Kumba workers get amnesty

Striking Kumba employees are protesting outside the Sishen mine on 15 October 2012. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Kumba Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Norman Mbazima on Thursday said the company has declared amnesty for 300 employees who have not yet returned to work.

He made the comments while speaking on Talk Radio 702/567 Cape Talk’s The Money Show.

In October, workers at the Sishen Mine in the Northern Cape took part in an illegal strike.

A group of miners also took R3 billion worth of mining equipment and threatened to destroy company property if their wage demands were not met.

Police were called in to recover the goods.

The mine has now declared a general amnesty for some workers, but Mbazima stressed that 125 people involved in the equipment saga will remain dismissed.

“I think it’s important to differentiate between the two groups of people. We had a number of employees who took the equipment and subsequently, we dismissed those employees.

“Some of them came back and gave us reasons why they should not be dismissed. For example, they were away or they ran away from the other group.

According to Mbazima, “All who come back will get final written warnings, which means that over the next while, they are not to transgress otherwise they will be dismissed thereafter.”

The company said miners would be reinstated with full benefits‚ provided they report for duty before 4pm on December 3.


Mbazima said he is pleased to say that things are getting better at the mine.

“Things are going very well now, but [we are] not back at 100 percent [production].

“These things always take quite a bit of time to come back. The relationship has changed, the tempo and the shift patterns have had to change. It takes a while to get back to full production.

The CEO said he spent three days speaking to some workers.

“Most of our employees are happy to be back and to be working.”