analysisBy Greg Nicolson
Newly appointed Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramathlodi came to office with a clear focus: end the platinum strikes first, then start the day-to-day work. His intervention yielded fruit, but it will end today as it seems the ANC won't tolerate the politics that come with the issues of mining and Marikana. New research, meanwhile, suggests the platinum companies should have invested in their workers when times were good.
When Ngoako Ramathlodi was recently appointed Mineral Resources Minister his first priority was to facilitate an end to the platinum strike that has hit families, communities and the overall economy hard. The strikes had been going for more than four months and Ramathlodi, true to his word, went into his new office the next day to start work. According to Sunday World, his predecessor Susan Shabangu found Ramathlodi there, in what was her office, and chastised him for ignoring a hand-over period. "She just doesn't understand the gravity of the situation the country finds itself in," an unnamed Mineral Resources official told the newspaper.
The two ministers' approach to the platinum strike couldn't be more different. Shabangu was reluctant to get involved, leaving that to Kgalema Motlanthe's mining task...