NUM plans protest at Richard’s Bay Minerals next week Tuesday

RBM took the decision to halt all mining and smelting operations at the mine in June, following the assassination of Nico Swart, its general manager for operational services.

FILE: Rio Tinto's Richards Bay Minerals operation. Image: riotinto.com

DURBAN - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said it planned to protest at Richard's Bay Minerals (RBM) next Tuesday over its force majeure declaration on customers' contracts.

RBM took the decision to halt all mining and smelting operations at the mine in June, following the assassination of Nico Swart, its general manager for operational services.

The NUM is aggrieved by the indefinite suspension of operations, saying it was having an adverse financial impact on workers.

The NUM's KwaZulu-Natal regional secretary Muzikayise Zakwe said their decision to stage a demonstration followed a mass meeting at the weekend.

“Next week, we will be submitting a memorandum to the company and to the Umfolozi Local Municipality. The reason why we are doing that is because we believe that they are not doing enough in terms of assisting the company to make sure they resolve the current impart.”

Richard's Bay Minerals is the biggest taxpayer in KwaZulu-Natal with an annual contribution of R6.2 billion.

It has based its force majeure decision on deadly violence that has engulfed the mine for the past few years.

NUM said they also wanted the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to step in and assist with the development of safety and security plans at the mine.

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