The labour department wants to cancel strike-happy Amcu’s registration – because it isn't a 'genuine trade union'

Business Insider SA
Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa
Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa speaking at the sixth anniversary of the Marikana massacre on August 16, 2018 in Rustenburg. (Getty)
  • The labour registrar has published a notice on his intention to cancel the registration of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), best known for its long strikes.
  • The registrar says Amcu is no longer considered a "genuine" trade union.
  • Amcu has a long history of fierce battles with the National Union of Mineworkers – a close ANC ally. 
  • Visit the Business Insider SA homepage for more stories.

UPDATE: Amcu 'is not a genuine trade union' - here's what happens now. 

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union is no longer a genuine trade union and he intends to cancel its registration, the registrar of labour relations said on Wednesday.

In a notice in the Government Gazette published on Wednesday, registrar Lehlohonolo Molefe said that Amcu had "ceased to function in terms of its constitution" and, separately, "is not a genuine trade union" as envisaged by South Africa's Labour Relations Act.

That kicks off a 60-day comment period during which anyone may lodge objections with Molefe on the intended de-registration.

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Last week Amcu called off a 5-month-long strike at the Sibanye-Stillwater mining company that it launched after other unions at the company agreed to a three-year wage deal that Amcu said was not good enough. During the strike other unions complained of intimidation and violence it blamed on Amcu, though Amcu denied the allegations and said there is no profit in violence.

Amcu was also responsible for a record five-month strike in the platinum industry in 2014, and was behind the strike at the Lonmin platinum mine in 2012, during which the Marikana massacre took place.

Amcu has had a particularly fractious relationship with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), a close ally of the ANC, while Amcu is considered hostile to the ANC.

The controversial union has also had internal trouble, such as a supposed coup attempt against its president Joseph Mathunjwa in late 2013.

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During that same period the department of labour rejected Mathunjwa's statements that his union faced de-registration, saying it was merely making sure, in routine fashion, that Amcu complied with legal requirements such as submitting its financial results.

Molefe was appointed as labour registrar in May 2018, and last year promised to "restore the integrity of unionism".

Amcu was not available for comment on Wednesday, but is expected to address the issue next week.

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