Friday, February 8, 2013

South Africa: Fight against layoffs, nationalise the mines


08 February 2013



The Democratic Left Front (DLF) fully supports the struggles and resolve of thousands of mine workers to resist threatened retrenchments following the Anglo Platinum announcement that over 14,000 mineworkers are to be retrenched at its Rustenburg operations. To kick-start public mobilisation for a mass solidarity campaign with the mine workers, the DLF calls on all progressive organisations and individuals in Johannesburg to be part of a public meeting to be held as follows:

DATE                :        Saturday, 09 February 2013

TIME                  :        12h00 to 14h00

VENUE             :        3rd floor, Eloff Street Galleries, 72 Eloff Street,

Johannesburg CBD

SPEAKERS     :        Rustenburg Workers’ Committee

                           Social movements of the unemployed

DLF Mines Research report

The Rustenburg Workers’ Committee will report to the meeting on the responses of workers to the threatened retrenchments as well as ongoing mobilisation and work of the elected workers’ committees which have led the struggle for a living wage. The DLF fully supports these worker committees as a key too in the hands of the workers to fight the retrenchments and the struggle for a living wage.

The threatened retrenchments are a direct attack by the bosses which seeks to break the confidence and militancy of workers to fight for a living wage. This attack must be resisted and rolled back with all the necessary worker struggles in the mines themselves as well as decisive political action by South Africa’s labour movement as a whole and solidarity action by communities and all progressive forces across the length and breadth of our country. To allow these retrenchments would be to surrender hundreds of thousands of workers to unemployment and starvation wages, and millions of families to lives of penury, whilst  leaving the platinum and other mine bosses with restored profits and continued exploitation of cheap black labour that underpins South African capitalism.

The DLF research report on mines, which will be presented at the Johannesburg public meeting, will expose how the anarchy of the market in the mining sector undermines democratic accountability, wealth redistribution, a living wage and job creation. The DLF will use this public meeting to connect the solidarity campaign with the mine workers with the call for democratic public ownership of mines under workers’ democratic control in conjunction with the local communities in the mining areas. Only then can production be planned on the basis of need rather than falling victim to the private corporations, whose competitive scramble is the root cause of the sector’s recurrent crises of over-accumulation. There must be massive state investment in industries that use platinum in socially useful products like catalytic converters and fuel cells, which hold out the hope of eliminating environmentally harmful emissions. The platinum sector must be a driving force of a new green economy that creates hundreds of thousands of quality climate jobs that are well-paid and secure. It must benefit the majority that produce the wealth rather than the minority who steal it, and create havoc, misery and despair for us all in their endless pursuit of profit.

For further comment on this press release:

Rehad Desai – 083 997 9204

Noor Nieftagodien - 082 457 4103

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