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South Africa: NUM Disturbed by Richards Bay Coal Terminal's Decision to Prevent Optimum From Exporting Coal Through its Terminal



January 25, 2023The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Highveld Region has voiced its disappointment over the recent decision by Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) to, by January 31, 2023, stop Optimum Coal Mine from exporting coal through its terminal.

Two weeks ago, the labour union said it had noted “with regret” the decision taken by the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) board confirming that Optimum Colliery, which was put under business rescue, would no longer be allowed to export coal using the allocated terminal.

On Tuesday, NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburuu said NUM was now more convinced than ever before that the decision has nothing to do with the issues raised in the RBCT letter, adding that that was purely a capitalist decision taken by capitalists whose sole intention was to maximise profits.

“These rapacious capitalists will continue to expand while the downtrodden masses and the marginalised working class will continue to suffer.

“The question we are asking ourselves, as the NUM, is that what is it that is going to happen to the terminal that belongs to Optimum? Is it going to be distributed amongst board members, whom in their own rights, are also mining bosses? This is what we call rapacious capitalism, as the NUM,” Mammburuu said.

Mammburru said NUM was calling for the RBCT to review its stance as the decision would negatively affect towns several towns, among them Middleburg, Hendrina and Pullenshope.

“Furthermore, we are calling for the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy not to be class neutral when the working class is ambushed by our permanent class enemy. The NUM will, this week, strive to meet with the minister responsible,” he said.