Mines may stop financing unions

The Chamber of Mines says the move will force unions to become more accountable to members.

Mine. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Chamber of Mines on Thursday said it is considering a proposal to end the practice of mining companies providing trade unions with financial support.

It said the arrangement between employers and those who lead miners, which was setup in the 1980s, was meant to capacitate trade unions when they were struggling.

But the chamber said the arrangement has to be reviewed as it is expensive, especially considering that most mines are no longer profitable.

Chamber CEO Bheki Sibiya said the review is still to be discussed with roleplayers.

"I think it's good for the workers that this arrangement is dealt with. I think the leaders of the unions will be more focused because their salaries will be coming from the members."

The mining industry has been hit hard by industrial action in the last few months.

At least 34 miners were killed during clashes with police in Marikana back in August.

The miners were demanding a salary of R12,500.

The industrial action quickly spread to other mines throughout the country.