By Ms Jacqui Gooch, Head, Department of Transport and Public Works:
Today, 21 May 2015, I received a memorandum of demands from representatives of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) during their march to the Provincial Legislature. NUM has opted to proceed with their march despite the fact that the Department of Transport and Public Works (Supply Chain Management) had acceded to an urgent meeting request, by NUM representatives, to discuss their grievances. NUM representatives called the urgent meeting to discuss grievances and allegations relating to Good Hope Construction, who were awarded contracts for the construction of a number schools by the Department of Transport and Public Works.
The meeting between the Department and NUM representatives took place on Tuesday, 19 May 2015. Prior to the request for an urgent meeting, there had been no previous request by NUM to meet with departmental officials, despite their members having been on strike for the past four weeks.
During the meeting, NUM representatives outlined their grievances, which had not been reported to the department prior to this initial meeting.
Representatives of the department requested proof of the allegations, which NUM was unable to provide at the time of the meeting, and are yet to provide.
Following the meeting, officials of the Department of Transport and Public Works committed to:
- Investigate the allegations made against Goodhope Construction, by NUM representatives.
- Meet with Goodhope Construction to afford them the opportunity to respond to the allegations made.
- Facilitate an engagement between NUM and Goodhope Construction to address the issues raised.
The NUM representatives committed to engaging with their leadership to reconsider the composition of participants to the march, out of fear for the safety of their members. They also undertook to provide proof of the allegations made. NUM has yet to respond to the department in this regard.
The Department of Transport and Public Works remains committed to addressing issues that hinder the timeous delivery of essential facilities that we are mandated to deliver. The delivery of these much-needed facilities remains a main priority of the Western Cape Government.