Labour can contribute positively to the industry: Baleni

by Trust Matsilele 0

The contradictions between labour and the mining industry can never be removed but their sharpness can be addressed, Frans Baleni said.

Baleni, general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) urged executives attending the two day mining and resources Indaba to respect agreements with labour and implement those agreements timeously.

He also conceded that his union had made mistakes over the years in the sector and was making corrective measures.

(READ MORE: South Africa’s NUM union warns Eskom to allow strikes)

“There are certain weaknesses we have learnt from incidences of 2012; we are soul searching and fixing where we have weaknesses,” said Baleni.

He also dismissed allegations of NUM forming a political formation saying any trade union in the process of forming a political party was not a trade union.

“Our political aspirations must be realised through a political party and in our case through the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP),” he said.

“When the ANC does things we don’t agree with, we march and conduct strikes.”

Baleni said strike action and marches were a normal response everywhere in the world including the United States of America.

On the National Development Plan (NDP), Baleni said there were certain aspects on the solutions that the union disagrees with the ANC.

(WATCH VIDEO: NUM members murdered in Rustenburg)

Baleni told delegates that each generation must discover its own mission and accomplish it.

“Post-1994 we wanted to make everyone happy by hook and crook but it does not happen that way,” he said.

Baleni said South Africa has reached a proverbial crossroads.

“There is persistent inequality and unemployment in the country that requires redress,” he said.  

“We have come to terms with abnormality just like a mortuary worker who finds it normal not to sympathise with deceased’s relatives.”

Baleni added that as a society, “We have also become gullible taking a jibe at the petrol turning into pineapple juice pastor.”

He said it was in the best interest of labour to have a sustainable industry as this allowed organised labour to have a reliable membership.