Monday, February 11, 2013

Shabangu: Mining industry is not a money-making scheme

No fear, No Favour - Just the Truth..........

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.

Speaking at a the New Age business briefing on Monday in Fourways, Johannesburg, the Mineral Resources Minister, Shabangu said some black entrepreneurs needed to change the way they viewed the industry.
"It's our black brothers ... who come into this sector and see it as a quick, money-making scheme," she said.
She said some people began as miners but worked their way up until they made millions of rand.
"Today they have decided to sell their assets and pull out, and today they are out there doing terrible things which are an embarrassment to us black people in this country."
There were many people, however, who were in the industry to grow transformation.
"We are looking for real entrepreneurs," Shabangu said. "If they are here and think the mining industry will make [them able to] wear expensive shoes, wear expensive suits and move around socialising as socialites, it is not helping this industry."
Rather, the industry required long-term work and investment to achieve far-reaching benefits.
'Transformation is not an event'
"Transformation is not an event, it's a process," she said.
Shabangu said the greatest problem facing mining is the lack of skilled and educated workers.
"When you close down [a mine], you must not retrench, you must not [leave] people unemployed. You prepare people to move on to other industries in the sector," she said.
Shabangu said she hoped to have amendments to the sector's regulatory framework finalised by the end of the year, and encouraged the mining community and the public to participate in the public hearings.
While Shabangu said she was positive about the future of mining in South Africa, she said that violence accompanying strikes was unacceptable.
"We have a history in this country which we have to deal with ... it's violence. It comes in many formats, it's not only in strikes ... it's a reflection of society.
"There is such a lot of violence in our country, if we continue in this way, definitely this country is going the wrong way," she said.
Lucrative investment
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.
Thirty-four strikers were shot dead and 78 were wounded when the police opened fire while trying to disperse a group of protesters gathered on a hill near the mine on August 16.
Last week the Mail & Guardian reported that Shabangu took a reconciliatory approach at the 2013 African Mining Indaba, taking special effort to reassure investors that Africa, and South Africa in particular, is a lucrative investment.
Shabangu said she was aware that investors worldwide were looking with interest to government for indications about their positions on nationalisation and whether government would assist in creating an environment that allowed for mining industry, following the very public spat between the minister and Anglo American Platinum over its decision to close four shafts and retrench about 14 000 staff members there. – Sapa

Mail & Guardian

NUM's Zokwana dealt with lightly at the Farlam commission

It has been an interesting week at the Farlam commission of inquiry as "underprepared" advocate Dali Mpofu faced NUM president Senzeni Zokwana.

What should have been a week where National Union of Mineworkers' (NUM) Zokwana was nailed to the rafters for some of the accusatory statements he made in the period leading up to August 16, hasn't been. Instead we have seen a man very ably defend the hardline, obstinate and, some would argue, reactionary stance his union adopted.
Part of the reason Zokwana has fared so well is his ability to answer questions expansively.
The other reason is that Mpofu has failed to properly handle him; throw him a few combinations to have him on the ropes and corner him.
For example, regarding the August 11 shootings where two miners were injured when shot as they marched on the NUM offices – leading to their colleagues taking up arms – a typical exchange has gone something like this:
Mpofu: You overstepped the mark of competition and shot the protestors …
Zokwana: That argument might be presented by the counsel but the NUM does not approve of violence. If you go to any mine, you will find that the NUM people join in the offices, we don't run joining ceremonies where force is used.
Statements laden with veiled barbs
As is now customary, Zokwana's statements are mostly laden with veiled barbs aimed at the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).
"In other mining houses, rock drill operators have gone to management despite existing [wage] agreements and let the NUM handle their grievances," said Zokwana. "In other mining houses, instead of drilling 20 holes, the rock drill operators drill five, then the employer knows that something is wrong. But they don't shun a union that is existing.
"I agree that the [existing wage] agreement was binding, but binding means you can't go on strike in that area, but you can force negotiations. So there might be an ulterior motive, being that a union with no members can use the situation as a drive to get membership."
One gets the feeling that commission chairperson judge Ian Farlam, usually a stickler for people answering questions directly, has, for the most part, seemingly accepted this as Zokwana's style or lost patience with Mpofu – who sometimes seems underprepared, to the point where he sees no point in assisting him at every turn.
In defending what has been seen as an act of aggression, with many witnesses saying NUM shopstewards first threw stones and gunfire at a crowd that, rumour has it, was going to burn the NUM offices, Zokwana has stuck to the self-defence line, pointing out that the security guards who were supposed to do their jobs that day did not, leaving his shopstewards no choice.
Probing the August 16 trigger men
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.
Worker reports from an Aquarius Kroondal strike in 2009 point to the fact that there had been an established culture of gun-toting among NUM shopstewards, pointing to a union that could no longer relate to its members as equals.
But Mpofu, to his credit, has indicated that his harshest probing will be reserved for the trigger men of August 16. "We're not saying the NUM is directly responsible, we're reserving that for people who pulled the trigger, we're not saying you wanted this to happen. We believe your words, that the NUM regrets the incident, that is something we'll convey to our clients. … What we do say is that parties such as your union may have … unwittingly done something to contribute to the massacre, nothing further than that."
The commission returns on February 13, with Zokwana continuing his testimony.

Mail & Guardian

Carroll: Mine violence caused by legacy of apartheid

Violence witnessed in the mining sector this year stems from "underlying social problems that remain", says Anglo American's CEO Cynthia Carroll.

"The violence we have seen in the mining sector this year has its seeds in the legacy of apartheid and the underlying social problems that remain," the mining company's outgoing chief executive said during a discussion at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
"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

Mail & Guardian




From George Harris (1886) to Paul Kruger to QUEEN VICTORIA, to Kitchener to Oppenheimer ..... to

Carroll to Ramaphosa..........and SEXWALE!

All have enjoyed the Mining Industry of SA as a "BIG MONEY SCHEME!"


BEE was the only power behind the Tycoons.

Even Gandhi got a bite out of the APPLE!

Even Queen Elizabeth II benefited from SA Gold & Minerals.

Has George Harrison Park become a Theme Park for Muslims?

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