Minerals and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe met with unions on Tuesday, 7 April. Among other things he asked them for their views on the way forward if the 21-day lockdown to contain the Covid-19 pandemic gets extended, according to a source who is aware of what was discussed at the meeting. The focus was on the mining industry.
An insider at the discussions who spoke to Business Maverick on condition of anonymity said Minerals and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe was "very concerned about industry and job losses" and "wanted to get the views of social partners about what must happen if lockdown gets extended".
That is very interesting and suggests government is clearly thinking about a possible extension to the lockdown. But it is also seeking the views of various stakeholders, which also suggests it is weighing a number of options and opinions.
"He [Mantashe] was merely asking us questions and very hesitant to make any statements, other than that we must explore possibilities to ramp up slowly, but the industry needs to justify mining getting freedom to mobilise vs other economic sectors who will remain in lockdown," the source said.
"We will have a follow-up meeting soon. The key...