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numGroundUp reports that angry mineworkers disrupted the May Day rally hosted by Cosatu at the Elkah Stadium in Soweto on Wednesday.

The workers, members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), were unhappy about retrenchments at Sibanye-Stillwater. The protesting mine workers were mostly from the Kloof gold mining branch, which has been hard hit by retrenchments at the company’s Kloof 4 shaft in the West Rand. A small group of protesting mineworkers sang songs, marched around the venue and held up posters condemning the ANC, Cosatu and Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe for what they claimed was the silence of the ANC and trade unions in the face of workers’ struggles. As organisers tried to get the official programme underway, the NUM members made their way to the front of the stage and began singing loudly. Pleas were made by the leadership from the stage but the workers refused to be silent and continued to jeer the speakers and drown out their speeches with loud singing. Vuyo Mbele, a NUM member from the Kloof region, said workers were frustrated by the job cuts in mining. “We have just finished one retrenchment process and now we are involved in another one. Workers are unhappy and they are now letting their leadership know about their grievances,” said Mbele. “They are claiming that this is a day of celebration for workers. But what are we celebrating, when we as workers are losing our jobs?” asked mineworker Joseph Makwetu.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ihsaan Haffejee at GroundUp

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