The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has expressed concern over miners’ conditions of employment. This as thousands of AMCU members prepare to commemorate the 7th anniversary of the Marikana tragedy on Friday.
Thirty-four mineworkers were shot dead by police during a protracted wage strike at the then Lonmin operations, now owned by Sibanye-Stillwater on August 16, 2012.
AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa says workers are still fighting to change their conditions of employment.
“There is a slight shift on the conditions of employment in salaries, but it never came on a silver platter. We still have to sacrifice to change the conditions of employment. But in general, the lives of mineworkers haven’t changed. Workers are still killed every day without any consequences to the bosses of the mines. Therefore, one cannot say in general there is a noticeable change. Mining was created on the backdrop of exploitation.”
To mark the anniversary of the Marikana massacre, Western Cape civil society movements are set to march to Parliament in solidarity with former mineworkers under the banner of the Unpaid Benefits Campaign (UBC).
The UBC is an informal network of organizations and workers trying to ensure former miners have access to their pension and provident funds.
The UBC says at the end of 2016, there remained more than R41 billion in unpaid pension and provident fund benefits owed to more than 4 million people.
These funds are held by both financial service providers and employers. It is overseen by the Financial Services Board (FSB)