Shabangu highlights action plan to deal with mining woes

Government will initiate a specific programme of action to deal with the “crisis perception” in the mining industry, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu has said.

Shabangu said government met with bosses of mining houses on Friday to discuss the problems facing the industry.

“We agreed that the government side will be led by the national treasury, the department of labour and the department of mineral resources, while participation from the mining companies will be led by chairpersons of the boards and will also engage the leadership of trade unions,” Shabangu said today.

The need for further engagement in the industry follows a year of crisis in the industry.

“This has arisen as a result of a crisis of perception, of both our country and the mining industry, which invariably has an effect on, among others, the fluctuation of our exchange rate, the result of which we can ill-afford as a country,” Shabangu said.

The “programme of action” would culminate in a progress report, which will be ready within one month.

Despite the acknowledgement that there were problems “bedevilling” the mining industry, Shabangu said there was no need for alarm.

Scores of mine workers, security guards and police officers have been killed during violent wildcat strikes that have hit several mines, most notably the Lonmin platinum mine in Rustenburg.

Shabangu’s announcement follows a statement last week by both President Jacob Zuma and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who both expressed concern about labour tensions and the adverse effect it has on the economy and job creation.

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