SA mineral resources minister warns mining firms against retrenching workers
South African Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu today warned mining companies against taking “unilateral action” and retrenching workers due to the costs of recent wage hikes for mining employees.
Shabangu said that all stakeholders in South Africa’s mining sector must join hands in considering potential ways to minimize worker retrenchments.
“We would like to avoid as much as possible any job losses in this sector,” the minister stressed. The domestic mining industry is estimated to employ nearly 500,000 people, contributing 8.8% of the country’s GDP last year.
Meanwhile, AngloGold Ashanti CEO Mark Cutifani was yesterday elected to serve as President of the Chamber of Mines. The chief executive said that South Africa’s mining sector is facing grave challenges.
“I think the point we make is not meant to be a threat, but to highlight the big challenge we have. We have to come together and deal with this constructively. We must have better dialogue and listen to each other,” Cutifani said.
The Chamber of Mines yesterday also elected Khanyisile Kweyama to serve as its Vice President, marking a break in the department’s reputation as being a gentleman’s club.
Kweyama is an executive director at Anglo American. Mike Teke, CEO of Optimum Coal, was re-elected as the Chamber’s second Vice President.
For its part, Gold Fields Ltd. disclosed yesterday that its KDC East workers have returned to their posts after striking for 23 days. All three of Gold Fields’ mines in South Africa are now back online.