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Baleni: I accept the NUM's decision

Frans Baleni has congratulated his successor David Sipunzi who was voted in by a narrow lead.

FILE: Former NUM general secretary Frans Baleni. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Former National Union of Mineworkers general secretary Frans Baleni says he accepts the decision of the union's members to elect a new leader.

He congratulated his successor David Sipunzi who was voted in by a narrow lead at a four day elective congress in Boksburg.

Baleni, who has held the position for almost a decade, would have won his fourth term in office but the union felt new leadership was needed.

The former general secretary says he is confident that the new leadership will succeed in its mandate.

"Firstly I would like to congratulate the elected leaders. They found the NUM in good hands and they should keep on steering the NUM in the right direction. I have accepted the results as per the delegates."

At the same time, the Chamber of Mines has welcomed the newly elected leadership.

The chamber says while it is looking forward to working with the newly elected leadership in the interests of its stakeholders, it has thanked Baleni for his service to the mining industry.

Spokesperson Zingaphi Matanzima-Jakuja says, "We hope we can have a constructive and meaningful relationship as we work towards putting the mining industry on the frontfoot. We really value the relationship we have with all our stakeholders."

Sipunzi is understood to be leading a faction that is unhappy with the Congress of South African Trade Union's expulsion of Zwelinzima Vavi and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa.

Since then, the NUM has been struggling with a drop in membership.