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Solidarity signs partnership to modernize mines with MMP

Solidarity recently signed an agreement containing the terms of reference for the modernisation of mines. This agreement was concluded between the Mandela Mining Precinct (MMP), Solidarity and other trade unions.

The agreement aims to find joint solutions to make South African mines more sustainable.

“It gives Solidarity pleasure that we are part of this historic event in South Africa. The progress as well as the sustainability of the mining sector is of the utmost importance not only for the South African economy and job creation, but also for the creation of job security within the sector for those already employed in the sector.

“For Solidarity the latter is of particular importance as Solidarity has quite a number of members in the mining sector and is committed to working on solutions to ensure the survival of this sector,” Solidarity General Secretary Gideon du Plessis said.

According to Du Plessis, the MMP is a mining-focused research institution established by the Minerals Council South Africa, the CSIR and the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation to focus on the innovation, modernisation and sustainability of mines.

It is for this reason that Solidarity has joined hands with the MMP and other mining unions to work together as partners to find solutions to make the mines more sustainable.

Du Plessis further points out that this agreement could also serve as a blueprint for other economic sectors with regard to the way in which trade unions and industry players can work together in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, emphasising that such cooperation holds various benefits for employers and employees alike.

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“We concur that the modernisation of mines should be a people-centred process with safer mines, where machinery performs the work in areas where employees’ safety and health are endangered, being the main benefit. Similarly, the life of a mine can also be extended by using modern mining methods,” Du Plessis added.

“It is important that this agreement should be of particular benefit to the miner. Apart from a safer work environment, we also believe that modernisation can create opportunities for skilled workers to earn better pay. In this way, Solidarity could then act as a partner on behalf of its members to bring about a better future for mining in South Africa,” Du Plessis concluded.