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Statement of the National Executive Committee: 14-15 September, 2012

17 September 2012

The National Executive Committee held its normal and scheduled meeting on 14-15 September 2012 at Saint George hotel in Pretoria. A lot of time was dedicated to discussing the Marikana tragedy that happened on the 16th August near the Lonmin mines where 44 lives were lost. The NEC also received reports on the Provincial conferences held recently, preparations for the National Conference and engagements with various sectors of society.

On the Marikana tragedy, the NEC expressed deep regret for the loss of more than forty lives and once again extended its condolences to the families and relatives of all those who lost their lives. The NEC declared its support for the work done by government to date. There was agreement in the NEC on giving space and support to the Judicial Commission of Enquiry appointed by President Zuma. All sectors of society are encouraged to submit whatever evidence that they might have to the Judicial Commission of Enquiry so that the truth can be established on the circumstances that led to the tragedy and its aftermath. The work of the Inter-Ministerial committee was also commended by the ANC leadership and as well as the support that the Committee has given and continue to give to the affected families. The NEC also expressed its gratitude to all those who spent time in the area providing help to the Marikana community, the clergy, the local municipality of Rustenburg and Madibeng and as well as the Bojanala District municipality. district councils and councillors, Traditional Leaders, Business community and many other stakeholders.

It is the NEC`s view that the socio-economic conditions of the mine workers at Marikana and other areas are part of what led to the human tragedy that continues to haunt our nation. Mining remains the bedrock of the South African economy, and yet the abject poverty and squalor surrounding mining areas remains a matter of deep concern.

Over the last decade we have sought to address this situation through the Mining Charter, which places responsibility on government, the private sector and unions to turn this situation around which unfortunately has existed for over a hundred years. Tragically, in the platinum sector in particular and mining in general, employers and companies have paid lip service to the undertakings in the Charter to ensure that living and working conditions of workers in the mining sector are improved.

The ANC therefore calls on the platinum sector to join the centralised bargaining system, because this will go a long way towards finding lasting solutions in the sector and contribute towards more peaceful resolution of wage and other disputes.

As a liberation movement, we continue to support the principle of one industry one union, as this helps to unite workers in particular sectors, and add to their collective strength in negotiations with employers. In this regard unity of workers is paramount for them in the fight for the improvement of their living and working conditions.

The mining sector is of strategic importance to the development and growth of the South African economy. The current instability at Marikana thus poses challenges to the growth of the sector and the international image of the country. The national debate on the transformation of the mining sector therefore remains critical. It is in the interest of the workers and the economy to ensure that the industry continues to be productive and efficient for its long term survival and growth.

The Constitution guarantees freedom of association, the right to strike and the right to demonstrate unarmed. We reiterate the ANCÂ’s deep concern about the continued killings, threats, intimidation and incitement to commit violence that undermines these fundamental constitutional rights and infringe on the rights of others including the right to life. We remain concerned about the carrying of dangerous weapons during these demonstrations, which breeds a climate of lawlessness and fear.

The ANC supports governmentÂ’s efforts to bring about calm and stability in the affected communities and call on law enforcement agencies to uphold the Constitution and to deal decisively with anyone who breaks the law without any fear or favor.

We call on the affected workers, unions and companies to sit down and find a speedy and lasting solution to the challenges affecting the sector.

On the Provincial Conferences, after receiving details reports from the NEC deployees, the NEC endorsed the conferences of Mpumalanga, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provinces and the outcomes thereof as legitimate.

A detailed report on the preparations for the National Conference was received. The NEC is satisfied that the preparations for the conference are on course. Logistical arrangements are in their advanced stage in all areas including accommodation, conference venue and commission facilities, registration and accreditation points and the support facilities in both the Central University of Technology and as well as the Free State University. Membership audits in all our provinces have been completed and the final refinement is underway. A special NEC will be convened during the week of 24-28 September, 2012 to sign off the audit, approve the allocation of delegates to the provinces and open the nominations.

On Socialist international the NEC received the report on the successful conference of the Socialist International hosted in the African continent for the first time. The ANC is committed to being more active in the Socialist International so that we can have a bigger influence on the ideological outlook of the SI and the direction thereof.

On the engagement with the various sectors of society the NEC agreed that: -

  • The ETC should continue engaging the Chamber of Mines on the policy proposals on the future of mining as agreed in the policy conference.
  • There was appreciation of the value derived from the engagement with the academics and intellectuals as this will enrich the thinking in the movement as well as in society broadly.
  • A follow-up meeting with Black Business Council has been arranged.

Issued by:
Gwede Mantashe
ANC Secretary General

Enquiries:
Jackson Mthembu 0823708401
Keith Khoza 0838239672