NUM Highveld region to march against Transnet over debilitating logistics failures

30th November 2023 By: Schalk Burger - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

Trade union the National Union of Mineworkers' (NUM's) Highveld Region is planning to march to the offices of the Presidency and the Department of Public Enterprises on December 9 to demand an immediate intervention on State-owned Transnet’s failure to transport minerals to and from the country’s terminal ports.

Various mining companies are sitting with stockpiles of minerals that need to be transported to the ports.

The current Transnet crisis is impacting heavily on the livelihoods of thousands of mineworkers. This crisis has resulted in a significant number of Section 189A notices issued by the mining companies, with intentions to retrench workers, mostly in the coal mining sector, it said.

The deteriorating situation at Transnet has led to severe negative consequences, including the imminent retrenchment of workers, the unions state.

The protest march is planned to take place on December 9, starting at 11:00 from the Union Buildings, in Pretoria. A memorandum of demands highlighting the urgent need for the government to intervene will be submitted.

“Despite the government's recent announcement of a turnaround strategy for Transnet, delays in the implementation of that strategy threaten the very existence of jobs in the mining province of Mpumalanga,” the NUM said.

“It is disheartening that the President himself seems to be underestimating the gravity of the Transnet crisis. The Transnet crisis is jeopardising the current quality of jobs and is taking place in the face of a rising unemployment rate.

“The government's promises to create more jobs ring hollow since the very same government is unable to safeguard or preserve the existing employment opportunities,” said NUM Highveld regional deputy regional secretary Thapelo Malekutu.

“The NUM is calling on all workers, including the concerned citizens from all walks of lives, to join the march in solidarity. Our collective voices will compel the government to take an immediate action and address the Transnet crisis, ensuring the protection of livelihoods in the coal mining sector.”