Give the mines to the workers

2018-03-08 06:00
Nkutsoeu Motsau

Nkutsoeu Motsau

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In the capitalist scheme of things, the working people fall on the side of costs in the equation of production, while the CEOs and the company directors appear on the side of the sharing of profits.

In this arrangement, all is well when the costs are kept as low as possible and the profits are pushed as high as possible.

Most of the time most directors don’t even know the inside of the companies in which they are major shareholders.

After providing the money for the establishment of the company, their major relationship with the company is checking messages in their cell phones to see how much dividends have been deposited into their bank accounts.

They spend most of their time in their luxurious yachts, or cruising the oceans and touching continents as they tour the world; or they are at racecourses. They live in mansions, own country houses and large game farms.

The workers possess only their own bodies whose labour-power they exchange for wages. They live in slums and townships.

After independence in Zimbabwe, they called townships “High-density suburbs.”

In South Africa, we have “informal settlements.” In Nairobi, Kenya, they call these “slums”, the biggest of which has about 800,000 residents.

The workers spend all their lives working for the rich, which stipend they spend in shebeens, ostentatiously to drown their sorrows- and never get the chance to go to the national parks.

The only vehicles available to them are the ubiquitous minibus taxis, including buses and passenger trains in which they commute to and from work.

At work they fight for everything. They fight for reasonable working hours, they fight for their safety, they fight for higher wages, they fight for payment of overtime.

When the State President says that he wants to create about 1million jobs in three years time, what he actually yearns for is maintain the status quo, as described above.

When he goes and invite investors to our country, he is actually replicating the situation cited above.

Here we have Lonmin, of which the President is a major shareholder, yet one should take a look at the tragedy which is the Marikana settlement, which is next to the mine.

How else should we understand Ramaphosa!

We want none of that. We want worker cooperatives. Ramaphosa bought Optimum Coal mine from the Guptas, whose workers are not being paid.

Why can’t the government assist the workers with a scheme to buy the mine for themselves.

If the Guptas could run the mine, so can the miners, probably even better. And I can assure you that there will never be a strike in that mine again.

It is a fact that the minimum wage will be no less than R12,500, a far cry from the paltry R3500.00 minimum wage; the working conditions will be determined by the workers themselves; what is more, they will decide what to do with the profits!

They will help to create more worker cooperatives; they will be on both sides of the production equation.

In 2015, the salary of the Speaker of Parliament, was R226 400 a month. With that, you can pay the wages of 65 workers earning a minimum wage of R3500.00

To that, add a top of the range laptop, cell phone and unlimited air time, a high end car, a house, subsidised food, unlimited medical aid, travel expenses for family and air tickets, sumptuous pension benefits!

. Motsau, chairperson of Azanla MVA


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