NUM demands immediate arrests of perpetrators of violence at Sibanye-Stillwater Operations by the newly launched crime combating unit.
STATEMENT from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM):
The Carletonville Region welcomes the launch of crime combating and reaction team by the South African Police Services Minister Bheki Cele at Blybank in the West Rand.
Minister Cele launched the team in response to the continued brutal killings, assaults and burning of houses and vehicles belonging to the non-striking workers, mostly being members of the NUM at Sibanye-Stillwater operations.
The launch forms part of the broader strategy to fight crime through enhancing policing and community relations, and to further ensure that the community of Merafong returns to normality.
The violent strike by workers affiliated to AMCU has brought suffering and misery to Blybank community, in particular, members of the NUM.
Ever since the strike started in November last year, NUM members who are not on strike, became targets on the basis that the NUM signed a three-year wage agreement with the company in November after a marathon of wage negotiations.
The agreement covered wages and conditions of service from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021. The agreement allowed for increases of R700 per month in the first and second year, and R825 per month in the third year for Category 4-8 surface and underground employees.
Miners, artisans and officials will receive increases of 5.5% in the first year and 5.5% or CPI – whichever is greater – in years two and three.
The living-out allowance was increased by R50 to a maximum of R2 150 per month from 1 September 2018, and will reach R2 225 in 2019 and R2 325 in 2020.
The guaranteed minimum severance payment was increased to R50 000 over the three-year period.
We welcome the increasing of policing in and around the areas of Carletonville, particularly in Blybank. We demand an immediate arrest of perpetrators.
Our members have been living in fear from the 21st November 2018 to date due to intimidation, harassment and death threats. Fearing for the continued threats the company has housed them away from their houses and families.
Attempts to bring peace and stability in Blybank and in residential areas surrounding Driefontein have not been successful.
NUM members working for Sibanye Stillwater are continuing to count the losses. Up to today, 40 houses and 13 vehicles have been burnt down.
Four workers (two being NUM members) were brutally killed. Three workers have since sustained serious injuries. This is the extent of the damage so far caused by the violent strike.
We also like to call upon all the peace loving residents of Blybank to work with the police and assist them with whatever information that will assist them to arrest those involved in violence and the burning of NUM members’ properties.