The National Union of Mineworkers may ask President Jacob Zuma to recall Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane from his position.
During a media briefing held on Monday morning at the union’s head office in Johannesburg, NUM president Piet Matosa said the organisation was very unhappy with the mining minister and their relationship had collapsed.
Matosa described the relationship with Zwane as non-existent and said it was the worst they’d had with any mining minister since 1994.
The main employer body in the mining industry, the Chamber of Mines, which also represents about 90% of all the major mining companies, also has a terrible relationship with Zwane.
The chamber has filed three lawsuits against Zwane and the department of mineral resources, including opposing the latest mining charter that Zwane has gazetted.
In an interview with City Press, Matosa said Zwane had not bothered to have a working relationship with the union and has seemingly managed to avoid them, despite the union being the majority union in the sector, opting rather to meet with other stakeholders such as investors and mining companies.
Matosa said the union would hold a two-day national executive committee later this week and would decide and most probably take a decision to approach the African National Congress and Zuma to remove Zwane.
“We see him meeting with the Chamber of Mines and investors and all that but he is a very scarce commodity to the National Union of Mineworkers,” Matosa said.
“He does not consult, even at political level,” he said.
Matosa said that the allegations that Zwane had been working with the Guptas and his move to possibly suspend the transfer of mineral rights were just some of the matters that needed serious consideration and could not be overlooked.
“We really feel the man is not for the industry,” he added.
Matosa said Zwane could not be left to lead a sector where all major stakeholders were unhappy with him.
“We will consider joining hands with those that are not happy with him,” Matosa said seemingly hinting at joining forces with mining companies to have Zwane recalled.
“We are really about to ask the ANC and the president to remove him if he won’t resign himself.”
A spokesperson for the department of mineral resources wasn’t immediately available to comment.