RUSTENBURG – About 100 members of the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) from Lanxess chrome mine in Rustenburg braved the scorching sun on Wednesday, to march against exploitation in the mines.
Dressed in red union T-shirts they chanted as they snaked through Unie Street heading to the offices of the Department of Mineral Resources.
Numsa national mining sector coordinator Lucky Ndlangamandla said union members wanted to know why officials from the department had not intervened in an underground strike at Lanxess, which was in its second week.
"We want to know why you are not attending to the situation at Lanxess, workers are on strike underground since 11 February. We want to know why you imposed section 54 at Lanxess after a fake complaint by the NUM [National Union of Mineworkers] and what are the outcomes of your investigation.
"What is your relationship with the NUM, we want to know," he said to a chorus of applause from the crowd.
Reading the memorandum Ndlangamandla said the department should investigate how another company was operating at Lanxess while the sale of the company was not yet finalised.
Union member Mere Boase said workers staged an underground strike at Lanxess protesting against corruption at Lanxess.
In June last year Numsa members staged a nine days underground strike in a push for the union to be recognised as a majority union.
After handing over the memorandum, the group went to the offices of the Department of Employment and Labour at corners of Nelson Mandela Drive and Steen Street in the city centre.
In the memorandum addressed to Andile Makapela, chief director operations in North West, the union wanted the department to investigate how contractors were operating at Lanxess allegedly without registering with the department for the unemployment insurance fund (UIF).
"Demand number one is the issues of contractor who do not pay UIF to the department of labour . . . kindly go and do an audit of contractors at Lanxess and come to report to us whether they comply with the law or not," Ndlangamandla said.
"We remind you that this memorandum is a follow up to our visits to your office, saying please intervene there is huge corruption taking place in the mines. We have not seen any intervention."
Morgan Mokwana received the memorundum on behalf of Andile Makapela.
Both departments were given seven days to respond to the memorandum.