Union wants obstructive mine bosses 'shamed'

DISCONTENT: NUM members protest outside the Department of Labour offices in Vryheid, demanding, among others, the scrapping of Fanakalo as the language of communication on the mines and speeding up of affirmative action and skills development. Pic. Thuli Dlamini. 27/10/08. © Sowetan.
DISCONTENT: NUM members protest outside the Department of Labour offices in Vryheid, demanding, among others, the scrapping of Fanakalo as the language of communication on the mines and speeding up of affirmative action and skills development. Pic. Thuli Dlamini. 27/10/08. © Sowetan.

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The National Union of Mineworkers in KwaZulu-Natal has lambasted employers for not providing ABET programmes for mine workers in the country.

NUM regional chairman Sifiso Myeni said yesterday the government should "name and shame" uncooperative employers.

He said the lack of proper education had led to the adoption of "fanakalo" as the language of communication for uneducated mine workers.

Myeni said the majority of workers in the mines had a Standard 7 level of education.

The union will march to Ulundi today to highlight the plight of the miners.

There is one mine in the area and three other mines nearby.

Myeni said: "State departments with constitutionally aligned values must lead in the transformation of the sector and in advising the employers about the importance of language in the learning process."

He said the NUM was also dissatisfied with the pace of affirmative action, skills development and the employment of women.

He called for an end to discriminatory practices at all levels in mining operations and the elimination of all forms of racism, both "coded and uncoded", in the mining sector.

In terms of women employment in the sector, Myeni said it was an open secret that the employment of women fell short of the target as agreed between sector principals in the Mining Charter.

He said that after eight years into the new skills development era, the employment of women stood at a "shameful" 6,9percent.

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