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NUM slams Lonmin for Amcu deal

NUM President Senzeni Zokwana says Lonmin's deal with Amcu defeats efforts to stabilise the industry.

The 2nd annual Mining Lekgotla at the Sandton Convention Centre, 27 August 2013. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) President Senzeni Zokwana has lashed out at Lonmin for giving in to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu)'s demands for recognition.

Zokwana was speaking at the Sandton Convention Centre on Monday during the second annual Mining Lekgotla.

The lekgotla is a partnership between the Chamber of Mines, the NUM and the Department of Mineral Resources.

Zokwana says Lonmin's agreement with Amcu sets a dangerous precedent and creates the false impression that intimidation is an acceptable bargaining tool.

The NUM, Solidarity and the United Association of South Africa (Uasa) are in the process of being derecognised at Lonmin following the agreement with Amcu.

Zokwana says knee-jerk deals made by mine bosses destroy trust and take away from efforts to stabilise the industry.

"To us as NUM it seems as if companies can do everything as long as productivity takes place. It means it undermines the agreement that we made with stakeholders and that creates a situation where trust is lost forever."

Zokwana also believes the industry is in a dangerous phase as it has been hijacked by lawlessness, saying investors would withdraw from the country if stability isn't returned.

He said the industry once feared nationalisation, but violence has now become the key issue.

AMCU SNUBS THE EVENT

Amcu was listed on the program to take part but none of their representatives arrived.

The exhibition area of the lekgotla was filled with illustrious stands from mining houses and unions but a single rubbish bin has been left where Amcu was supposed to be stationed.

The Chamber of Mines Chief Executive Bheki Sibiya said Amcu was invited because its cooperation is vital.

Addressing the delegates, Sibiya said, "Amcu is welcome. If they have friends in the house, please invite them. We want to partner with them."

The lekgotla resumes on Tuesday morning and all the representatives here say they remain hopeful the union will participate.

MACUA PROTEST

Meanwhile, a group representing people living in mining communities has started a picket outside the lekgotla.

The Mining Affected Communities United in Action (Macua) group says it's protesting because communities continue to suffer while large companies rake in billions of dollars.

Many of the protestors say their living conditions have worsened as a result of the mines and their voices are not being heard.