Telling empowering stories, South Africans want to hear

Wednesday, 15 November 2023 10:00

NUM terminates closed shop agreement at Gold One mine.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Gold One is set to resume production on Wednesday after a labour turf battle hampered operations for nearly a month at its East Rand mine.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has resolved to terminate its closed-shop agreement at Gold One Modder East mine in Springs.

Workers had downed tools on Monday outside the mine, demanding that their union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), be recognised as a majority union in the mine.

The other issue was that the workers called for the balloting process to be expedited.

NUM's Victor Ngwane said the decision was taken to safeguard the jobs and save the lives of innocent workers.

"There is a legitimate concern that if the violent acts continue, some of our members or innocent workers are going to get killed."

Ngwane said a car belonging to a former NUM shop steward was burnt by protesting workers on Sunday.

"There were three other occupants in the car who escaped and ran for their lives. Members who are not in support of the protest are intimidated and threatened on a daily basis.

"During the hostage situation two weeks ago, nine NUM members were assaulted underground and one member ended up in ICU. The NUM as a responsible union has taken a decision to de-escalate the current violent situation. 

"It is evident that the protesters are not willing to follow any legal process and are continuing with the criminal acts to exert pressure on the company," said Ngwane.

The NUM-Amcu turf war, which exploded on the Platinum Belt more than a decade ago, was for years a source of labour and social unrest which roiled South Africa’s mining sector and claimed scores of lives, including the 34 mine workers shot dead by police at Marikana in August 2012.

But in the past couple of years, the archrivals buried the hatchet and united in a range of wage talks which saw multiyear agreements signed in the platinum sector without a tool being downed.