15 January 2013

South Africa: Statement Issued By the ANC

Workers at three of Anglo American Platinum's mines in South Africa have gone on an illegal strike. It started one day after the company said it ... ( Resource: Workers Strike at South Africa's Amplats )

press release

The ANC condemns the action taken by Anglo American Platinum Limited who have exploited and then mercilessly created conditions to eliminate 14 000 jobs of which 13 000 are in the Rustenburg area. An area in our country, which is already experiencing huge unemployment rates.

This decision is cynical and dangerous in the extreme. When Amplats applied to switch from the old order rights to new order mining rights, they submitted a 50-year plan, which included a social labour plan.

This new decision begs the question of what has happened to the orignal plan and indeed why the motivation for the review of its business change model, which they ascribe to their decision, is based on maximization of profit and a very reckless decision to divest in some of the mines including Union section at the right time

This decision is part of a strategy to divest its business from South Africa and relegate the mines in South Africa to the dogs.

Amplats actively undermines the strategic plan of the South African government to create jobs.

In our view this decision is not new and it is disingenuous for Amplats to try to present as a new plan, which will create 14000, jobs elsewhere.

The ANC is not persuaded by this argument and the scant detail provided on the so-called creation of an equivalent number of new jobs suggests to us that we are all being spun a yarn.

This action by AMPLATS convinces us that a move to have all the mining licenses reviewed is not misguided. Our country cannot continue to be the hosts of callous extraction of minerals for the sole benefit of profits for external investors with limited beneficiation to our own communities and in particular the complete disregard for the plight of workers is not only a travesty but is a disgrace to the industry.

We call on the Minister of Minerals and Energy to call an urgent meeting of the industry with a view to considering the idea of companies who want moth ball shafts to surrender their licenses in respect of those shafts so that they can be put on a public auction for new owners who are still hungry to mine to put them to good use.

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