SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

South Africa: SA One Step Away From Mining Accord

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is confident that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), a key player in South African platinum, will join the other stakeholders in signing a groundbreaking pact to bring stability to the country's mining industry.

Amcu was the only party to this week's industry talks - bringing together the government, organised labour and business - that did not sign the Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry, saying that it needed to consult with its members.

The agreement sets out key steps and processes that will see all parties working together to ensure the stability and sustainability of South Africa's mining industry.

As part of the agreement, parties will desist from provocation, violence and intimidation, and will actively discourage their members from taking the law into their own hands.

The government, for its part, will act decisively to enforce the rule of law, maintain peace during strikes and other protests relating to labour disputes, and ensure the protection of life, property and the advancement of the rights of all.

Amcu and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have been at loggerheads over membership at the Lonmin Mine in North West province.

Addressing the media after the signing of the agreement in Pretoria on Wednesday, Mothlanthe said he hoped it would bring about change for the better in the mining sector.

Mothlanthe, who had been tasked with leading the talks by President Jacob Zuma, expressed confidence that Amcu would, after consulting with its members, come to the party and sign the agreement. "We are expecting Amcu to get back soon," Mothlanthe said.

Those that signed the agreement were the NUM, the Chamber of Mines, the Federation of Unions of SA, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, and Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu.

Also present at the meeting was Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe, and Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant.

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