National Union of Mineworkers demands 15% minimum wage rise, calls on SIU to probe De Ruyter
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Johannesburg – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is demanding a 15% (R15 000) minimum wage increase for its members.
NUM acting general secretary William Mabapa said the conference observed the growing tendency by employers to undermine collective bargaining in order to reverse the gains made by workers through this regulatory framework.
“Appreciating this reality, the delegates agreed that collective bargaining must be defended as it is an anchor of both the freedom of association and the right to organise; therefore should be defended at every workplace from the beginning of 2021.
“This shall be undertaken by workers as part of defending the victories and clawing back the lost ground,’’ said Mabapa.
The union also addressed the growing corruption allegations against Eskom chief executive André de Ruyter.
A 36-page criminal complaint signed by a commissioner of oaths and authored by NUM deputy president Phillip Vilakazi was also submitted to police in support of opening the case.
NUM collaborated with the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) to lay charges against Eskom.
NUM said there is alleged corruption and irregular wasteful expenditure in Eskom, Sereti and South 32 transactions.
“The uproar about growing corruption levelled against Eskom chief executive André de Ruyter can no longer be ignored. Given the poor financial standing of the utility, the allegations require maximum attention and intervention.
“We call on the SIU to investigate these serious allegations so that South Africans do not rely on Eskom’s own internal investigations in digging out the truth.
“As part of its efforts to stem the tide of corruption, NUM has undertaken a process of opening up a criminal case against the CEO,” said Mabapa.
According to the affidavit, Vilakazi – who accompanied Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi to the police station – alleged that De Ruyter and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan have both been “remiss” in promoting cost-effective procurement mandated by their fiduciary positions.
In the affidavit, Vilakazi alleged that Eskom engaged two transactions which effectively financed the Seriti purchase of South 32 assets.
“The first payment to South 32 Investment LTD (London) of around R1.3 billion for payment of coal which the national treasury approved.
“The second approved payment of R67 billion via a grossly inflated future coal price which the national treasury block,” said Vilakazi.
Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha, commenting on the allegations, said Eskom welcomed the effort to lay criminal charges by all those concerned.
“Eskom hopes those concerned will follow up and provide the necessary evidence of the crimes they are alleging, in order to assist with a speedy prosecution of those implicated,” said Mantshantsha.
NUM said that it fully supported the unity of the ANC.
The demands made by the union:
- Minimum increase in the gold sector should be between 15% to 20% (R9 500 to R15 000).
- Severance package should be R150 000 minimum.
- Medical aid contributions should stand at 60% employer and 40% employee.
- ESOPS – dividends are to be paid annually and annual allocation R50 000.
- Maternity leave should be six months with full pay.
- Paternity leave should be 10 days with full pay.
- The union wants a R5 000 housing allowance.
- Long service award should be five years R10 000, 10 years should get R20 000.