no holy cows.
The NEC is also calling for the review of South Africa`s affiliation to the ICC. “We believe this is evolving into an imperialist instrument targeting the African continent while protecting criminals in the developed world. In line with the international solidarity we will be participating in welcoming the Cuban Five in South Africa as NUM and as part of international solidarity and struggle” says Piet Matosa.
9. BACK TO BASICS
The NEC has committed itself in line with the Congress pronouncements to go back to basics by:
- Reaffirming worker democracy and workers ownership of the union.
-The leadership will promote accountability of full-time officials and leaders to the base which is the members while promoting dynamic contact with regions and branches. In this regard, the NEC asserted that no leader shall be trapped in the office at the neglect of service to members.
Statement issued by Livhuwani Mammburu: Acting NUM National Spokesperson, June 28 2015