- The National Union of Mineworkers has revealed that the organisation faces financial difficulties
- NUM general secretary David Sipunzi has partially blamed a 2015 resolution to buy each member a quality golf shirt costing R200 for the financial strain on the organisation
- The union has 185 287 members which brings the bill for the shirts to just over R37 million
The National Union of Metalworkers faces a bill of around R37 million after passing a resolution in 2015 to buy each member of the union a quality golf shirt costing around R200 each once per year.
The union is currently holding its national congress in Boksburg, the congress got off to a rocky start after delegates argued about credentials.
The union currently has 185 287 members. The resolution was adopted at a time when the organisation was losing members at an alarming rate.
NUM general secretary David Sipunzi said the organisation would have to tighten its belt in order to reign in the deficit which had shot up from R5.8 million in 2012 to about R27 million this year.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Sipunzi told delegates that the organisation had to find a sustainable way to finance the golf shirts in order to avoid dipping into its cash reserves.
He said NUM had withdrawn R40 million from these cash reserves in order to meet its financial obligations this year.
SowetanLive.co.za reported that Sipunzi said this was caused by the organisation spending a lot more money than it had received in the form of subscriptions. He said the organisation would learn from the mistake and move forward.
The upside of the shirt situation was that it allowed NUM to clean up its membership system. During the distribution of the shirts to branches across the country the organisation was able to get a comprehensive report on which branches were paying and which were not.
NUM has seen its membership numbers decline from just over 400 000 in the latter half of the 90s to its current level of under half that number.
The decline has been blamed on retrenchments, competition from rival unions and bad service levels.
Siphunzi admitted that many of the problems which the organisation faced were of its own creation.
He said some members were being forced to leave by rivals but others chose to leave because of constant infighting between leaders.
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