Vision: To educationally empower previously disadvantaged students entering the workplace and provide South Africa with qualified professionals in identified critical industry fields that contribute towards the progression and development of South Africa’s socio-economic status.
Poverty and education are inextricably linked with a gap in education leading to increased potential for poverty and poverty leading to education being lower on the list of priorities. However, education most certainly brings the potential to eliminate poverty minimising the impact of unemployment and inequality statistics in South Africa.
It is The JB Marks Education Trust Fund’s mandate to address the need for empowerment through education amongst NUM members and their dependents.
Established by NUM in 1997, the fund has spent over two decades comprehensively addressing the need to empower NUM members and their children and beneficiaries, particularly graduates entering the mining, energy and construction industries.
Put plainly, the Trust was set up to facilitate access to further education and personal development for the beneficiaries and their dependents and aims to assist in the transformation of the South African economy through the injection of skills into these sectors and providing its beneficiaries with a competitive advantage in the labour market through further education.
What makes the JB Marks Education Trust Fund particularly important to the upliftment of these communities is its focus on the dependents of the NUM members or the future of this country and many have received educational bursaries across the span of the Trust’s existence.
In fact, over the past two decades, JB Marks has provided bursaries to members ultimately enabling 1 121 benefactors to graduate with mainstream qualifications in mining, energy, construction and even medicine.
The Trust has worked tirelessly to pursue the wishes of its namesake, John Beaver Marks, an activist and legendary South African leader who valued education above all and believed it was the truest form of empowerment and that worker emancipation was only achievable through learning. It has achieved much in the way of providing funds to cover tuition, registration, accommodation, tutorage, meals and bridging courses to over 1 000 bursary recipients and has disbursed R286 million to over 2 000 beneficiaries. In 2017, 200 bursaries were awarded, bringing the total number of students in the pipeline to 700 undergraduates and 50 post-graduates.
The Trust receives most of its funding from MIT through dividends from MIC, which in turn enables it to deliver on John Beaver’s vision.
Vision: To empower the working class to reach their full potential through quality education and skills development programmes and to facilitate and manage learning centres that provide accredited training programmes to industry members and their communities.
The Elijah Barayi Memorial Training Centre (EBMTC) opened its doors in 1993 with one mission – to improve the quality of life of their beneficiaries. It achieves this in partnership with established educational institutions through the training of workers in a variety of applied fields. The EBMTC College has developed a range of certified educational courses, over 6 000 individual courses, including computer training, basic economics, business writing and leadership courses, which are delivered annually and the centre continues to drive the development of new course work.
It is the training centre’s mandate to provide a venue for hosting of these courses as well as the provision of facilities that enable the teaching thereof, including conference rooms, photocopying, catering and accommodation.
Therefore, in partnership, the entity fulfils its legal mandate of providing education, training and skills development programmes to the working classes.
Fully informed and guided by NUM’s ten-year plan, the centre’s objectives are to accelerate leadership development for union members. Courses available that address this growth equip secretaries, full time stewards, office bearers and staff members with the necessary tools needed for dealing with daily challenges facing the organised working class.
With encouragement from NUM and its funding partner, MIC, EBMTC offers:
- Skills programmes
Short course in house programmes focussing on Politics, Gender and Law, EEA/SDA, Negotiation Skills and others.
- Accredited programmes
These include TUQP, Labour Law, and Skills Development Programmes for Women and others hosted in partnership with partner institutions of Higher Learning
- Technical programmes
Deep dive technical courses hosted at the RPL/Assessment Centre built for Artisans, Aiders and Assistants, Engineers and Technicians.
Vision: To be a recognised research institute on matters pertaining to the socio-economic welfare of workers (and their communities) in the mining, energy and construction sectors of South Africa.
The Sam Tambani Research Institute (SATRI) was conceptualised and established in 2012 to answer a need for consolidation of NUM efforts in ensuring that workers received a fair share of what they produce in their various fields, which, in turn, empowered them in improving their livelihoods. A Public Benefit Non-profit Company, SATRI was tasked with gathering and analysing information through targeted research and using this information to inform and assist NUM communities on various issues including health, economic advancement, politics, education, poverty, housing, retraining and reskilling.
Today, SATRI is responsible for providing detailed analysis on national and emerging international policies and on contemporary issues that could or do affect workers, their families or communities or any issues that impact the efficacy of NUM in fulfilling its mandate.
Not only is SATRI now a leading research partner to the community, but it also boasts secondary objectives that extend outside and far beyond NUM requirements. For instance, the results of research conducted here are often shared in wider society to secure constructive input or to influence opinions and SATRI also provides mentorship opportunities for young people and novice researchers who are themselves applying research on issues pertaining to NUM members.
Current research brings focus to several important conversations and include:
- Women in Mining, Construction and Energy – research aimed at understanding the specific nature of challenges women face in the three sectors while finding proactive ways to address these as part of the national transformation agenda.
- Worker’s Wages and Remuneration – research aimed at contributing towards the debate on national minimum wage using empirical evidence in the context of persistent and widening income inequality.
- Mining Charter Compliance – research examining the extent to which the objectives of the Mining Charter and the B-BBEE codes have been achieved and how benefits are manifested in the mining sector.
- Green Economy and Jobs – research into the labour aspects of South Africa’s migration to the green economy.
- Mining and the Environment – research aimed at contributing towards effective legislation on mining and the environment.
Due to funding provided by MIC, through MIT, SATRI will be further empowered in delivering guiding and consultative input that could very well change the lives of far more people than expected.