16 January 2013

South Africa: Amplats Is Arrogant - Shabangu

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 )

Johannesburg — Mining Minister Susan Shabangu accused Anglo American Platinum chief executive Chris Griffiths of arrogance on Wednesday morning, following the company's warning of 14,000 possible retrenchments.

"Listen to this, the arrogance of Chris. He said in his statement he's going to talk to labour. And he's not going to talk to government? He's not going to talk to us as the regulator... leave government out? Well, we have procedures we have to follow," Shabangu said in an interview on SAfm.

The minister said Amplats needed to have had more consultations and was in contravention of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

Asked if their mining licence was under threat, Shabangu replied: "It's themselves who are putting their licence in jeopardy -- not us. Themselves."

SAfm also interviewed Griffiths, who said that he "clearly" needed to go back to the minister.

"I can hear she's angry and perhaps have some sympathy with that. What I clearly can't do and don't want to do is have a tit for tat with the minister on the radio.

"I need to go back to the minister, sit down with her and her team and work through what the issues are and see how we can rectify that.

"I don't think that I've been arrogant and I don't think that our company has been arrogant...

"The fact is that we have engaged with the ability that we have, the range of scope we have to engage, before we make all the processes public.

"If the minister is unhappy, we need to go back to her, back to her team and sit down and work through that process."

Amplats announced on Tuesday that it could cut up to 14,000 jobs in a major restructuring. It said it would close four shafts and sell a mine considered unsustainable.

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