Racism claims: AfriSam, NUM hold talks
Johannesburg - Construction-material supplier AfriSam on Friday said it has resolved a dispute concerning racism allegations levelled against its senior employees by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
The NUM Kimberly branch and workers staged a march on February 4 in front of AfriSam’s main gate to hand over a memorandum.
In a statement, the union said members were “angered” by “white supremacy” and management’s “protection of racism”.
AfriSam spokesperson Maxine Nel said the company and NUM leaders met on Tuesday to discuss their differences.
“Both parties engaged robustly and honestly on the issue,” said Nel.
NUM national spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu confirmed that talks were held about the racism matter on Tuesday.
“We are indeed working on resolving those issues with AfriSam,” said Mammburu.
Nel said proposals for a solution were tabled by both parties in order to secure inclusiveness at the company.
“A number of mechanisms and processes have been identified and we will continue to monitor as the NUM to make sure that the agreement is implemented and the concerns of our members are addressed,” said Mammburu.
The NUM had been demanding the dismissal of eight AfriSam employees whom they accused of making racial slurs directed at other workers, who reported the matter to their union.
The union, which wanted the alleged “racists” whom they named sacked, also demanded the dismissal of two Human Resource officials at AfriSam.
HR executive at AfriSam Sandile Khwela said the company values the role of trade unions and wants to build a positive relationship with the NUM.
“As a company we have no doubt that the points of action agreed by both parties will be honoured and that it will contribute towards fostering a long-term relationship going forward,” said Khwela.
Nel emphasised that AfriSam management would continue to communicate with the NUM and the workers.
“The outcome of this meeting paved the way to ensure that a harmonious working relationship between both parties is restored,” said Nel.