Mantashe needs to prove himself, says AMCU
New Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe will have to prove himself first before mining union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction union can put faith in him.
Joseph Mathunjwa, AMCU president today said it would be difficult to judge Mantashe’s ability to restore faith in the mining sector as the union is yet to meet with him to hear his vision.
“You must remember that Mantashe led NUM (National Union for Mineworkers) and also led the ANC before being a minister. The same goes with President Cyril Ramaphosa. Their involvement in the hostilities in Marikana led to toxic results,” Mathunjwa said.
He said they welcomed Mantashe as he replaced Gupta-linked former Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, but said Mantashe has "his own skeletons in the closet".
Mathunjwa was speaking to the Sowetan moments after the union announced its intention to embark on a nationwide protest on March 20 against job losses in the mining industry.
The main protest is expected to take place in Pretoria where 20 000 AMCU members will march to the Union Building to hand over a memorandum to Mantashe.
It is also expected for marches to take place in Durban, Polokwane and Welkom.
Mathunjwa said AMCU filed a notice to the National Economic Development and Labour Council in which it highlighted a series of regulatory shortcomings on side of the of Mineral Resources.
“AMCU showed how these regulatory failures led to a variety of socio-economic ills such as unemployment, poverty and inequality in the South African society. These three core challenges, we argued, are made even worse by the mass retrenchments of the past years and specifically during the latter part of 2017,” Mathunjwa said.
He said the union’s demands included ensuing stricter enforcement of the Social and Labour Plan (SLP) objective to “promote and advance the social and economic welfare of all South Africans”.
They are also demanding that the ministry do an independent audit of the annual SLP Reports submitted by mining companies and to provide clearer guidelines for implementing the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.