Amcu members at a previous Marikana massacre commemoration. File photo: ANA.
JOHANNESBURG - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) yesterday lived to breath again after Labour Relations Registrar Lehlohonolo Molefe said that his office had halted the deregistration, following a number of written representations from the union.

Molefe said that he had extended an olive branch to the union after flagging issues of the union’s non-compliance with its constitution in August 2018. “Having considered further representations by Amcu, which include supporting documents, the registrar has taken a decision not to continue with the deregistration of Amcu,” said Molefe.

He said that the union had met with the department to make further submissions in preparation for its national congress this month.

In April Molefe issued a notice of intention to deregister Amcu, giving the union 60 days to give reasons why it should not be cancelled as a trade union.

At the time Molefe said that Amcu had ceased to function in terms of its constitution and was not a genuine trade union as envisaged in the Labour Relations Act.

Molefe’s records showed the union had a national congresses in October 2004, January 2007 and January 2011, with the last one being a Special Congress that was held on January 30, 2013.

According to reports, from 2015 to 2018 the department issued numerous letters to Amcu requesting the date for the national congress without success.

Molefe reportedly said that every time the department enquired, Amcu came up with excuses.

Yesterday Molefe said that the objective of the registrar's job was to ensure the optimal use of the collective bargaining framework in order to promote co-operative labour relations and economic efficiency and growth.

“The office also promotes strong unionism, employer organisations and promotes the establishment of councils in order to achieve sound and stable labour relations,” he said.

Amcu, the biggest union in South Africa’s platinum belt, led the five-month wage hike strike in 2014 in the country's biggest platinum mines.

It also led a five-month wage strike at Sibanye-Stillwater’s South African gold mines earlier this year.

Jimmy Gama, Amcu’s national treasurer, yesterday declined to comment other than to say that the union would issue a press statement on the matter in due course.

Previously Amcu said that it was not fazed by the government's threat to deregister it.

“We are more convinced than ever that this is a political attack on Amcu for being a genuine trade union,” the union said.

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