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The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union’s (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa and former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema must be blamed for the current job losses in the mining industry.
Their hogwash actions last year that resulted in the wave of illegal strikes that started at the platinum mines and spread to the gold, iron-ore, diamond and coal mines have given employers the upper hand to do as they please by retrenching workers.
Their irresponsible action of calling on workers to embark on illegal strikes, demanding R12 500 a month, have caused irreparable tension within the labour force and destroyed labour relations.
It will take some time for things to return to normal.
As things stand, about 14 000 workers are about to lose their jobs at the world’s biggest platinum producer, Anglo Platinum in Rustenburg, North West as the company is poised to close its operations.
The same thing will probably happen to about 6 000 mineworkers at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu mine in Carletonville.
Mathunjwa, Malema and their ilk made people, particularly vulnerable mineworkers, believe they were champions of the cause but today, they are nowhere to be found to account for their mess.
What is left at this stage is for workers to unite to defend their jobs. Going on another wildcat strike will not solve any problems.