Cosatu supports mineworker strike

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

Cosatu in Limpopo yesterday threw its weight behind the nation-wide strike by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Cosatu provincial chairman Mabilu Mokwalakwala said they were worried about the unsafe conditions workers had been subjected to in the mines.

"Our members have been working hard to ensure that the economy of this country is stable and growing. The bosses are more interested in making profit than protecting the lives of our members," he said.

He cited a recent example at a mine in the Sekhukhune area where a worker died after a huge rock allegedly fell on him while working underground last week.

Mokwalakwala said no effort had been made to ensure the safety of other workers at that particular mine.

"Employers should know that the death of one worker directly affects the lives of ten other people. So we cannot fold our arms and let poverty be strengthened in our communities by the negligence of mining bosses," he said.

Mokwalakwala said the federation had identified three key challenges facing the mining sector: the first was the prevalent racism; the second was the casualisation of most positions; and lastly the increasing of job losses and retrenchments.

Mokwalakwala also warned Cosatu members and workers in general to be careful and obey the Arrive Alive Campaign during the festive season.

"This way we will avoid unnecessary loss of life due to negligent or reckless driving. Don't drink and drive," he said.