NUM members oppose retrenchments in North West mine

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The National Union of Mine (NUM) Workers in Matlosana region in the North West says it rejects outrightly Village Main Reef Mine’s announcement that it will retrench some NUM members. The union says the company issued a Section 189 notice recently without consulting with it.

More than 6 000 jobs are expected to be cut after the lifting of the lockdown.

NUM Regional Secretary in Matlosana, Masibulele Naki says some of the workers have already received messages that instruct them not to return to work once the lockdown regulations are lifted.

“Now we are mobilising and telling our members that they must ignore the messages that they are receiving. Whenever the president announces that the lockdown is lifted, they must come back to work so that we mobilise and put our strategy and to get mandate from them and see what we are going to do moving forward.”

The mining company is yet to comment.

Other mining retrenchments

The North West relies on mining, particularly platinum, for about 30% of its economic output.

However, the past few years have seen depreciation in the price of the precious metal because of falling global demand and other factors. This has led to thousands of miners being retrenched.

In September, Sibanye Stillwater, which acquired Lonmin operations in Rustenburg, announced that it would lay off 5 000 employees as part of restructuring.

 AMCU President, Joseph Mathunjwa reacts on the news of retrenchments: