Not the miners' fault - Mantashe

2012-09-16 21:23

Johannesburg - The socio-economic conditions of mine workers at Lonmin's Marikana mine, in North West, were part of what led to their violent protest, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Sunday.

"Mining remains the bedrock of the South African economy, and yet the abject poverty and squalor surrounding mining areas remains a matter of deep concern," he said.

Mantashe was speaking after a national executive committee meeting in Pretoria on Friday and Saturday.

"We have dedicated a lot of time to discussing the Marikana tragedy," he said.

Mantashe said the African National Congress had, in the past decade, sought to address the situation in mining through the Mining Charter.

"Tragically, in the platinum sector in particular and mining in general, employees and companies have paid lip service to the undertaking in the charter to ensure that living and working conditions of workers in the mining sector are improved."

Mantashe called on the platinum sector to join the centralised bargaining system, because this would go a long way towards finding lasting solutions in the sector and would contribute towards more peaceful resolution of wage and other disputes.

"The NEC declared its support for the work done by government to date," Mantashe said.

"There was agreement in the NEC on giving space and support to the judicial commission of inquiry appointed by President [Jacob] Zuma."


On Friday, before the NEC meeting started, Mantashe warned of anarchy if incitement to violence was tolerated.

"We cannot allow lawlessness to roll over the country and think it should be rewarded and therefore begin a norm in society," he told reporters in Pretoria.

"Our appeal we are making to the state: people must exercise their rights, but violence should not be an option when exercising those rights."

Mantashe said the NEC would focus on a number of issues including the situation at platinum mines.

"We are paying attention to the Marikana situation and its ramifications," he said.

"We are not trying to cover what would be covered by the commission of inquiry. We are looking into the political economy of the development and the long-term impacts on society in general."

Mantashe said it was not the business of the NEC to deal with incitement, but that of the state.

Incitement is a criminal offence and it is written as such in the Constitution, he said.

"Tolerance to incitement and agitation is something that can lead to anarchy," he said.

"Once anarchy rules society, that society degenerates, and that society collapses in the long run."

Mantashe said there would be at least two special NEC meetings in the run-up to the Mangaung elective conference, to ensure a "smooth national conference".

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-09-16 21:30

    Their socio-economic situation affords them DSTV in these 'squalid' living conditions, hardly scraping by.

      francois.smith.7 - 2012-09-16 21:32

      I wonder how many schools were build with the tax money the mining companies paid? And clinics? And roads? and Houses?

      claudia.meads - 2012-09-16 22:33

      francois.smith.7 I am no great fan of the British (my affinity is rather for the Great USA), but Britain extended an open door to the ANC before 1992 (the unbanning of the ANC). Many of the ANC exiles lived in the UK and 'parasited' merrily like the freeloaders they are, getting qualifications from British universities for little more than attendance. It is the sanctions led by the USA and the UK that was largely responsible for the end of Apartheid - the other was the fact that Apartheid was a relic of the Cold War and a such it came to and end with the end of the Cold War (naturally), little else. Eg the ANC was essentially a meaningless component in the "fight" against Apartheid - the reality that the ANC is too dense to fathom this verity. Biting the hand that fed you is never very smart, but the ANC is not very smart per se, neither are those who take them seriously, or even that to the left of it. This is evident from the fact that the ANC simply do not have any answers for Marikana. Like an alcoholic it blames everybody else. The "living conditions" matter is just another in along list of red herrings. Do Old Mutual, Microsoft or MTN give their employees houses..? No they do not - yet, all three these companies were votes the best employers in SA, recently... Many of the rock-drill-operators earn more than a number of the said companies' employees - notably employees who are NOT illiterate...

      mzuvukile.maswana - 2012-09-16 23:10

      @Claudia seemingly you are supporting the conditions in which the rock drillers are familiar with. Let me understand this South Africa was doing pretty well under the NP government with/without the sanctions and there were lil profits going England's route. There were no shacks back then but hostels where most employees dwell on. Just because England accomodated a handful of our struggle heroes doesn't mean we hv 2 take the crap they feed us.

      francois.smith.7 - 2012-09-16 23:27

      It was Morne Steyn's fault.

      jans.opresser - 2012-09-17 02:08

      claudia meads,I am 100% certain that the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up is flick on a light switch,the second thing you do is to start telling one lie after another. you seem to forget(another meads lie)that america and england both VETOED any sanctions against apartheid for FOR TWENTY TWO YEARS!guess you forgot all about your hero thatchers "quiet diplomacy" when it came to sanctioning her kith and kin who created apartheid? you must have also forgotten that even after apartheid was finally sanctioned,both england and america allowed their white owned companies to VIOLATE INTERNATIONAL LAW AND BUST THE UN also must have forgotten that american and british owned companies like IBM,Hewlett Packard,Ford motor company,British Petroleum,and bank of america to name a few were all CONVICTED in US court for busting the sanctions. they are arguing that they are not guilty because their GOVTS allowed them to bust the sanctions WILLINGLY!and it was the congressional black congress in america that finally forced then president bush 41 to vote against apartheid at the UN after they learned that HE and reagan were covertly supporting apartheid.they then passed laws to preven american companies from doing buisness with apartheid. see rangel amendment south africa" all you do is post one lie after another with any topic that you read! your just a habitual liar!

      jans.opresser - 2012-09-17 02:15

      @claudia meads,and apartheid was no relic of o cold war!it was nazism and white supremacy! SEPERATE AND NOT EQUAL!there is no hand that feeds them! britain under that bigot thatcher was telling the ANC people in england one thing,but was doing another back in south africa! england SUPPORTED apartheid 100% until the very end. and only spoke out against it after the congressional black congress in america passed laws against apartheid. president mugabe in zimbabwe did more to defeat apartheid than england and america did!

  • Martin522 - 2012-09-16 21:35

    Now I just wonder, and this is honesty and not being nasty. If the mines do give them 100% better living conditions, how long before the whole family, including distant family, all live in this accommodation? Or will it be like the RDP Housing? A day after it is handed over, it is being sold or rented out? But I DO agree, one should have at least a decent place to stay, that is not even a question in my mind.

      heathway.master - 2012-09-17 10:41

      "Incitement is a criminal offence written into the Constitution" If this is the case, I hope the biggest incitement to violenece protagonist, Malemea gets criminally charged and ends up with a lengthy prison sentence. Too much to hope for I expect.

  • madoda.monamudi - 2012-09-16 21:39

    Mantashe u are too old to transformed the country please retire now we call upon the new blood. We need young stars who are having new ideas to take the country forward.

      tw2066 - 2012-09-17 05:31

      Been watching the Transformers again have you?

      heathway.master - 2012-09-17 10:45

      I find the anomolies in worker militancy quite bizarre. In the star this week, there was a picture of 10 000 people lining up for 30 jobs with a municipality. Turning the page you see thousands of employed mineworkers trying to make the mining industry ungovernable. Cost the mining industry billions of rand a month lost production, as well as lost revenue to the Goverment to improve service delivery. What a paradoxical situation.

  • henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-09-16 21:46

    Ja jou boef! If your cadres stop stealing tax money the areas could have been developed by you. What happened to all the tax money these mines payed!

  • max.reynecke - 2012-09-16 21:46

    "We have dedicated a lot of time to discussing the Marikana tragedy,"...Your persistent, ignorant, idiocy is making me feel like puking...when are you and your ilk going to realise that you must start doing something? To talk about something does not miraculously resolve the problem. We want to hear you have resolved the problem, not that you recognise it as a problem or you talked about the problem...grow a brain please, I beg you.

  • gift.moyo.52 - 2012-09-16 22:01

    Mantashe backing down from his former hardline stance against the miners! Its no longer their fault but the socio economic conditions! This is democracy! The numbers game which Zuma and Mantashe understand very well despite what the opposition and minority rights groups think Democracy is a child of politics and it ain't pretty to look at! It doesn't care wether the voter is educated, criminal, patriotic or has any proven record of managing their own affairs in a logical manner let alone decide who should lead a country or have what rights. Zuma, Mantashe, Malema and others know that its just a numbers game with no principles. Thats why Mantashe is now courting the miners and other "socio-economically disadvanged majorities." Like I said before, democracy will bring back Malema when he has gathered enough numbers. Democracy ain't pretty is it? Its just for clever politicians to worm their way to power. The tragedy is that all other alternatives are just as bad! Catch 22!

      max.reynecke - 2012-09-16 22:03

      Gift, well said I fully agree with you.

      martin.melzer.988 - 2012-09-17 00:10

      Democracy is imperfect but is better than the alternatives.

  • justice.muzila - 2012-09-16 22:07

    Not the miners fault but the irresponsible,greedy,selfish

  • Maleana - 2012-09-16 22:12

    Refer to this article for some interesting figures that don't quite tie in with what Mr. Mantashe says. Three questions. 1. What does Mr. Mantashe earn and will he be happy to share it with the poor? 2. What does the leader of the SACP, Blade Nzimande earn and will he be willing to share it? 3. What does the leader of Cosatu, Zwelenzima Vavi earn and will he be willing to share? You see it is the problem of the haves and the have nots that has always been around and always will be, irrespective of whether it is a capitalist, communist or socialist state. Show me one successful socialist or communist state where the wealth of the country is shared EQUALLY. It does not exist.

      darren.raath.5 - 2012-09-17 10:43

      a professor at a varsity done an exercise. the exam that was written, the results of the exam were averaged amongst the those that scored say 95% and those 35% the results were averaged so everyone got the same result.there were lots of very high marks and very few low marks.the average was upper B's. the next time it was done again and the results averaged.this time there were very few A's and a lot more much lower marks.the class received a much lower average so those that got A's now got and average the hard workers received a below average mark and the lazy workers received a better mark. the next exam that was written the hard workers didnt bother to study so that there were alot more failures and very low marks.the acerage was now in the upper F's. so the hard workers didnt bother anymore and the lazy workers were riding on the higher workers marks. this is how communism works.eventually nobody gives a sh^t there is no productivity and the only one earning anything are MANTASHE and his cronies.

  • Maleana - 2012-09-16 22:13

    I omitted to include the lnk in my previous post.

      kaspaas.breekwater - 2012-09-16 22:40

      They are only as poor as what Malema is making them believe.

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-09-16 22:14

    While miners are not very highly paid, they are far from minimum wage. Many many people make do with far less every month. Why do they then live in such poverty. They need to be taught the skills of budgeting. Make it compulsory for all to attend.

      lulama.mbelwa - 2012-09-17 07:44

      U have a valid point Mandy, But those people u comparing them to do not work in mines, probably retail. Their jobs are not as dangerous as that of mine workers. And its not fair on miners for one manager to earn over 1m a month but they must earn peanuts.

      riette.nothling - 2012-09-17 10:39

      @ lulama, it doesn't matter in which industry you work if the amount of money is the same the same can be done. It's because they don't spend their money wisely, and because 1 person works and provides for 20. So in the mean time the economy is suffering which will lead to more job losses.

  • Maleana - 2012-09-16 22:18

    I quote from These official figures are somewhat understating salaries, as people confuse gross and net pay and often even discretionary spending. I suspect the R3,000-a-month median to be a red herring and probably, like our rock drill operators, many others also forget pension fund contributions, medical aid, taxes etc. While the shacklands surrounding Marikana look very bad, the fact is that, according to Stats SA’s General Household Survey (2011), half of all rentals there are less than R1,000 a month and shacks tend to be let out for less than R500 a month. Somehow the miners’ R1,850 housing allowance goes beyond paying rent — again, according to official data. At a recent debt counsellors’ conference, I was told that many people just do not know how to handle money and often get into trouble. Despite the thousands of people in debt counselling, more than 500,000 people still had debt judgments against them last year. In many cases, these debt judgments are claimed at the company level, as are maintenance orders, etc. Along with microloan payments, pension, medical and union fees, very often people have more than 70% of their salaries deducted before they get the money in the bank. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

      freddied - 2012-09-17 02:02

      what makes u think the miners dnt knw a thing abt money?

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-16 22:23

    Without greed and selfishness there would be no mines. The miners should really aslo get their act together. They should get use to the idea that their efforts under the anti-capitalist regime will be for the benefit of the larger society, many of which will spend their waking hours doing bugger all. Why not? The egalitarian and altruistic miners will mine the minerals and, incidentally, add in the selling of it to the capitalist rubbish on the world markers. And so the miners and the rest of the anti-capitalists will be contributing to the exploitation of the other working classes in those capitalist societies using our worker-generated (socialistic, communistic, workers' paradise) minerals. Some very unrealism permeating our working class soul. Incidentally, someone will have to be the boss and organiser. Already the rumours (on RSG) are there tha the trade unions (Cosatu unions) were in some pretty mutually benefitting relationships with the imployers (still are.) They took their cut in deals with the employers as to who or what would be taken aboard the economic activities such as the employment of labour. Not saying all are taking part in the affair. But let's consider at least that if the government takes over as the sole employer through nationalisation the workers and their so-called trade unions would have absolutely no say who they would like to join or work for. Not even where they would like to save or invest their few bobs. One employer, one taker from all!

      graham.horn.505 - 2012-09-17 07:19

      Uhm... sorry what was that?

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-16 22:30

    At least with employers outside governemnt you have a choice. Who to trust with greed and selfishness? 100% rather the private sector than the government and the trade unions. We must not mislead ourselves. The trade union officials and the Julius Malemas do not envisage themselves as the workers in the mines, factories or on the farms. No, they think and imagine themselves as the new bosses (which they in any event already seem to be if the allegations of backhanders are true.) No choice or alternatives under them for workers and the rest of us. The workers will remain workers. They have NEVER been transformed into bosses in any economic dispensation in the whole of history. Not even in Zimbabwe. Just new bosses with the new political connections.

  • kaspaas.breekwater - 2012-09-16 22:39

    The ANC's strategy have changed from playing the race card, to playing the poverty card, BUT after 18 years of democracy there are more poverty in SA than before, so they only have to blame themselves.

      Maleana - 2012-09-16 22:42

      The poverty card Is the race card.

      annelene.munro - 2012-09-17 10:27

      As far as poverty is concerned it is worth noting that the poorest countries in the world also have the highest birth rates

  • Erna - 2012-09-16 22:41

    Of course having a smooth running national conference at the end of the year is much more important than the smooth running of the country!

  • Maleana - 2012-09-16 22:55

    Just a general observation. It is so easy to do a spell check as well as use a on line dictionary or thesaurus to check your posts. It takes a matter of seconds to produce an intelligible comment. Your lack of education makes your comments seem trivial and like the rantings of ignorant peasants.

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-09-16 22:56

    Rather take heed of what M Buthelezi said earlier this year:\r\nANC, it is your sanctions and boycotts you called for, foreign disinvestment you begged for, that has ruined black SA. You said then it was a sacrifice you ALL were prepared to make, to suffer once to create a Utopia...\r\nInstead greed got the better of you.\r\nTake responsibility for creating a violent nation because of the armed struggle and vow to make SA ungovernable!\r\nStupid! If you want to unleash a deadly virus make sure you have an antidote first!

  • david.mbombi - 2012-09-16 23:36

    4 hw long a we gona talk abt de mines, govt s de overseer of all in ds country why don't dey step in an adress all dept concern, police cant solve ds problem. A dey afraid dat foreigners owning our mines staying in europe wil take de money n leave. Ppl must b abused n when dey talk a told 2 shut up. S still de same as those yrs slavery, we call ourselves south africans bt we don't even a piece of land of our forefathers. S ds democracy when we dont hv drinking water bt millions of rands a dug daily 2 western countries. don't talk investors wil runaway.

      sally.lewitt - 2012-09-17 06:45

      David. Get a life Dude.. Find an App for a dictionary, buy one if you t, educate yourself (yes anything is possible if you set your mind to it) and become president and sort this crap out and get us OUT of this slavery you poor victim, well.. that's only if your bells have dropped! Only then will they stop those slave owner from further theft of your money hey.. Jeeees, what you waiting for..? RUN!!!!!!

  • - 2012-09-16 23:49

    @Claudia, so you support suppressing the guys doing the hard work as long as the masters are well treated by the British? Nope, the British' record is poor, think wars, that they finance for their own benefit. They didn't support the struggle for the ANC's benefit, only their own, i.e. the right to mine and earn profits to keep their boat afloat.

  • christopher.madede1 - 2012-09-17 01:59

    @mantashe @police minister @prsdent his exallent Zuma, its been a while when I'm following this Marikana saga, hey can't you c that th management of th marikana are very greed ,now they are complaining of million if not billions of rands only in one mounth ,when everything is at stand still, what does that mean?the answer from a new baby born is quete simply , give the miners 12.500 if not more , now the managment has the full mandate to fire the striking workers frm our gov, hey why fighting fire with fire.

      sally.lewitt - 2012-09-17 05:53

      What on earth are you saying in 'laymen's terms' and please post in FULL un-abbreviated words on a public forum so we can at least understand your full message? Thank you

      tw2066 - 2012-09-17 06:28

      chris - eets not the minas fault, orr the AiNiC, so etts the managemeent again, Buty they didnt much or shoots the peeople, or to make the sheet like Malema, buti eets still the management??? Hau?

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-09-17 08:15

      @Tw2066: look, we have a stuttering ventriloquist retard! Please do your leader Eugene Terblanch`s english accent! Pleeeeeeaaaasssseeee retard, I`ll give a sucker :)

  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-09-17 04:48

    Got to blame someone,dont they.How can it be the miners,shame...killing is a socio-economic situation? Carrying dangerous weapons,intimidating people,striking and demanding a ridicilous increase is a socio-economic situation? How many of the miners are NOT South Africans.

  • alaina.nel.12 - 2012-09-17 06:15

    Mantashe is just looking for votes.He has big plans.He is just like Zuma.They feel nothing for the people of South Africa...

      Tokologo Benji Mohlatlole - 2012-09-17 06:51

      thats true

  • brionyl.french - 2012-09-17 06:34

    So stop taking a huge salary and give it back to the country. The government could build housing and schools and shops and then the people could have housing, jobs, and education... WOW so much from so little... WaKE THE HELL UP ANC! STOP TALKING LETS SEE ACTION!!!

  • marie.smit.566 - 2012-09-17 06:47

    Can't they just allocate 2 billion and build a town? It doesn't seem to be a problem elsewhere!

  • africanwolf - 2012-09-17 06:54

    My point of view is, when the miners applied for those jobs, I am sure they knew the salary and working conditions, and obviously agreed to it . Therefore I do not understand what is the problem now? If you don't like it just leave, and look for another job. The business suppose to work for profit, and not to please employees. If the miners think they can do better, why not take a loan and start their own mine, with all the risks involved. This is a business point of view, a business pays what it can afford, and not what everyone wishes.

      annelene.munro - 2012-09-17 10:58

      Agree with you, they knew the circumstances when they accepted the jobs, and they have been getting increases, I think Lonmin last year gave them 8,5% increase, higher than the inflation rate and higher than the increases some people received. The strikers give the impression that they are rural people who are most probably not up with financial news and they have no idea of the state of the world economy after 2008 and there must be people in the background who are inciting the miners for their own agendas, most likely political ....

  • Bra Tebzaah Sibilanga - 2012-09-17 06:54

    Read an article on how the very same mines operating in mzansi pays their workers in other countries,yet they pay peanuts to the black South Africans who does the same job.It is embarassing to say the least,yet we are the number one platinum producer but it does not reflect on the payslip.These mines have been exploiting workers for far too long,they must pay up.

  • thembani.mabeka - 2012-09-17 06:56

    I think its not that important to stop those striking ppl by force of sandf or police but if lonmin can meet them on the table n give them atleast someting closer to 12,500 its a solution something 4rm 9000 upward coz it seems as if lonmin knows that those miners deserve this coz if they were not they shouldn't Give them even this increase of 1,800

  • Kalari - 2012-09-17 06:57

    No mention of low productivity and the shutting down of production by incompetent safety inspectors who only exercise their power for the love of it. As always a one sided story where the "votas"is always right.

  • sintjohn.witbooi - 2012-09-17 06:57

    Never trust a politician. Here is Albert Einstein's take on politicians: "They have cheated us. They have fooled us. Hundreds of millions of people in Europe and America (and Africa), billions of men and women yet to be born, have been and are being cheated, traded and tricked out of their lives and health and well-being." Don't beliieve uncle Al? Start with a body count at Marikana.

  • thembani.mabeka - 2012-09-17 07:01

    next strike its gonna be against the labour brokers in south afrika

  • Hamrammr - 2012-09-17 07:10

    And so the fight between Gwede and Zuma begins. Malema helped Zuma become president, and so he is helping Gwede. The Gods be with us if an idiot of this scale is having such a influence over the majority of SA.

  • Tim Elliott - 2012-09-17 07:25

    Has Mantashe ever noticed the poverty and squalor one sees on the fringes of every town in the E.Cape?No...because he wouldn't go there would he.Just suits him to blame mining!

  • David Steyn - 2012-09-17 07:47

    Am I right in saying that most of the miners come from the Eastern Cape? If so I would like to know why the local population accepts people from another province taking jobs that should be theirs. The locals of that area surely all have permanent homes and would not have to live in shacks. I think it is the migrant workers probably some of them from Moz and Zim? that live in these bad conditions.

  • tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-09-17 09:58

    How can you come out now acting as if this explotation of our people by mine bosses is something new, it was all groovy when JZ was receiving all the money from the mines but now that the tables are changing you quick to tell us what we already know.People in the mines have been living in appauling conditions for many years and even the Presidents nephew contributed towards this, why this now?

  • pieter.pan.184 - 2012-09-17 10:16

    So many people here seem to support the idea that mine workers should be poorly paid and the mine bosses should be entitled to whatever they can get. That's great, except the money the mine owners get is leaving the country. At least if the mine workers get paid better, they will end up spending that money in South Africa, thereby enriching South African business owners. Better paid South Africans is to everyone's best interest. It means more disposable income. It means children with a better chance at a better future which bodes well for the country. But no, lest keep the poor poor. This country has so many poor people, many of whom are employed and that is the most disgusting of all.

  • crystal.core.5 - 2012-09-17 10:48

    The miners are far from innocent: an illegal strike, armed with pangas and traditional weapons, threatening violence on their employers and fellow workers who do not comply, brutally killing their own, security and police who do to comply to their demands ...mine workers work in a mine, these people are political thugs for hire not mine workers. They are largely uneducated, gullible and easily intimidated: perfect just cannon fodder for a ruthless bunch of cowardly politicians waging internal battle within a party made up of thugs. These ANC politicians don't seem to care about the lives that have been lost playing their little power games.

  • jaco.krige.9 - 2012-09-17 16:24

    I've red allot of articles end comments on articles,and came to the conclussion that everyone wants to earn more money and by all means,why not?But if you want more money to improve your socio-economic situation,then do it!!Don't ask for more but keep on living like you are poor!Get a architect draw up plans and build your own house if you want to stay in a certain area!If you stand with a cupped hand and get you share,even if by hard work,do something worthwile,uplift yourselves!!

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