The DA calls for a special parliamentary briefing by the Presidency on the full plan to address the major service delivery failures in mining communities, as announced by President Zuma in his State of the Nation Address.
Revelations from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), while briefing the Portfolio Committee on Labour, show that labour instability in the mining sector should be directly attributed to the systemic failure by the ANC government.
CCMA Commissioner, Afzul Soobedaar, highlighted that the violence around Marikana and the strike in the platinum sector was “not a labour dispute”, but in fact a “build up of socio-economic frustration which found a fault line in a conflict ridden employment relationship and manifested as a labour dispute.”
He further stated that “even the R12 500 minimum wage would not make the problem go away.”
What is clear from the CCMA presentations today is that government has failed to deal with socio-economic issues directly affecting the lives of mineworkers over the past 20 years.
The archaic migrant labour system
The affordability of regular transport to traditional homes of migrant workers
The scourge of HIV-AIDS resulting in miners supporting additional family members financially
The lack of family housing units and schooling being available in mining towns and
The lack of local government service delivery from cities and towns in mining communities.
In Parliament, the DA has in the past called for interventions within the mining sector, through:
The establishment of an ad hoc parliamentary committee, comprise members from the labour, police, trade and industry, minerals, health, and rural development portfolios to find solutions to address the problems in the mining industry and
Called for labour reform through the introduction of strike balloting before a strike, which would reduce strike activity and remove the possibility of union bosses engaging in strike action at whim.
Government’s failure to deliver basic services such as adequate housing, transport, health and education to mining communities has resulted in significant pressure on unskilled and semi-skilled miner to demand unsustainable salary increases.
Parliament must actively oversee this promise made by President Zuma and ensure that progress is made in the ‘upgrade’ of mining communities living conditions. A briefing by the Presidency to the Labour Committee on a full plan to do this is the first step towards achieving this.
The DA will continue to do everything possible hold the executive to account and ensure all South Africans receive quality basic services.
Ian Ollis, Shadow Minister of Labour
Source : Democratic Alliance