A letter on the South African NUM

25 August 2012

Following is a letter from a South African reader in response to “The unions, the pseudo-left and the South Africa massacre,” published August 24.

Frans Baleni, the General-Secretary of NUM, earns a modest R1.4 million per annum for his duties at NUM. In addition to this he is a director of the Development Bank of South Africa and a non-executive director of Rand Mutual Assurance. Between 2003 and 2006 he was a non-executive director at ESKOM (South Africa’s power utility) and chair of the tender committee at ESKOM. He is also an executive member of the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers Union.

It is not known how much he earns for these other positions. However, it is quite easy to determine the class character of Frans Baleni and, thusly, the force that motivates him to condemn the striking workers.

Interestingly, it would take a rock-driller approximately 29 years to earn what Baleni is paid in one year, probably more if the income from his other positions was known.

24 August 2012