HomeBase MetalsPresident Zuma moves to restore SA mine stability

President Zuma moves to restore SA mine stability

President Jacob
Zuma “’ intends
restoring stability
in the country’s
mining sector
Cape Town, South Africa — 17 September 2012 – South African President Jacob Zuma has pledged to take steps to restore stability at the country’s mines, following a series of illegal strikes that have halted production at shafts owned by Lonmin plc,  Gold Fields Limited and Anglo American Platinum Limited.

“I have engaged with the ministers concerned to look at how we deal with this issue, and very, very soon we will be able to let the public know,” Zuma told lawmakers here. “We are going to be acting very soon.”

At least 45 people have been killed since 10 August at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in the North West Province, following an illegal work stoppage by rock drillers, and almost 28,000 workers there remain on strike. About 15,000 workers at Gold Fields’ KDC West mine have also downed tools, while labour unrest has halted Anglo American Platinum’s Rustenburg operations.

Bloomberg News quotes Zuma as saying that worker demands for better wages can and should be addressed within the country’s labour relations framework. “The illegal strikes, the incitement and intimidation will not assist workers. Instead, it will make them and the country worse off.”

Anglo, Impala and Lonmin account for more than half of global platinum production. Prices for the metal have gained 18% since the Marikana strike started, and it has been trading at US$1,657.99 in London.

Zuma criticised London-based Lonmin’s treatment of its workers, saying it had not done enough to improve their living conditions and provide them with decent housing.

“Conditions in the mines have been terrible all the time,” he said. “We cannot stop criticising companies who have money. You could stand and criticise Lonmin, because the progress that is there is not as in other mines. We have a right to criticise Lonmin.”

Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.