THE National Union of Mineworker’s (NUM’s) investment company has grown its net assets to more than R4bn indicating how well it has thrived in spite of a slowdown in the economy over the past few years.
The NUM provided the seed capital for the formation of the Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC) 20 years ago, and it offers an example of a successful business wing operates in relative isolation from the rest of the union which, has not fared nearly as well.
According to NUM secretary-general Frans Baleni’s secretariat report circulated at its congress on Wednesday, the MIC — with a net asset value of about R4.1bn — invests in media, financial services, industrial technology, gaming, leisure and rail.
Mr Baleni said the MIC had increased its shareholding in the First Rand Empowerment Trust to 10.5% and had made new acquisitions, including ones in Puregas, Much Asphalt and Multiknit.
The link between the company and the union is through the Mineworkers Investment Trust, which was established in 1995. The trust gave MIC R3m from union funds to invest and it has now grown into a multibillion rand investment entity.
The trust was the sole shareholder of the MIC, said its chief operating officer, Simphiwe Nanise. The MIC pays annual dividends to the trust and these are then dispersed among other NUM-owned agencies such as the JB Marks fund, which disburses bursaries to mineworkers and their families.
Mr Baleni is the chairman of the JB Marks board.
The MIC’s dividends are also allocated to the Mineworkers Development Agency, which aids retrenched workers. According to Mr Baleni’s report, the agency had trained 16,539 beneficiaries in food security by helping them plant vegetables in their homes and creating community gardens.
The national office bearers of the union are the trustees.
According to insiders, this is among the reasons contests for leadership positions in the union are so intense because trustees can influence the MIC’s investments.
Mr Nanise said the MIC could invest in any sector it chose except those in which the NUM operated.
By: BY NATASHA MARRIAN AND KARL GERNETZKY, JUNE 04 2015