[Sugarman] Fwd: Miners' Support

Keith Breckenridge keith at breckenridge.org.za
Tue May 20 08:31:53 SAST 2014

And this may be of interest to some of you.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Noor Nieftagodien <Noor.Nieftagodien at wits.ac.za>
Date: Tue, May 20, 2014 at 8:19 AM
Subject: Miners' Support
To: Sedzani Malada <Sedzani.Malada at wits.ac.za>, Ingrid Chunilall <
Ingrid.Chunilall at wits.ac.za>, Antje Schuhmann <Antje.Schuhmann at wits.ac.za>,
Antonette Gouws <Antonette.Gouws at wits.ac.za>, "Anton Harber (
anton at harber.co.za) (anton at harber.co.za)" <anton at harber.co.za>, Pulane
Ditlhake <Pulane.Ditlhake at wits.ac.za>, Pumla Gqola <Pumla.Gqola at wits.ac.za>,
Maria Suriano <Maria.Suriano at wits.ac.za>, Mucha Musemwa <
mucha.musemwa at wits.ac.za>, Sekibakiba Lekgoathi <
Sekibakiba.Lekgoathi at wits.ac.za>, Prishani Naidoo <
Prishani.Naidoo at wits.ac.za>, Prinisha Badassy <Prinisha.Badassy at wits.ac.za>,
Kelly Gillespie <Kelly.Gillespie at wits.ac.za>, Keith Breckenridge <
keith at breckenridge.org.za>, Arianna Lissoni <Arianna.Lissoni at wits.ac.za>,
Franziska Rueedi <Franziska.Rueedi at wits.ac.za>, "ahmed veriava (
ahmedveriava at gmail.com)" <ahmedveriava at gmail.com>, Shireen Ally <
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Glaser <Daryl.Glaser at wits.ac.za>, Peter Hudson <Peter.Hudson at wits.ac.za>,
Ben Scully <Ben.Scully at wits.ac.za>, Bridget Kenny <Bridget.Kenny at wits.ac.za>,
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Menon <Dilip.Menon at wits.ac.za>, Ebrahim Momoniat <
Ebrahim.Momoniat at wits.ac.za>, Zimitri Erasmus <Zimitri.Erasmus at wits.ac.za>
Cc: Bhekizizwe Peterson <Bhekizizwe.Peterson at wits.ac.za>, Kezia Lewins <
Kezia.Lewins at wits.ac.za>, Devan Pillay <Devan.Pillay at wits.ac.za>, Seeraj
Mohamed <Seeraj.Mohamed at wits.ac.za>, Glenda Daniels <
Glenda.Daniels at wits.ac.za>, Michael Titlestad <Michael.Titlestad at wits.ac.za>,
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Ruksana.Osman at wits.ac.za>, Tawana Kupe <Tawana.Kupe at wits.ac.za>, Rob Moore <
Rob.Moore at wits.ac.za>, Melissa Steyn <Melissa.Steyn at wits.ac.za>, "
loren at migration.org.za" <loren at migration.org.za>, Aurelia Segatti <
Aurelia.Segatti at wits.ac.za>, Julian Brown <Julian.Brown at wits.ac.za>,
Nolwazi Mkhwanazi <Nolwazi.Mkhwanazi at wits.ac.za>, "Gavin Capps (
gavin.capps at talk21.com)" <gavin.capps at talk21.com>, Tshepo Moloi <
Tshepo.Moloi at wits.ac.za>, Francine De Clercq <Francine.DeClercq at wits.ac.za>,
Sarah Mosoetsa <Sarah.Mosoetsa at wits.ac.za>, "Sarah Godsell (
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"Danai Mupotsa (danai.mupotsa at gmail.com)" <danai.mupotsa at gmail.com>, Benji
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Bonita.Meyersfeld at wits.ac.za>, Christopher Lee <Christopher.Lee at wits.ac.za>,
David Andrew <David.Andrew at wits.ac.za>, David Hornsby <
David.Hornsby at wits.ac.za>, Deborah James <Deborah.James at wits.ac.za>, Eric
Worby <Eric.Worby at wits.ac.za>, Achille Mbembe <Achille.Mbembe at wits.ac.za>

 Dear all

I am writing to make another urgent appeal for support for the striking
miners and their families. The strike is now into its 16th week, the
longest strike in the country’s history. The situation around the platinum
mines is becoming increasingly desperate, both politically and in terms of
the worsening humanitarian crisis. Nationally the effort to mobilise
support is gaining momentum with NGOs, religious organisations and
political movements providing solidarity. In Gauteng, Gift of the Givers
has provided some support. But we are nowhere close to meeting the needs on
the ground. There are 70 000 workers on strike and they have between
150 000 – 200 000 direct dependents.

Since the appeal made last week, we at Wits have collected a mere R3000 and
two parcels of food.

We are hoping to raise enough money or food to put together at least 200
food parcels. Various organisations and institutions have been twinned with
shafts and communities, and Wits has been asked to supply food to No. 1
shaft at Implats.

This week workers employed by outsourced companies will meet to pledge
donations. Students have undertaken to put up solidarity tables to raise
awareness and to collect donations.

There are a couple ways of making your donations:

*Cash donations and food should be taken to Ingrid Chunilal or Sedzani
Malada in Sociology. We also have students who can collect donations from
your office.*

*You can also deposit donations into the Marikana Support Committee
account. Please use the reference ‘food Wits’, so the accountant can keep
track of donations made by Wits colleagues. *

[Please circulate widely]

Account Name:            Human Rights Media Trust

Bank:                            Nedbank

Branch:                        Constantia Branch

Branch Code:               101109

Account No:                 1011102366

SWIFT CODE:               NEDSZAJJ

Address:                       Constantia Village Shopping centre, Main
Road, Cape Town, South Africa


In response to the deepening humanitarian crisis unfolding as a result of
the 16 week miners strike, a convoy of four trucks will be heading up to
the North West and Limpopo on Monday morning filled with food and clothing
to assist the most needy worker families.

 The trucks will set off from MAKRO, (Waterval Crescent South, Woodmead,
Ext 5 Sandton) at 10.00am. Each food truck contains 200 -300 food parcels
and will be met by a designated committee of striking workers and community
leaders from the hostels and communities bordering the following mine

 Impala Shaft 6

Impala Shaft 8

Amplats Khuseleka

 Further food trucks are destined to for other shafts during the course of
this week, from the University of Johannesburg and the University of
Witwatersrand who are twinned with Lonmin, Marikana mine and Amplats
Khomanani mine, respectively. This is will the University of Johannesburg’s
second delivery after a team from the university delivered 90 food parcels
set the trial to Wonderkop, Marikana on Saturday 11 May.

 The humanitarian effort has been the culmination of a week of solidarity
work calling on churches, individuals and community-based organisations to
act now to stop the hunger.

 Solidarity has been forthcoming from the congregants of Northfield
Methodist Church, Benoni, the Gift of the Givers, the Democratic Left
Front, Marikana Support Campaign, Gauteng and Western Cape, the Socialist
Workers Party UK, Gauteng Miners Strike Support Committee and at numerous
screenings of the documentary ‘Miners Shot Down’, where audiences have
donated over R70,000 to date to support the strike. The screenings have
been supported by the numerous Churches, Universities, NUMSA, Equal
Education, TAC, Right 2 Know Campaign, Equal Education, Mining Affected
Communities United in Action, amongst many other civic groupings

 The monetary value of the convey of food leaving on Monday morning is just
over R320,000.  Further collections and food donations that will go towards
more trucks are expected from Gift of the Givers and the Muslim Lawyers
Association (MLA), Palestine Solidarity Alliance, Muslim Students
Association, Islamic Medical Association of South Africa  and the Media
Review Network. We are making advances to the Anglican Church, various
synagogues and faith organisations to join the efforts.

*Only Together We Can Win*

The AMCU strike in the platinum mines is the single most important
challenge to the inequality bred by South African monopoly capitalism. It
has been going on for over 100 days: we must not let the miners and their
families be starved into surrender.

The struggle has moved beyond the demand for need before profits to a
lengthy all-out fight. It has become necessary for all of us to squarely
rally behind this strike movement led by our mineworkers.

We need to take note that mineworkers, in particular rock drill operators
on the platinum belt, have been waging a campaign for equalisation of wages
for underground workers for over five years.  This led to the 4-week strike
at Impala in 2012 and was followed quickly followed by the Lonmin strike
and the ghastly massacre of 16 August 2012.

Mineworkers have clearly been radicalized by the Marikana massacre and the
response of the state and the bosses to the demand for justice and social
and economic equality. They have embarked on what has become the longest
strike in the history of mining and to this end they have endured
considerable hardship and suffering.  Their families and children are going
hungry and they clearly now require urgent support.

The mine bosses assert that this demand for R12,500 a month is simply not
affordable.  Recent work by respected economists, show this to be a
fallacy, a mistruth. They are inflating the number of workers they employ
to cook the figures of how much the demand will cost.  Whilst they bemoan
 “AMCU’s senseless demands” they continue to pay themselves over 200 times
what mineworkers are paid. Amplats bosses have only this week awarded
themselves share bonuses worth millions or Rands.

Platinum bosses can afford this demand if they are prepared to take less
profits, and if the interests of workers and communities come before those
of shareholders.

AMCU’s latest demand to have R12,500 as basic pay without bonuses achieved
by 2017, amounts to an average increase of approximately 20 percent in the
first year, and then progressively less each year after that. There is
nothing unreasonable or unachievable in that.  This is even clearer when it
is realised that the platinum mining houses have handsomely benefitted from
a 25 percent depreciation of the Rand over the past year.

The fact this strike has lasted so long is not because of affordability: it
is about power. The mining houses are determined to break the movement for
equality and social justice - and they have the government and the state
squarely behind them in this attempt. Their very real fear is that R12,500
will become the rallying cry for the entire working class. They fear the
super profits that many industries continue to make will be profoundly
challenged by this demand.

All working class organisations, progressively minded faith groupings and
individuals need to now rally behind the miners through providing concrete
support for the strike. We continue to call on all trade unions to fully
support the strike materially and politically. Broad based support
committees need to be established in our major cities and towns. Food
collections and money for the AMCU hardship fund need to become the
absolute priority in our efforts to support the mineworkers.

The University of Johannesburg on Monday 5 May announced they would be
twinning with the workers and the Wonderkop community of Lonmin’s  Marikana
mine.  That very same evening they screened Miners Shot Down and in the
space of a few days have collected over R20, 000 worth of food, a truckload
of food, and a pledge of R10,000 for food next month.  Much of this is
coming from one church. Wits University is now planning to do the same.

If this is what can be achieved at one university, what can we do
elsewhere? We have to be bold, we have to think big, but start small.  Twin
with a mine and adjacent community. Hold collections at your workplace,
church, mosque, school, in your street. Get a box where people can drop
food for the miners and their families. Find a storage point in your area.
Contact us when you have collected a sizeable amount of food. We will
ensure it gets transported to whichever mine/community you have decided you
would like to twin with.

We will work with communities, churches, other faith groups and AMCU to
ensure the food is properly and fairly distributed.

We must not let the miners be starved back to work. They must win for us

>From the Marikana Support Committee, ad hoc Gauteng Strike Support
Committee and the Miners Shot Down Team

Noor Nieftagodien

NRF Chair in Local Histories, Present Realities

Head of History Workshop

School of Social Science

University of the Witwatersrand

Email: noor.nieftagodien at wits.ac.za

Tel: +27 11 717 4266

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University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. All agreements between
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the University agrees in writing to the contrary.

Keith Breckenridge  *W I S E R* - The Wits Institute for Social and
Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand | Pbag 3, PO Wits,
 Johannesburg, South Africa, 2050 | Tel: +27117174272  | Fax: 0867654213 |
Web: wiser.wits.ac.za
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