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NUM hits out at mine bosses for high salaries & bonuses

Union memebers took part in Wednesday’s march for decent work by Cosatu.

Cosatu led a mass march for decent work in Johannesburg on 7 October. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The debate around exorbitant executive salaries and bonuses has once again come into sharp focus, with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) saying mine bosses are dying of 'unhealthy eating diseases' while workers die of starvation.

The NUM took part in Wednesday's march for decent work by Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) that saw around 3,000 workers take to the streets in Johannesburg.

The union handed over a memorandum at the Chamber of Mines, where it also criticised executives for what it says is their refusal to speed up transformation.

The NUM's Peter Bailey also lashed out at bosses who receive large bonuses during retrenchments.

"Please tell your executives that they must stop lining their pockets with hefty bonuses and salary increases at the expense of black South African mine workers who expose their lives, their lungs and their limbs to the brutality of this racist industry."

Watch: Thousands of people took part in the Cosatu march against exploitation and better pay:

South African Communist Party (Sacp) general secretary, Blade Nzimande, called for an immediate moratorium on housing evictions and said South African banks were treating poor communities unfairly.

Nzimande addressed the Johannesburg leg of Cosatu's march for decent work where he also called on banks to invest in South Africa, instead of taking their investments abroad.

He said banks should stop investing in shopping malls because this did not create enough jobs.

Nzimande said four major companies had monopolised South Africa's banking industry to the detriment of the poor.

He said corrupt officials were responsible for evictions taking place in poor communities.

"What we want to fight against is bank repossessions of houses. Some of them are sold for R10 with collusion between officers and magistrates as well as bank officials."

Nzimande said the Sacp will intensify its financial sector campaign aimed at transforming the industry.

JOB CUTS

Several unions joined the demonstration against job cuts and have also called on government to deal with the country's unemployment crisis with urgency.

In Johannesburg, the federation handed over a memorandum to the Department of Labour, demanding that planned retrenchments be stopped to allow for consultation.

Cosatu said this should happen at Nedlac, with businesses and government partners.

It told the department that its affiliated unions were being victimised by officials.

TOLLS

At the same time, the Western Cape's victory against tolls has been scrutinised at the mass march.

While some unionists at the march have somewhat hailed the Western Cape's victory against tolls, they want the system scrapped in Gauteng.

Speaking to the masses, the ANC's Khalid Sayed said, "Ban [tolls] immediately, down with [tolls], down!"

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