NUM to march this week over Richards Bay Minerals unrest

11th December 2019 By: Marleny Arnoldi - Creamer Media Online Writer

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has bemoaned the unresolved road blockages in the area of KwaMbonambi, which the union says had resulted in the Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) mine being put under care and maintenance for an indefinite period.

The union called for citizens to join in its march on December 13 against potential job losses at RBM that could affect more than 5 000 permanent and contractors’ employees in Richards Bay.

Diversified miner Rio Tinto last week said it would curtail operations at RBM to ensure the safety and security of its employees, owing to an escalation of violence in the communities surrounding the operations.

There had been an escalation of criminal activity towards RBM employees and one was shot and seriously injured in the last few days, the NUM reported.

As a result, all mining operations at RBM had been halted and the smelters are operating at a reduced level, with a minimum number of employees now on site.

"During the past three weeks, we have experienced several road blockages and ambush shootings to our innocent members while on their way to work. These incidents [threaten] our members’ while it also put our member’s employment at risk.

“One member was shot at while travelling on the bus to work and no arrest has been made. We call upon law enforcement agencies to do their jobs. The NUM further calls for a speedy resolution to this ongoing problem to save the lives and jobs of our members,” NUM KwaZulu-Natal regional secretary Muzikayise Zakwe stated.