JOHANNESBURG – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) at Kimberley Ekapa Mining Joint Venture (KEM JV) said on Monday that it was “very concerned and disturbed” by the manner in which the mine management was allegedly treating the workers and victimising its leadership at the mine.
This comes after a slew of allegations of racism, suspensions, and ill-treatment of union members by mine management.
The NUM said in a statement that it had tried, on several occasions, to engage the management and even invited the mine’s executive to try and deal with the attitudes of senior management at the operations in the Northern Cape.
NUM said racism was rife within the company, and that transformation was “just window dressing”.
The union said a contractor called one of its members a baboon, and the company was reluctant to act until it forced them to suspend that “intransigence” manager of the contractor.
The NUM also alleged that one of its shop stewards was suspended for talking his mother language.
“Another burning issue is the ill-treatment of the NUM branch leadership especially the branch chairperson and secretary. There is an ulterior–motive towards the two and management to victimise the comrades,” NUM said.
“The company failed to implement its own recruitment policies, which is a cause for concern and the company is busy recruiting people who don’t have qualifications.”
The NUM vows to fight tooth and nail to bring the perpetrators to book and end this abhorrent behaviour. This company claims that they care about employees but on the contrary, all that they care about is production.
KEM JV representatives were not immediately available for comment on Monday.
KEM JV came about when the London Stock Exchange-listed Petra Diamonds entered into a joint venture with South African-based diamond mining company, Ekapa Mining in July 2016.
This resultant entity, which combined the companies’ respective operations, now houses the Kimberley underground mine, numerous tailings retreatment programmes and the central treatment plant.