People must benefit from minerals, says union

2011-11-14 12:41

Nationalisation must be taken forward, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said today.

“Clearly the status quo cannot be maintained. The South African people and economy must benefit from the minerals in our motherland,” NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said.

The union was hoping for a positive outcome from research being done by the ANC on nationalising mines, he said.

Baleni was speaking after a NUM national executive committee meeting in Joburg.

The executive had discussed what he termed “the triple evil”. These were unemployment, inequality, and poverty.

Corruption, which often went together with the triple evil, did not only take place in government.

It was also happening within trade unions, he said. “Corruption has engulfed our society.”

He called on the ANC and trade unions to compel members to declare any business interests, saying this would give comfort to those bidding for tenders.

Those in decision-making positions should declare their interests and leave when it became clear that a deal would benefit a family member of theirs, Baleni said.

The NUM was also concerned about people who were misleading the working class by claiming to be one of them, when their lifestyles reflected otherwise.

Asked about the suspension of ANC youth league leader Julius Malema, Baleni said the ANC should be seen to be leading.

“We fully respect the ANC in enforcing internal discipline. We accept the outcome of the internal disciplinary committee.

“No one should be allowed to pronounce on policies that have not been debated internally. Nobody must feel he is above the ANC,” Baleni said.

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