Mining task force to be set up

2012-08-18 22:31

Johannesburg - A task force will be set up to look into labour issues in the platinum industry after 34 people were killed near the Lonmin mine in Marikana, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said on Saturday.

The force will consist of people from industry, unions, government and traditional leaderships, she said.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) would be invited to give input to the task force.

On Friday, Amcu said it was a recognised trade union at Lonmin with 7000 members, most of them at Lonmin's Karee mine.

It had about 30 000 members nationally.

On Thursday, police opened fire on striking workers, some of them armed, while trying to disperse them after a week of violent protests.

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The police ministry said 78 others were injured and 259 arrested.

Protesters wanted higher wages.

On Saturday, Shabangu was speaking at the close of a day-long meeting with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity, Lonmin, Chamber of Mines and other mining companies. The departments of mineral resources and labour co-ordinated the meeting.

Amcu was excluded from it.

Shabangu said this was because the meeting was part of an existing forum that Amcu was not a part of, adding that it was an unknown player in the industry.

"We are not aware of where it [Amcu] operates in the mining industry," Shabangu said.

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"It was never our intention of marginalising Amcu."

Shabangu said the killing of the striking mineworkers had caused damage to the country's image, particularly the mining sector.

"It is going to impact the country negatively, especially the mining sector," Shabangu said.

Lonmin's chief financial officer Simon Scott dismissed claims that the company had been "arrogant" when dealing with the public over the mine's labour troubles.

"It's been a difficult week for use," Scott said.

"It was not our intention to be arrogant."

'Events took over'

Shabangu said another priority was to ensure workers felt safe when they returned to work.

The minister dismissed suggestions that government had moved too slowly to deal with the situation at Lonmin. She said government interventions had happened behind closed doors.

"It's not true. We've been engaging. [But] we've not been engaging in the public space," she said.

Shabangu and NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said a meeting had been scheduled between the relevant parties, including Amcu, for Friday, a day after the shooting.

"Unfortunately, events took over."

  • irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-08-18 22:53

    Will 16 August become a public holiday as well?

  • Gaby - 2012-08-18 23:05

    Are there no regulations in place in terms of minimum wage?

      Desilusionada - 2012-08-18 23:14

      Yes there are. And the mine abides by them..

      blip.noodlum - 2012-08-18 23:23

      Lonmin pays R3000pm while neighboring Implats pays R9500pm. And while a Lonmin miner gets R3000pm risking his life in underground toil, the fatcat CEO of Lonmin, Ian Farmer, takes home R1.3 million a month.

      phillie.jansenvanvuuren - 2012-08-18 23:43

      Blip you really are a very stupid man who engages mouth without putting mind into gear!!! These very same miners agreed at the end of 2011 (8 months ago ) to a very amicable two year wage agreement now they demand a 100% increase above and beyond the original. There wages have F Al to do with other instances or individuals salaries, If that premise was true they should demand ministers salaries. And please stop hiding behind a pseudonym only cowards without conviction do that.

      Desilusionada - 2012-08-19 00:31

      No Blip Ian Farmer does not pay himself that kind of money. He is paid by the Board and he runs a rather large company. If his salary is split amongst the Amcu members at Karee, then each will get R185 pm extra (gross). And Amcu is a small minority of the total labour force. So perhaps should reconsider about mining economics and then get outraged about the salary of a mining CEO. It is not the money that people earn that kills a business or a country, it is the time and money wasted and the appointment of ineffective, unqualified people.

      sisa.mtwana - 2012-08-19 02:05

      The price of this platinum is $4000 US dollars per gram. So even if I'm dum I will demand more than R3000pm . Yes people should not protest currying weapons or kill other people for my demands to be meet.

      glen.e.huysamer - 2012-08-19 16:30

      Phillie without calling you stupid, yes it is true that a certain percentage of the workers, agreed to this ludicrously low salary scale under the leadership of NUM. Which is a sell out of a Union who have over the past two decades deliberately under-negotiated wages settlement which are way below the actual inflation rate, thereby conspiring to keep labor cheep, which in turns helps in bolstering profits. Profits keep the Ceo's bonuses high every year, not to mention maintaining a ridiculous salary. While the workforce struggle to put food on the table. You forget that the workers striking are not part of NUM anymore, and would it not benefit Lonmin not to acknowledge new representation for the workers. They have a very good deal sorted out with NUM. Why then even think of dealing with a new union who are fresh out the starting blocks and who seem to have their mathematics in order when it comes to looking after their affiliates.

  • Desilusionada - 2012-08-18 23:27

    "It's not true. We've been engaging. [But] we've not been engaging in the public space," she said. What the helll does this mean? Where is this public space? As for engaging? What does this mean? Perhaps they should engage a little less and, you know, concretize things in the sociatal environment? Or perhaps talk less cr@p and keep the public informed, then do something. Hmmm.... "We are not aware of where it [Amcu] operates in the mining industry," Shabangu said. Well that's easy, at the Karee mine, the whole world saw that on de TeeVeee. It is this so called corporate speak, sounding oh so important (we even require blue lights, because we are always late, because this talking keeps us busy you know), that prevents LEADING and getting things done. Studying in Russia and other foreign climes are great for picking up nice clinches, but does it qualify a person for leading any government department? PS. And serving, like in the taxpayer pays my (Civil Servant) salary.....

  • oneman.njilana - 2012-08-19 01:20

    These bunch of hypocrites think state is somewhere in sky where nothing holds. Come on you black bureaucrats of the ruling party you have have brutally killed workers is that not enough to protect your interest. The police went sent by the ANC administration and there's nothing new about it in a capitalist state. The white government did in 1922, against white workers. There's no alternative blame you cant blame whites oppressors, workers know you black traditionalist and union bureaucrats you are exploitors of black masses. So obviously Amcu will be closed out its not affiliated to Cosatu the collaborators of the workers to their enemies, it has no role in Mangaung. Workers know capitalist state is violent, thats why they armed. It was government mission to send police to suppress strike. That mission was accomplish workers were defeated on their fight for a living wage. Maybe we should remind the ruling government, the freedom the masses know is oppression and poverty. So don't fool them with populist political of task team or commissions. Nothing will avenge our brothers blood coming not even to illusion eeconomic freedom of your populist youth league which is mobilization of the black masses using their popularity to scare white monopoly and told build black monopoly capital.

  • Leonard Mokgotlhwe - 2012-08-19 06:25

    Mining task should discus creating pay system were by the pay of worker in Platinum sector got same salaries .Same Job same Salary across platinum sector that will stop this killings

  • - 2012-08-19 06:31

    we must remember that it was the UNIONS that really were the cause that started this avalanch

  • thomas.obrian.92 - 2012-08-19 06:51

    hakim, your comment is extremely racist and disgusting. I am not a Jew, but comment like yours are totally unacceptable in a public forum. I am also not impressed with Gerald Jordaan's comment as it also borders on not being condusive to racial harmony.

  • iceman196 - 2012-08-19 07:44

    lets see if the cop killers are bought to book, lots of noise about supporting the barbarians family but not a peep about the 2 police officers families, you people disgust me

      Kurt Kassen - 2012-08-19 10:51

      well said ice man why are they quiet abt the first ten people that was killed what abt thier families thier children are also fatherless nw those babarians that was killed by the police got what came to them

  • lucas.moolman - 2012-08-19 07:55

    Another task force, these anc thugs just love their task forces/teams hey, then when these "task forces/teams" fail, they setup another task force to investigate why the previous team failed, is this job creation in the new south africa

  • Bra Tebzaah Sibilanga - 2012-08-19 07:56

    Lonmin created this bloodbath,not once did they try to listen to the workers,yet they making billions out of their hardwork.They should stop treating people like slaves,pay them damnit.

  • Leonard Mokgotlhwe - 2012-08-19 08:02

    Same time this year the situation at Marikana happened at Impala but luckily it end up like in Marikana.The main issue was pay rise to the same as Anglo platinum mine and they managed win then Lonmin they wanted the some thing , it end up in killing .The solution to the problem is there should banchmarking.SAME JOB SAME SALARY ACROSS PLATINUM SECTOR this killings will stop amen

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-08-19 08:20

    The fact that AMCU was excluded from the meeting on Saturday definitely confirms that this is a Union turf war...they were first invited to the Friday meeting but that never took place as \unfortunate events took over\ yet on Sat they were excluded as Shabangu said she didn't know of them or what their place is in the mining industry...they are part of the problem and shouldve been invited

      alf.pop - 2012-08-19 08:45

      Most of the time Shabangu doesn't know what day of the week it is, let alone anything more complex like the Marikana issue.

      mantsho.tlali - 2012-08-19 13:47

      Zuma's ministers are all bunch of idiots, and he cannot see, That is why all of this is Zuma's fault, The people of South Africa have put their lives in danger by voting for Zuma to run the country,He is weak. If we will have this after Mangaung, we are finished.

  • david.diego.14 - 2012-08-19 08:28

    people must stop putting the blame to the union,blame the police commision

      Kurt Kassen - 2012-08-19 10:47

      why mst the police be blamed do they knw whats going on in the mining industries u idiot !!

      mantsho.tlali - 2012-08-19 13:40


  • mlamli.njilo - 2012-08-19 08:41

    NUM has become a goverment.shame on day people will leave you you have accept change and give space other people who are faithful to workers..

  • KennySven - 2012-08-19 12:50

    News24 stop pushing your apps down my throat when I log on I don't wan't it

  • mantsho.tlali - 2012-08-19 13:38

    Another Minister who needs to be fired, why wait untill now to do something,You should have intervene the time you hear that the miners were armed with dengerous weapons. This miners have been speaking for days and no one was there to listern to them. All this is Zuma's fault, He is Weak, A very Weak president we have.

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