The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa has hinted that he might form a political party if the African National Congress (ANC) decides to deregister the union.
Mathunjwa was addressing hundreds of people at an event in North West to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Marikana tragedy, when 34 miners were gunned down by police during a wage strike.
Mathunjwa says they will challenge the ANC at the local government elections first, if the union gets deregistered.
“ If the government of the ANC decides to deregister Amcu, we’ve been voting. On the third voice, we’ll come and tell them what we are doing. If they are tired and think we are fit enough to step into the political terrain, we dare them to deregister us, they will know who we are. We will first challenge them at the local government elections and show them that we are here to fix things.”
Amcu vs LRA
Earlier this year, the Labour Registrar, Daniel Molefe, issued the notice of intention to cancel the registration of Amcu for not operating according to the Labour Relations Act in the government gazette.
Amcu is one of the largest trade unions in the mining sector and has thousands of members at gold and platinum mines operated by companies including Sibanye-Stillwater and Lonmin.
Mathunjwa says the union has improved the lives of the mineworkers. The union has also tabled a new wage demand of R 17 000 for the lowest-paid employees in the platinum belt.
During his address, Mathunjwa highlighted that Amcu has built 15 houses for families whose members were killed in Marikana.
IN PICTURES: The 7th anniversary of the Marikana massacre.
‘Unions not united’
Meanwhile, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has expressed disappointment at unions not being further united in their fight for workers’ rights post the Marikana tragedy.
Saftu General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, says unions should work together to fight battles in memory of those who perished in Marikana.
“The period between 2012 and now – trade unions have fragmented, weakened even further, have been divided. Some of those divisions have nothing to do with advancing the interest of ordinary workers instead of launching new battles inspired by the memories of those workers who perished in Marikana. Trade unions should have been much stronger post-Marikana. We are in 2019 where there about 212 registered trade unions in SA, that is very sad indeed.”