Business 17.3.2017 04:36 pm

NUM disappointed with DRD Gold on BEE transaction

FILE PICTURE: National Union of Mineworkers sing, 29 April 2014, outside the South Gauteng High Court. Picture: Alaister Russell

FILE PICTURE: National Union of Mineworkers sing, 29 April 2014, outside the South Gauteng High Court. Picture: Alaister Russell

‘NUM will fight till the bitter end to ensure that transformation is not about replacing white males with black cronies or select few.’

The National Union of Mineworkers (Numsa) on Friday said they were disappointed with media reports on the pending shareholder’s approval of the “hedging arrangements” of Khumo’s DRD Gold shares.

The Mining Right Holder (DRD Gold) backs this as long as it does not “encroach its current BEE status” according to the company statement.

“What is of concern to the NUM and its members is the fact that this very same company has been dragging its feet in reviewing its current Employee Share Ownership Scheme, which has long failed the meaningful economic participation requirements as set out in the Mining Charter,” NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said.

“As this transaction has not been “offering cash flow” for employees on a regular basis, in fact, the last payments were made at the exit and closure of the Blyvooruitzicht (in which only those who exited were paid a lousy R2000).”

Mammburu said the second issue was the involvement of Khumo through a Special Purpose Vehicle in the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and thus be represented in the trust through a trustee.

“This goes against all NUM ESOP guidelines of ensuring employee ownership schemes are managed and controlled by beneficiaries.”

“The NUM expressed its frustrations to the company on these matters and set up a road map towards remedying this sad current state of affairs, but the company has been dragging its feet, but now DRD Gold is willing to move mountains to ‘ensure its BEE status’ remain compliant,” Mammburu said.

NUM is set to write to the Minister of Mineral Resource Mosebenzi Zwane and the Acting Director General David Msiza, to register their concerns about the selective treatment of empowerment partners by the mining right holder.

“As we are of the view that since Khumo is part of the Management and control, their challenges cannot supersede those of employees. Especially since the employees are victims of their badly structured empowerment transaction, with little or no cash flows or exercisable economic interests,” said Mammburu.

NUM Head of Transformation Luthando Brukwe, said: “NUM will fight till the bitter end to ensure that transformation is not about replacing white males with black cronies or select few, but the overall broad based empowerment inclusive of employees and communities as prescribed meaningfully economic participation in the charter”.

“We will also remind the Department of Mineral Resources that this phenomenon is not only DRD phenomena, as the NUM has set its sights on Impala, Northam, Lonmin, South Deep, Anglo Gold Ashanti, South 32, Glencore, Richards Bay Platinum and Zululand Anthracite Colliery among others for having these non-meaningful transactions for the employees.”

Brukwe said companies that are currently non-compliant with no schemes or some recently matured such as Sibanye Gold and Platinum, Anglo American Platinum, Royal Bafokeng Platinum, Optimum Coal, Asa Metals, Kumba, ARM Joint Venture Operations amongst other.

“The aspirations of mine workers should never again be hijacked nor overtaken by narrow interests of cronies and beneficiaries of patronage amongst the previously disadvantaged majority.”

– African News Agency

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