11 June 2014

South Africa: Platinum Strike - Mining Minister Claims Hollow Victory

Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA
Striking mine workers (file photo).


Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi spoke of the successes of his intervention into the platinum strike on Tuesday, claiming to have brought the parties closer together. His task team seemed to make ground, but now they're gone the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and Lonmin, Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum are as far apart as ever; for now, hopes of a resolution are dashed.

Ramathlodi is confident discussions facilitated by the inter-ministerial task team have done enough "for the parties to take the process forward and continue engaging on their own." Speaking at the Department of Mineral Resources in Pretoria, Ramathlodi said while his official intervention has ceased, he's available for informal discussions and will do what he can to maintain mining's role in the economy. That, however, will take place within mining legislation.

Speaking on Sunday, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe expressed doubt from the party leadership about the minister's intervention. Ramatlhodi's predecessor Susan Shabangu ignored pleas for the state to get further involved, leaving mediation to the parties and the Commission for Conciliation, Arbitration and Mediation (CCMA), which ended in deadlock.

On Tuesday, Ramatlhodi said the parties last...

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