sharing in governance of extractive industries

Union decries Malema for mines threat (Business Day)

By Sibongakonke Shoba

THE National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) yesterday lambasted African National Congress (ANC) Youth League president Julius Malema for his threat to shut down mines that do not co-operate with the league’s plan
to nationalise South African mines and urged the ANC to rein in the
youth leader.

Mr Malema told a rally in Limpopo at the weekend that “mines that are not co-operative to the nationalisation concept will have their operations disrupted”.

Union spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said the utterances were not only unacceptable, but were “reckless” as they threatened the livelihoods and security of jobs of the more than 400 000 mineworkers.

This is a clear sign that the youth league is at loggerheads with the ANC’s allies in the labour movement, following its call for disciplinary action to be taken against Congress of South
African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. The NUM
is the largest union in Cosatu, which is in an alliance with the ANC
and the South African Communist Party. League spokesman Floyd Shivambu
refused to comment yesterday, saying he had not seen the NUM statement.

The league’s proposal for the nationalisation of mines was recently tabled at the ANC national general council. The council agreed on conducting research on how the state could intervene in strategic
sectors of the economy.

The NUM said that while it supported state intervention in strategic sectors of the economy in order to alleviate poverty, the union refused to be “blackmailed, indoctrinated and manipulated by

The league has threatened to withdraw support for any ANC leader who does not back its call for nationalisation of mines.

This was seen as an attempt to blackmail the ANC leadership to back the league’s call to ensure their re-election in 2012. There are already signs that the youth league might not back President Jacob Zuma ’s second-term bid.

The NUM said it supports the ANC council’s decision to instruct the national executive committee to conduct research on nationalisation. “We call on the ANC to provide the much-needed
leadership and to rein in its youth wing to ensure that in the process
serious damage is not done to the reputation of the country and image of
SA’s mining industry in the face of the investor community. Such
utterances create unnecessary tension and uncertainty amongst workers,”
Mr Seshoka said.

Mr Zuma has assured investors that nationalisation is not ANC policy. After the council last week, he said the ANC is committed to its mixed economy policy and that investors have nothing to fear.

We call on the ANC to rein in its youth wing (as) such utterances create tension and uncertainty amongst mineworkers.

Available: http://www.businessday.co.za/Articles/Content.aspx?id=122630

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