Chamber of Mines Input on Ex-Mineworkers Union

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Meeting report

AD HOC COMMITTEE ON EX- MINEWORKERS UNION

AD HOC COMMITTEE ON EX-MINEWORKERS UNION
13 November 2007
CHAMBER OF MINES INPUT ON EX-MINEWORKERS UNION

Chairperson:
Mr M Sonto (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Presentation by the Chamber of Mines (Chamber) on the Ex-Mineworkers’ Union

Audio recording of meeting

SUMMARY
The Chamber of Mines gave a detailed briefing on the interaction between itself and the Ex-Mineworkers Union, its response to the issues raised by the union, the legal status of the Ex-Mineworkers Union and information on the Chamber of Mines’s Ex-Mineworker Project. The Chamber of Mines said that it would assist the Committee in obtaining the list of beneficiaries of the 1970s Provident Fund.

MINUTES
The Chairperson noted that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) presentation to the Committee had been postponed by NUM until 14 November.

Chamber of Mines presentation
The Chamber of Mines delegation was led by Dr Frans Barker, Senior Executive, and Dr Elize Strydom, Labour Relations Adviser.

Dr Barker informed the Committee that the Chamber of Mines is a lobbying, advocacy and wage negotiating body and does not handle any matters relating to pension and compensation payouts.

Dr Barker said the Chamber had been repeatedly contacted by Mr Elliot Nomazele over the past nine years under the banner of four different organisations, all unregistered, with the last being named the Ex-Mineworkers Union. The Chamber of Mines did not recognise the authority of the Ex-Mineworkers Union to speak on behalf of employees or ex-employees. Further, the Ex-Mineworkers Union had not complied with the legal requirements for becoming a union. On that basis, Dr Barker said he did not know where this union got its locus to collect money for people. The only union the Chamber of Mines recognised with regard to mine workers was the National Union of Mine Workers (NUM).

Dr Barker handed over to Dr Strydom who briefed the Committee on the payment of ex-mineworkers for occupational injuries and diseases compensation and pension and death benefits and associated difficulties. The Chamber of Mines had given the Ex-Mineworkers Union full details of the appropriate government and private bodies to deal with their various queries.

Discussion
Mr P Nefolovhodwe (AZAPO) asked the Chamber of Mines why locating ex-workers was generally a problem despite the fact that they provided their contact details.
 
Dr Strydom agreed that it was true that mines had good records. The problem however was reconciling the records of the 1970 Provident Fund with the list presented to them by the Ex-MineWorkers Union leader.

The Chairperson’s comment on the issue was that the mines should be sure of their own records to be able to disprove the list presented by the leader of the Ex- MineWorkers Union. He asked if the Chamber of Mines could assist the Committee in getting the list of beneficiaries of the 1970s Provident Fund.

Dr Barker repeated the fact that they are not responsible for this Fund, but that since the body responsible had offices in the same building as the Chamber of Mines, they would discuss this request with that body.

Mr Nefolovhodwe asked the Chamber of Mines about their authority and ability to get the information the Committee needed.

Dr Barker responded that although they did not have direct authority to look into the Fund, they could still assist. They would be supplied with the information if they requested it from the body working with the Mine Worker’s Provident Fund.

Ms N Matsemela (ANC) asked what the Fund’s definition of spouse and beneficiary was.

Dr Strydom responded that the Fund’s definition of spouse was very broad. The definition of spouse accommodated more than one spouse and was not restricted to those in wedlock. On the definition of a child, this was also very broad. It included adopted children and had no limit to the number of children it covered.

In reply to Ms Matsemela asking if a daughter-in-law fell under the definition of child, Dr Strydom said that it did not.

Mr Nefolovhodwe appealed to the Chamber to try to get the list first, and once that was done, the issue of locating the beneficiaries of the Fund would be decided on.

The Chairperson thanked the Chamber and said the Committee would decide on whether or not to invite the people directly involved with the MineWorkers Provident Fund to brief the Committee.

The meeting was adjourned.

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