DUTY TO IMPROVE CONDITONS OF WORK CUTS ACROSS THE BOARD
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has noted the public discourse about its former president Senzeni Zokwana underpaying his cattle herder. NUM has further noted the Cosatu statement released yesterday on the matter .The NUM does not condone the underpayment of any worker in all sectors and by anybody, be they ANC Ministers, SACP leaders or Cosatu National Office Bearers.
Therefore it is our expectation that comrade Senzeni Zokwana who is now the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will deal with the issues raised positively and constructively given the concerns and expectations more so triggered by his new status. We believe he stands a better chance to deal with the matter. The duty to respond to the issues raised while pointing at him is not limited to him, it should apply across the board to all ministers and deputy ministers beyond the party political landscape.
Furthermore NUM calls upon the Cosatu National Office Bearers to lead by example by declaring the remuneration of their workers. We call on those leaders who have companies directly or indirectly through their spouses to come out clean and declare openly how much they pay their workers.
This will quell sentiments that there are attempts to single out and isolate comrade Senzeni Zokwana by those who were against worker leaders within affiliates of the Federation availing themselves to serve in the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC).
Logically these will stop at nothing to attack and weaken Senzeni Zokwana as one amongst those leaders who dared to avail themselves to serve in the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress when nominated by the ANC members.
Additionally, it is hoped that by extension these kinds of attacks would by extension translate into denting the image of the South African Communist Party (SACP) given the fact that the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is also its Chairperson.
The deployment of Senzeni Zokwana in the Executive of the ANC and now government is sour grapes for these elements and they will use all their media networks to sustain the battering of his integrity .NUM like other affiliates continues to support the standing resolution of Cosatu Congress to swell the ranks of the ANC and for the working class to contest all sites of power.
Comrade Senzeni Zokwana during his tenure of office served workers with dedication and commitment .We therefore believe that he will continue to serve the people of South Africa with similar zeal in his new responsibility as Minister of Agriculture , Forestry and Fisheries. We urge him to continue with the same spirit of heeding advice from constructive quarters and providing leadership to the new sector.
Statement issued by Livhuwani Mammburu, Acting NUM National Spokesperson, June 4 2014
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