11 FEB 2013 11:11 - SAPA
The mining industry requires long-term commitment to South Africa and should not be viewed as a "quick, money-making scheme", says Susan Shabangu.
"Transformation is not an event, it's a process," she said.
Concerns over labour in the sector reached a new level when 44 people were killed during an unprotected strike at Lonmin's Marikana mine in August last year.
NUM's Zokwana dealt with lightly at the Farlam commission
As is now customary, Zokwana's statements are mostly laden with veiled barbs aimed at the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).
The fact that guns were at the ready points to an even deeper malaise that nobody has probed what with the commission's narrow terms of reference are, that confine its investigations to between August 9 and August 16 2012.
Carroll: Mine violence caused by legacy of apartheid
"The curse of unemployment means that mine workers often have many other people who are economically dependent on them."
Carroll said the history of the migrant labour system loosened the bonds of family life and dislocated communities.
"The brutalisation of human relationships that occurred under apartheid ... all of these factors can be seen in the turmoil and tragedy we have experienced this year."
Carroll said whatever the challenges the country faced, there were "truths" which had to be faced.
The first was that there was no future for any society without law and order.
Maintaining law and order
"Public order is the bedrock without which civilisation collapses. This year we have seen violence and unrest across the mining industry and in several other sectors."
Another truth the nation had to face was that anarchy in the workplace benefited no one.
Businesses that could not generate adequate returns ultimately collapsed and died.
"It is the responsibility of management, not just to shareholders, but also to employees, to ensure that companies remain economically competitive."
The maintenance of law and order and the restoration of stable labour relations were critical to perceptions of South Africa as a place to do business.
"They [international investors] will make their judgements on the basis of the reality they can see."
'Mining is at the heart of SA economy'
She said the mining sector was at the heart of the South African economy, generating 18.7% of the country's GDP and directly employing 13.5-million people.
"It [mining] has a critical role to play in supporting the aspirations of the new growth path and the objectives of the national development plan."
Carroll said discussions on the regulation of the mining sector had been going on for a long time.
"The spectre of nationalisation has been laid to rest. But the need to guard against damaging regulatory changes remains." – Sapa
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