AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's labour department has given notice to cancel the registration of militant mine labour union AMCU, saying it has not operated in compliance with its own constitution.

In a notice published on Wednesday, Registrar of Labour Relations Lehlohonolo Molefe said the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union was deemed "not a genuine trade union" as envisaged in the Labour Relations Act.

"All interested parties are hereby invited to make written representations as to why the registration should not be cancelled," the notice said.

Speaking on radio station 702 on Thursday, Molefe said AMCU had failed to hold its five-yearly congress last year as required by its constitution and did not provide an adequate reason when pressed on it.

According to a statement from the department, Amcu failed to hold a National Congress in 2018 as per clause 22.3.1 of the latter’s constitution. 

The department said in a statement, "The Office of the Registrar said according to their records, the union had a National Congress on 30 October 2004, January 2007 and 12 January 2011, with the last one being a Special Congress that was held on 30 January 2013. “Since 2015 up to 2018, there have been numerous letters to AMCU requesting the date of their National Congress without success. The Registrar said every time they enquired about the union’s National Congress, AMCU has on several occasions come with excuses. In 2018, AMCU undertook to hold its National Congress by May 2019 and when contacted in February this year, the union responded in March, raising a preliminary point indicating that they are concerned about the unusual attention the Office of the Registrar is giving the union." 

“AMCU accused this office of lacking consistency in the approach when it comes to unions”, said Molefe.

On 3 April this year, the Office of the Registrar received a letter from AMCU indicating that its National Executive Committee met on April 1, and that one of the agenda items was the 2019 National Congress. In the letter, the union undertook to hold their National Congress in September, 2019.

“Having read the letter received on April 3, 2019, and considering the submission by AMCU regarding its National Congress, the Office of the Registrar is not convinced that the trade union will be able to hold its National Congress during September 2019. One other reason is that if it does happen, it will be a bridge on its constitution clause 22.3.3 that the General Secretary shall inform all regions six months before the National Congress of the day of the Congress”, Molefe said.

The department further said, "In terms of section 106 (2B) (b) of the Labour Relations Act, the union or any interested party will be afforded an opportunity to make representation as to why the registration should not be cancelled." 

- African News Agency (ANA) / BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE