While a larger number of South Africans celebrate Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as the new ANC president, the Association of Mining and Construction Workers Union (AMCU) is concerned at what the consequences to the miners.
In a statement released amid celebrations of Ramaphosa’s victory, the labour union AMCU said Ramaphosa’s new victory could spark up a renewed job loss in the mining sector.
The Association also slammed the Deputy President’s election as ANC president, saying his ‘New Deal’ economic policies will lead to austerity measures and infringe on workers’ rights.
AMCU came into existence at the wake of the Marikana saga which led to the death of over 44 citizens warned of a possible attack on jobs and “a threat to radical economic and social transformation as initiated by the workers in Marikana at Lonmin in 2012, who were massacred for demanding a living wage of R12 500”.
ANC President Ramaphosa had in 2015, been cleared of wrongdoing related to Marikana by the Farlam Commission of Inquiry as series of emails proved that he’d called on the police in August 2012 to take “concomitant action” against the unlawful strike.
“The reaction of the markets demonstrates how big capital, domestic and foreign, perceive the new leader of the ANC as the gatekeeper to their interests. This is reinforced by his reformist R20 an hour National Minimum Wage when workers are pushing for a living wage.”
“We wish comrade Cyril Ramaphosa and the collective all the very best during their term of office. We expect the newly elected President to be bold and brave to lead South Africa out of the current crisis of corruption and state capture into a prosperous future,” said David Sipunzi, NUM General Secretary in a statement.
Meanwhile, The National Union of Miners (NUM) welcomed Cyril’s victory, saying that the victory meant good signs both for the miners, the foreign investors and best still for the country as a whole.
“It is through the gallant fight by comrade Cyril Ramaphosa and others that miners who had for many years of service were given only a helmet and a pair of boots on their retirement and are today able to receive retirement benefits”, NUM recalled.
Mamokgethi Molopyane, a labour and mining analyst at Creative Voodoo Consulting also said that the new ANC new president’s first test is the Mining Charter lll which the Chamber of Mines will challenge in court in February 2018.
“He’ll have to strike a balance, if he can strike a mediated settlement in the mining charter,” she commented to Fin24.
She disagreed with AMCU that Ramaphosa will allow large-scale job losses in the mining industry and said companies would, in fact, want to show their support for him and his economic plans.