Sep 17, 2012
South Africa suffers R4.5bn work-stoppage loss – ZumaBack
Gold|Johannesburg|Mangaung|Africa|CoAL|Education|Mining|Platinum|Africa|South Africa|Fabricated Metal Products|Manufacturing|Manufacturing Sector|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 Mining News
The potential for broad-based development driven by mineral resources as well as upstream oil and gas remains largely untapped in African countries, but the quest for solutions to make mineral and petroleum resources an engine for growth and development have been a...
State-owned electricity utility Eskom announced that first power was produced at 11:03 on Monday March 2, 2015, from Medupi Unit 6, marking a major milestone for the coal-fired power station project, which has been plagued by delays and cost overruns associated with...
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
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.
This Week's Magazine
Subscribe to Engineering News and Mining Weekly for two years, but only pay for the first year. The weekly editions of Engineering News and Mining Weekly will be posted to your preferred postal address and also gain access to:
National flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) is in an advanced stage of renegotiating its deal with European airliner manufacturer Airbus to acquire A320 single-aisle (or narrow body) aircraft. The aim is to replace ten of the aircraft still on order with five...
Worldwide, the main thrust in the ports industry over the past decade or more has been to increase efficiency. Traditionally, ports have been run by engineers and mariners and, in the past, increasing a port’s capacity was achieved by expanding the harbour. “That has...
What do you do when an elephant has a toothache? You call Dr Gerhard Steenkamp from the University of Pretoria’s (UP’s) faculty of veterinary science, Onderstepoort, one of only two elephant ‘dentists’ in the world.
The 2015 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) competition was launched earlier this month in Johannesburg, with the main focus on creating and inspiring entrepreneurs to create jobs and boost the economy.