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Alba Iulia
Thursday, August 13, 2020

It’s unfair for Mopani to demand Grade 12 certificates from the 300 rentrenched workers- Ministry of Labour

Economy It's unfair for Mopani to demand Grade 12 certificates from the 300...

MOPANI Copper Mines employees marching during the Labour Day celebrations at Diggers Rugby Club in Kitwe
MOPANI Copper Mines employees marching during the Labour Day
celebrations at Diggers Rugby Club in Kitwe


The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is alarmed by reports that Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) is demanding for Grade 12 certificates from the 300 workers the mining company retrenched in 2015 as a condition for re-engagement.

This demand is not only unfortunate but unfair on the part of the former workers who diligently served the Mining Company for a long time.

We are alive to the fact that the mining sector has different jobs which require different qualifications and competences as prescribed in the job descriptions.

As Government, we therefore, have no problem with the mining firm asking for the Grade 12 certificates from former employees who were earlier engaged using that qualification and if that is the requirement in their job descriptions.

Mindful of the fact that management can make its own decisions, Government will, however, not accept a situation where this requirement is extended even to employees whose jobs do not require that qualification.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security, therefore, wishes to appeal to management at Mopani to rescind this decision and re-engage the company’s former employees without attaching such harsh and discriminatory conditions.

We also wish to advise management to always strive at making decisions that do not create unnecessary frictions.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security will be closely following events at MCM to ensure that management does the right thing and that order prevails.

We also wish to sincerely commend the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) and the National Ex-Miners and Allied Workers Association of Zambia (NEAWAZ) for taking the initiative to engage MCM management on the matter.

Meanwhile, we take great exception to the alleged proposal by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) to launch a campaign to boycott Zambian goods and end South Africa trade with Zambia if the perceived harassment of Mr. Fred M’membe and his wife Mutinta continues.

As the Ministry responsible for all labour related issues including Trade Unions operating in the country, we find the position taken by NUMSA through its General Secretary Mr. Irvin Jim, not only strange but malicious.

We are convinced that the misinformed and ill-conceived position by NUMSA is a failed attempt which was calculated to strain the cordial and warm relations that exist between the sister Republics of Zambia and South Africa.

Mr. Jim and his orgnaisation are advised to learn to consult local institutions before making statements that do not only bring into disrepute the name and leadership of the union but also interferes with the sovereignty of Zambia as a nation.

The Ministry is left to wonder on what could have motivated Mr. Jim and his organisation to comment on a matter that has absolutely nothing to do the interest group the organisation represents in South Africa.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security will soon write to the South African Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to officially complain against NUMSA and Mr. Jim.

We, therefore, wish to commend the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the National Union of Public and Private Educators of Zambia (NUPPEZ) for rising to the occasion to defend the sovereignty of the country and its institutions.

Mathews Mudenda


    • Ba PF! If those people were retrenched, then this is a new employment and for new jobs. Mopani is doing those people a favour even considering them for employment in the first place. These jobs should be advertised and opened to everybody so that the company can only have the best.

  1. When they were being hunted like locusts, we stood by our brothers in South Africa. When the carried out Xenophobic attacks on our brothers and sisters, even as early as last week; we forgave them and thought it’s because of years apartheid stimied their brains. Now the want to hung from our issues. South Africans learn what sovereignty is. Great job Zambian government for once.

  2. No selective application of Law to different classes of people. Why should the Law requiring Grade 12 qualification be applied to politicians only who don’t even need academic qualification. All they need is Lies Certificate from the devil academy to give false campaign promises. These ex-miners were on recess for 2 years what where they doing, instead of upgrading their qualifications in line with the new constitution? The Ministry of Labour is even supporting illiteracy. Next sweep out staff without G12 certificate from entire civil service, parastatals, private sector including footballers. There are many graduates without jobs, but ensure that no foreigners replace those ex-miners without G12. Otherwise employ them but with condition of acquiring G12 certificate within 2 years.

  3. Yes, don’t let the grade ones get jobs at the expense of G12 and Graduates. That’s the reason the country is not moving forward , its because of these G1.

  4. This was one way of flushing out the secondary drop outs that Mopani inherited from ZCCM. For all new Mines (Lumwana, Kansanshi, Kalumbila etc.) the minimum qualification for the lowest job is Grade 12. These guys are foreigners and in their culture they like to interact will all employees freely and directly. How does an Australian or British process manager interact with people who can’t even utter a single word in English.

  5. The company is taking the corrective step as their strategic initiative to realign themselves with international standards probably….but should consider the age, background and experience of most of them have acquired over time but yes G12 certificate is a must…we need to have people who can be trained and understand company vision as time is moving fast technologically

  6. You don’t need a grade 12 certificate to do a lashers job. Even certified loader, boomer, truck etc operators don’t have grade 12. Mopani just want to minimize on labor recalls by using this condition.

  7. When the mines started there were no grade 12s so as result a language which was common to the Bantus and Muzungus was used. This was Chikabanga and it worked well.

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