NUM admits most of its problems are self-inflicted

After a day of squabbles over credentials, the NUM national congress entered its second day with its General Secretary David Sipunzi delivering the secretariat report.

NUM General Secretary David Sipunzi addressing union members during the union’s national congress at Boksburg. Picture: Qaanitah Hunter/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) General Secretary David Sipunzi has conceded that a lot of the problems plaguing the union are self-inflicted.

He was speaking at the union’s national congress in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, where he detailed the raft of challenges facing the mining union.

After a day of squabbles over credentials, the NUM national congress entered its second day with Sipunzi delivering the secretariat report.

In a frank address to the gathering, he said it can’t be business as usual.

“We must change... If we don’t change we’ll become like dinosaurs, we’ll be an extinct union.”

Sipunzi says the NUM is bleeding membership because its members are being threatened by other unions.

“Our members are being forced at gunpoint to leave the NUM and join other unions, and the law enforcement agencies seem to be helpless.”

But he didn’t put the blame for the decrease in membership on other unions alone; Sipunzi says people leave the union because leaders focus their energy on fighting one another.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)