13 March 2019
Sandton – Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) President Joseph Mathunjwa has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene in the ongoing protracted strike at Sibanye-Stillwater operations.
President Mathujwa made these assertions during an urgent media briefing held at the Holiday Inn in Sandton earlier this morning. The press briefing was called to clarify some of the ongoing issues at Sibanye-Stillwater since the commencement of the AMCU protected strike at Sibanye-Stillwater.
“It is distressing to see the Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe being so complacent after so many attempts to get him to intervene in the strike. Sibanye-Stillwater is using the state for its own benefit. We cannot allow Sibanye-Stillwater to use state resources to continue exploiting our members. “We have written many letters to the department of labour and department of minerals to intervene in the protected strike, but all our attempts have fallen on deaf ears,” said Mathunjwa.
Mathunjwa went on to say that Sibanye-Stillwater has chosen to spend millions on lawyers and security companies instead of paying workers decent salaries. “This is not about money because Sibanye-Stillwater CEO, Niel Froneman has been bragging to the media about how well the company is doing but they have chosen to play hard ball when it comes to paying mine workers a decent living wage. Sibanye has been using security to terrorise our members in various areas like Beatrix and they have killed some of our members, but nothing has been said or done about that and no media is reporting about it,” he continued.
Speaking about the footage that was shared on social media clearly showing National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members preparing to attack AMCU members, Mathunjwa said it was distressing to see such footage because it shows how the South African Police Services (SAPS), Minister of Mineral Resources and Minister of Labour have shown complacency and total disregard for what is currently happening at Sibanye-Stillwater. “Yesterday, we received images showing an SAPS vehicle being serviced at Sibanye-Stillwater. There is also footage showing NUM members preparing to attack our members who were coming from the picketing area and prevented our members from entering the hostel. These incidents are disheartening because we don’t want another Marikana situation,” Mathunjwa added.
He said there is clear favouritism for NUM at Sibanye-Stillwater. SAPS is colluding with Sibanye-Stillwater and that is also evident in the way SAPS has dealt with violence perpetrated against our members since the protected strike commenced. “Sibanye-Stillwater wants to use violence in their attempt to end our strike. Minister of Mineral Resources has shown that he is protecting the interests of the NUM. He is not representing the interests of anybody else but NUM.”
“I sent the footage to the Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe who dismissed the footage saying he is not the minister of police. Sibanye-Stillwater is using the state and its resources to further exploit and enslave our members. The state president needs to intervene because state resources cannot continue being used to benefit white monopoly capital,” Mathunjwa concluded.
AMCU is still awaiting the Labour Court ruling on the commencement of a sympathy strike in the platinum mining industry in support of the protected strike in the gold-sector.