Parliament rejects EFF’s motion for miners

2014-09-05 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The National Assembly yesterday rejected the EFF’s first parliamentary motion with a overwhelming majority.

Clad in a smart dark suit, which had DA MP Lance Greyling remarking, “You look like a boss” while EEF back bencher Makoti Khawula called out an admiring, “Heita!”, EFF leader Julius Malema tabled a motion to ask for an ad hoc committee to investigate the wages and circumstances of miners in South Africa.

Eighteen MPs voted for the motion, 217 against. The EFF enjoys large support among miners and has made the mining industry one of the party’s focus areas.

Malema said during the parliamentary debate the average miner earned between R4 000 and R6 000 per month, while mines made millions in profits.

He said miners in Australia earn four times as much as miners in South Africa and called for a minimum wage of R12 500 per month for miners.

The DA’s parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane asked for the motion to be amended to be less politically driven and more focused on four areas:

• The struggle to attract new investment to the mining sector;

• The loss of jobs in mining;

• Miners’ circumstances; and

• President Jacob Zuma’s broken promises to improve the lot of mine workers.

The DA’s shadow minister for mineral resources, James Lorimer, said South African ­miners earned more than workers in the manufacturing and retail industries.

During the debate Malema called Mineral Resources Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant naive.

Acting speaker Thoko Didiza told him to withdraw the insult, but Malema refused.

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