Gold Fields to 'wait and see'

2012-09-11 17:44

Johannesburg – Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] mining company would play by ear the impact of expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema's call for a national mine strike, a spokesperson said on Tuesday.

"Obviously this is a call to all mineworkers to go on strike and we will have to see what the reaction is," said Sven Lunsche.

Earlier Malema said: "There must be a national strike at all the mines until Frans Baleni and the NUM (National Union of Mineworkers) leadership step down with immediate effect."

He was addressing workers who packed a stadium at the company's KDC west mine near Carletonville on the second day of their strike.

Among their demands, handed in the previous day, was that the Num's leadership at their branch be replaced.

Lunsche said attendance at the mine on Tuesday was around 15%.

The mine employs around 15 000 people, and 80% of them belong to NUM.

The company was granted an interdict by the Labour Court on Monday to stop the strike, but was not enforcing it yet, said Lunsche. It would also not take action against Malema for the strike call.

In the meantime, a group of up to 1 500 workers, who were NUM members, brought their grievances directly to management.

"They are doing this outside of the formal NUM structures," said Lunsche.

At the same time, the union's regional leadership was at the mine trying to resolve the situation. They held meetings on Monday and more had been planned for Tuesday until Malema's visit.

Lunsche said a similar scenario had played out at KDC east mine last week and a demand there was also that the NUM branch leadership be removed. That was resolved after intervention by NUM leadership, and workers at KDC east returned to their posts.

Lunsche said by Tuesday afternoon there was no word of the strike having spread to their other operations. Halted production at KDC west meant a loss of an expected 1 400 ounces of gold per day, he said.

This was mitigated by the no work no pay principle and less electricity consumption. The mine had security and the police were helping, but protests and marches there had been peaceful.

NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka dismissed Malema's call for their leaders to step down and called for a speedy resolution of the strike.

"NUM was not elected by Julius and his cohorts," Seshoka said, adding that the NUM was "not a youth organisation".

"If he is calling for a national strike at mines, he doesn't know what he is talking about. He has never worked. He is equating it to a march of unemployed people."

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said Malema was "playing a dangerous game".

"This can only inflame tensions within the mining industry, flames which he is quite incapable of quenching," said Cosatu, the union federation that NUM belongs to and which is aligned to the ANC.

"It is revealing that his main target is not the capitalist employers, who are responsible for the mineworkers' low wages and terrible conditions, but their union, the National union of Mineworkers," spokesman Patrick Craven said.

"Cosatu urges the workers not to allow themselves to be used as a political football, to remain united and strong and to focus their anger on their real enemy, the mining bosses."

Christian Democratic Party leader Theunis Botha said: "Malema must be shown that he is not above the law and those that must show him are those who have been elected and entrusted with ensuring the safety of South Africa's people."

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  • oageng.lekete.7 - 2012-09-11 18:06

    I think the mine management should drop their salaries to R12.500, maybe it's then that they will understand the meaning of a living wage.

  • mkhindana.peter - 2012-09-11 18:09

    Why does Julius Malema suddenly have a terrible obssession with mines? Why doesn't he also address the Limpopo text book saga? Because that concerns the youth more than these grown ass miners.Juju is after something and we'll soon find out.

      tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-09-12 08:36

      not only now he has been pushing the issue of Mine Nationalising for many years now

      timmy.ditsele - 2012-09-12 08:53

      There is more than meets the eye here.MAlema is pushing somebody's agenda and come December and all shall be revield

  • ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-11 18:27

    Would love it if GF said we have listened to your friend JM. As a result you are all sacked until further notice. p.s. please feel free to camp on his property in Sandton.

  • ernest.schutte - 2012-09-11 18:30

    Funny... He is indeed using them, bringing the mines to their knees and making shares fall ripdly... Then he will call for nationalisation of the mines once more as it will be deemed \cheaper to do so\, we will have to see how much fuel he is prepared to pump, and cowardly retreat... Can't believe how much our government is allowing him rule their problems and not lock him away...

  • julio.sanfona - 2012-09-11 18:32

    Anyone urging urging the workers to focus their anger on their real enemy, the mining bosses, should be taken to a court of law and be charged with inciting violence.

      tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-09-12 08:36

      there is nowhere we he said people must kill or fight mine bosses, all he said down the tools and there is not criminal about that

  • savage10000 - 2012-09-11 18:33

    I am so sick and tired of mine bosses or bosses in general being made out to be the bad guys all the time. If you don't like the wage, don't apply for the job. These idiots think that earning more money will improve there lives, when all it will do is increase inflation which gobbles up the gains. By this logic government should print more money, say Z-I-M-B-A-B-W-E. You want more wealth? Work harder, produce more! This will bring down the cost and competition will eventually bring down the price. Now there's your increase!

  • juan.prinsloo.750 - 2012-09-11 18:41

    This is total anarchy, businesses are being held ransom, what on earth happened to the LAW!!!!!! It seems like anything goes now

  • hendrick.mokwale - 2012-09-11 19:17

    12,500 is the way

      savage10000 - 2012-09-11 19:24

      But if the rock driller gets and 3 fold increase then I also want one, because I don't want him narrowing the gap between what I earn and what he earns, as this will devalue MY value.

  • colin.dovey - 2012-09-11 19:31

    Why is Malema not being charged with sedition? (an illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority and tending to cause the disruption or overthrow of the government)

  • trevor.roberts.148 - 2012-09-11 23:08

    If workers as they are called go on an unprotected strike. FIRE THEM!!.

  • louiseroger.higham - 2012-09-12 07:52

    Fire them all and get the chinese in

  • tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-09-12 08:35

    unfortunately he is not doing any crime by encouraging people to go on strike and if NUM has the interest of the mining industry at heart what is it so hard to recall its leaders so that people can move on with their lives, but because the fat cats at the Unions helm are colluding with the mine bosses they now know they will loose.So instead of the Unions and Opposition busy critisizing Malema and not doing anything unfortunately this thing will go on and spread further than what we see now. My advise to Mine managers instead of applying the wait and see approach rather be pro-active and mitigate this risk before it becomes a problem on your side, if i was a mine manager i would quickly engage my employees, all the affected Unions Incl. Amcu and even Malema himself and show our commitment to transformation and our efforts in eradicating poverty (well thats if we will be doing something for that matter) thats why i congratulated Impala Plat. for their approach on this matter

      Mpadu - 2012-09-14 04:52

      You Very Wise Person...

      SaabMonster - 2012-09-25 21:45

      You are either confused or illiterate on purpose, exactly like the striking horde. By doing what you claim you would do if you were a mine manager which you clearly are not, you would create a precedent where once the new increase was spent at Joshua Doore on a nice big screen, speaker system and double door fridge, and the change in your bank account looks the same again, one could simply strike again....but that would probably be blamed on Joshua Doore next time, not on the idiot making debt that he knows (but prefers to ignore) he can not afford. Malema should be held accountable as well, seeing that he claims to be poor but owes R16mil in tax. They all envy him, poor black man living in luxury! Answers to no one, not even the law and/or president of the country!!!!! Can't wait for the fairy tale he's gonna sell to his illiterate followers about how each and everyone has a pot of gold kept from them by mine managers etc. What happened to the once popular "power to the people, empower yourself"? These lawless, striking opportunists prefer to stay illiterate = Less responsibility and accountability. I say, educate these people, proper education will open their eyes to the damage they do our country and economy, not to mention our children's future. And will make them immune against other opportunistic grave robbing dictators like Malema. One thing bothers me though, Malema is so dumb, who's behind him, telling him what to say and do? Would explain why he's not in jail yet.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-09-12 13:38

    Well Patric Crave is a right one to talk about using workers as a political football, talk about a joker in the pack. While many call for the shooting or imprisonment of Juju, (no doubt that he has pissed off many or most, or should I say everybody at one time or another) But the reality is that we claim ourselves a free democracy, well, welcome to democracy, there is not much that anybody can do to the loud mouth without crossing that fine invisible line. Juju is without a doubt ripping the ANC/Num/Casatu alliance apart limb by limb, the very notion that government owns Casatu or visa-versa is a criminal ideological stuff up, which serves only the elitist bums who are sucking South Africa dry with their constant corruption and theft of hard earned tax paying citizens. So for now Juju is my friend even though he has pissed me off numerous times, and will probably do so many times over in the future, as much as he is stirring the pot, creating a bigger mess which is only adding to what has been boiling over for quite some time now, at least he is taking the ANC/Alliance to task for their failure to perform even the smallest of tasks of good governance. All these years, preferring to prance around as kings and queens, ruling over their poor laborers. This is what the ANCCasatu Alliance is all about, Cravens attempt to deflect this truth by implicating Malema is just more stupidity by the old timer who tries to smother the flames of truth, which is burning for all to see

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