NUM holds first rally in Marikana since 2012 massacre

The NUM has not been in the area for seven years after rival union, Amcu took over as the largest union for workers in the region.

Message on the t-shirt of a mineworker at the first NUM rally to be held in Marikana since 2012 on Sunday, 17 November 2019. Picture: NUM/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is holding its first rally in Marikana striking Lonmin mineworkers were shot dead by police seven years ago.

The miners were demanding a R12,500 monthly salary during the August 2012 violent strike which came to be known as the Marikana massacre.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has since taken over being the largest union for workers in the region.

NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said, “We are trying to resuscitate our membership since 2012. Our members in Marikana have called to say they want a rally in Marikana, so we listened to the mandate of our workers.”

The rally takes place just as Sibanye said, earlier this year, that it could cut around 5,270 jobs as it restructures its loss-making Marikana mine.

Sibanye said the restructuring was aimed at returning the mine to profit and ensuring the sustainability of the remaining shafts.

After a review into the mine’s operations, some shafts at risk of closure would continue to operate, lessening job losses, Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman said.

“Overall, the outcome will be a more sustainable business which is able to secure employment for the majority of the Marikana workforce for a much longer period,” he said in a statement.

Marikana was previously owned by Lonmin before the struggling platinum miner was taken over by Sibanye-Stillwater in a deal seen as the only way to save its 29,000-strong workforce. The mine was where 34 striking miners died in 2012 after being shot by police.

Additional reporting by Reuters.