numSowetanLive reports that splurging millions of rand on fancy golf shirts for members has plunged the country's biggest mining trade union into financial trouble.  

Delegates at the National Union of Mineworkers' (NUM) national congress in Boksburg were told last week that the 185,287-strong labour organisation was in financial distress and would have to do some belt-tightening to survive.  NUM general secretary David Sipunzi partly blamed the union's money woes on a 2015 congress resolution to buy "quality golf shirts" for all members once a year.  According to NUM insiders, the merchandise was procured from NUM's sister Cosatu affiliate - the SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) - at about R200 a shirt.  If all of the union's members received their T-shirts, it is estimated that the union would have spent over R37m.  It was not clear at the congress why the union decided to "spoil" its members with fancy and "free" golf shirts, but the resolution was taken at a time when NUM was bleeding members to rival mining union, Joseph Mathunjwa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).  Sipunzi told delegates that the union's deficit had ballooned from R5.8m in 2012 to about R27m.  He said the golf shirts resolution had contributed to there being a hole in the union's budget.

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