Sep 17, 2012
South Africa suffers R4.5bn work-stoppage loss – ZumaBack
Gold|Johannesburg|Mangaung|Africa|CoAL|Education|Platinum|Africa|South Africa|Fabricated Metal Products|Manufacturing|Manufacturing Sector|Mining|Products|Solutions|Dumisani Mthinti|Jacob Zuma
© Reuse this
Addressing the national conference of the Confederation of South African Trade Unions, Zuma said that work stoppages in the coal sector added another R118-million loss and close to R3.1-billion had also been subtracted from the national fiscus.
Moreover, the negative impact had extended beyond the mining sector to the manufacturing sector, especially the fabricated metal products sector, which was already showing signs of strain.
“We cannot afford to go into a recession, and revert to the 2008 and 2009 period where the country lost close to a million jobs,” Zuma added.
He wished the employers and workers well as they sought to end the wage impasse and pledged the Ministry of Labour’s support in the negotiations.
He reiterated government’s call to employers to implement the provisions of the Mining Charter, which, he said, took into account the country’s particular history as a people emerging from colonial oppression and apartheid.
Mining’s own unfortunate worker treatment over more than 100 years had added to the need for charter implementation, which required companies to improve living conditions and invest in skills development, employment equity and community development.
It also obliged employers to convert single sex hostels into family units or single occupancy accommodation and to facilitate home ownership by 2014.
He applauded the 50% of companies that had humanised worker living conditions so far and admitted that the situation was complex, as some workers had opted for living-out allowances and did not want to use the improved mine accommodation, which had undermined the campaign for better living conditions by fostering the development of informal settlements.
As it was clear that the mining sector needed a lot of discussion, a decision had been taken to place it on the agenda of the upcoming African National Congress (ANC) national elective conference in Mangaung in December.
Meanwhile, the Marikana protests should not deflect attention away from the progress that had been made in transforming the country since 1994.
“We should not listen to those who are making a career out of rubbishing our country and the gains of our national democratic revolution,” he said, adding that the ANC government had succeeded in significantly reducing the number of people experiencing the worst levels of income poverty.
However, socioeconomic inequalities had come into sharp focus in Marikana, where 45 people had lost their lives.
Condolences had been extended to the families of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) shop stewards brutally killed during the first week of the illegal strike.
Another NUM shop steward, Dumisani Mthinti, was, he added, tragically hacked to death in Marikana last week.
Worker rights were enshrined in the Constitution, legislation gave effect to its provisions and employers and employees had the mechanisms in place to manage workplace relations, with no need to resort to violence.
While the Judicial Commission of Enquiry would establish what had happened in Marikana, there were a few immediate lessons.
Firstly, a way to restore workplace stability and labour peace had to be found and violence could not become a labour relations culture.
Workers and employers needed to use the laws, which clearly spelled out legitimate dispute resolution, which did not take away the rights of miners and residents to protest, peacefully and unarmed.
The President appealed to some political party leaders in the country who had been vocal to desist from the irresponsible language of comparing the Marikana law enforcement campaign to apartheid-era measures, which they knew to be untrue.
“They are unashamedly using a tragedy to score political points instead of putting the interests of the workers and the country first.
“We also wish to urge the workers and their employers to find solutions to the dispute without further delay, given its ongoing impact on the economy,” he said.
Meanwhile, South Africa had achieved a target of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to reduce those living on less than one US dollar a day.
More than 15-million people were now receiving social grants and progress had also been made in the fight against HIV/Aids and tuberculosis, for which 1.7-million people were now on treatment, an increase of 1.1-million from the 600 000 of 2009, with the rate of mother-to-child transmission dropping to 2.7% from 8% in 2008.
More than 95% of children had access to basic education, which put the country close to meeting the universal goal.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Labour and Skills Development News
Updated 3 hours ago President Jacob Zuma is expected to launch the third phase of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) on Friday in Keiskammahoek, near King Williams Town, in the Eastern Cape. The new phase will kick start the creation of six million work opportunities, Zuma...
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
Updated 1 hour 18 minutes ago The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has taken note of the Mark Shuttleworth judgment by the Supreme Court of Appeal and is reviewing the judgement, it said on Wednesday. “The SARB has noted the judgment by the court, in which it dismissed Mr Mark Shuttleworth’s...
Updated 1 hour 37 minutes ago Eskom contractor Alstom on Thursday said it had successfully completed a site integration test (SIT) at the parastatal’s delayed Medupi power station, in Limpopo, further advancing the project towards its December target date for synchronisation. The SIT validated...
Updated 1 hour 46 minutes ago A respected energy-policy academic has called on President Jacob Zuma to appoint a commission of inquiry into South Africa’s worst electricity crisis in 40 years and to offer policy proposals for reforming Eskom and the sector. Writing in the Business Day, Anton...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
The latest TransUnion Vehicle Pricing Index (VPI) contains a number of small, but significant indications that the tide may at last be turning for the beleaguered used car industry. For the third successive quarter, used car inflation has increased on a year-on-year...
The South African new vehicle market is likely to reach around 630 000 units in 2014, down from the 650 000 units recorded in 2013, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) president and CEO Dr Johan van Zyl. Van Zyl is also president of the National Association of...
Efforts by the Kenya government to increase energy generation by 5 000 MW over the next three years received a major boost following the award of a $2-billion contract to build a coal power plant in Lamu. Despite allegations of irregular tendering process, the...
Using crafty wordplay on a well-known Internet meme, brilliant South African-born US entrepreneur and businessperson Elon Musk announced that Tesla Motors would not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wanted to use its technology. Instead,...
August new vehicle sales declined by 1.4%, to 55 722 units, compared with the same month last year. Assisted by the car rental market, the South African new passenger car market, at 37 953 units, contracted by 1 047 units, or 2.7%, compared with August last year.