National Union of Mineworkers members. Picture: SOWETAN
National Union of Mineworkers members. Picture: SOWETAN

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it is shocked and disappointed by the suspension of the implementation of the new Mining Charter as agreed between the Chamber of Mines and the Department of Mineral Resources.

The chamber announced the suspension on Friday, saying it would last until judgment is handed down by the High Court on its urgent application for the implementation of the charter to be suspended pending the outcome of a court application for it to be reviewed and set aside.

NUM said Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane seemed to have "buckled under pressure in court and conceded in the suspension of the Mining Charter and thus delayed the meaningful inclusion of employees and communities in this exploitative industry".

"We expected no less from the Chamber of Mines, [whose actions we feel] have attacked every essence of transformation in the mining industry," the union’s head of transformation, Luthando Brukwe, said in a statement.

"We will be consulting our legal unit to explore possibilities of challenging this ‘agreement’ as the transformation in the mining industry affects all of us (especially employees and communities).

"The NUM would like to appeal to the Department of Mineral Resources to stop tiptoeing around transformation and its constitutional obligations of redressing the imbalances of past.

"The first such act should be to deal decisively with all mining companies that failed to comply with the previous Mining Charter targets, thus suspending and withdrawing all those affected mining rights.

"Transformation inclusive of workers and communities in the mining industry might be delayed until September 2017, but the NUM will ensure it is never denied for our members and hardworking mine workers," Brukwe said.

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