AMCU (The Association of Mine Workers and Construction Union), one of South Africa’s largest mining representative unions, was burgled at its head office in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga on Sunday.
The incident was discovered on Monday (1 February 2016). In a statement issued by AMCU’s national treasurer Jimmy Gamma, the company revealed that “files containing private and confidential documents” were stolen from the premises.
AMCU believes that the break-in was an “intentional sabotage” to the union and its members. “We further believe that it was intended to damage the reputation of the organisation and we are working together with the South African Police Services to urgently investigate and bring to justice the perpetrators.”
In the statement, AMCU made an appeal to the public to work together with the police and itself to bring the “culprits to book”.
AMCU voices strong opinions
Joseph Mathunjwa, president of the AMCU has become recognised for voicing his opinion strongly on the state of South Africa’s mining industry and often makes statements which could upset the sector. Late last year he announced that the industry must address the “ills” of the past. “If we don’t, South Africa will burn.”
Mathunjwa was debating the topic of modernising the country’s mining industry at the 2015 Joburg Indaba with Impala Platinum’s CEO Terence Goodlace and mining authority Bernard Swanepoel.
“The problem is that no one wants to dirty their hands to change our problems,” Mathunjwa stated, adding that it is time to ‘pay back the workers’ who have struggled and put everything into their jobs over the decades.
“Companies must transform and realise their workers are human beings. Investment into the sector is not [but should be] made to correct the ills of the past and include skills development – if we don’t change this South Africa will burn.”
Mathunjwa was not complementary of government’s role in modernising the mining industry either – “The government’s current system for attracting foreign investment is not working. The status quo cannot remain the same. We need to invest in our people as well as the equipment.”