02 Members of The National Union of mine workers sing and dance before the launch of of NUM National congress. Picture Antoine de Ras: 28/05/09

Johannesburg - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was concerned over Tsogo Sun awarding a R200 million loan to five of its executives, the union said on Thursday.

“As the NUM, we do not think it was necessary for Tsogo Sun to empower the five rich individuals,” acting NUM spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu said.

He said NUM was disgusted by the decision of Tsogo Sun to award an unsecured loan of R200 million to five executive directors on an interest-free basis with no fixed repayment date.

On Wednesday Business Day published an article about the loan.

Mammburu said the article questioned why the majority of employees were sidelined or overlooked.

“We believe that Tsogo Sun should have empowered its 9 492 employees, each worker would get at least about R10 500 worth of shares.

“This empowerment of the few individuals is an insult to the ordinary employees of the company,” he said.

Mammburu said the lowest-paid workers were earning “poverty” wages.

“NUM is calling on the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union and the Food and Allied Workers Union to take the fight to Tsogo Sun and make sure that this empowerment of the few rich individuals does not happen,” he said.