Cape Town, South Africa — 15 March 2012 – The South African government has not opened the debate on any possible reform of labour legislation, and suggestions by any minister that this situation should change were simply individual views.
Stating this as part of her answer to questions from parliament’s portfolio committee on mineral resources, mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu said the state of labour relations and skills development within the mineral resources sector was good, especially with key unions such as the National Union of Mineworkers and Solidarity.
“Our relations are so good that in meetings we call them all comrades, even Solidarity,” Shabangu added.
Citing Biz-Community, allAfrica.com reports that she confirmed that no question surrounding labour reform had been discussed by the cabinet, and that no debate had been opened around it.
On the issue of skills, Shabangu said her department was engaging with the Department of Higher Education and Training to encourage young people to enter the mining sector and learn the appropriate skills to make the sector boom.
She pointed out that if the appropriate skills were not developed in the country, its beneficiation strategy would not be a success and would result in foreign investors bringing in their own skills.
Using China as an example, Shabangu said: “If the Chinese were to come to South Africa and see there was a shortage of skills, they would bring their own as they have done in other countries. In Zambia, even the street cleaners are Chinese,” she added.
Source: Biz-Community through allAfrica.com. For further details click here.