Limpopo premier expresses hope for jobs in mining after losses

2018-02-23 17:54
Stan Mathabatha. (Lucky Nxumalo)

Stan Mathabatha. (Lucky Nxumalo) (Lucky Nxumalo)

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Polokwane – Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha on Friday expressed hope that the Mining Charter and planned provincial special economic zones will help reverse job losses suffered in the last quarter of 2017.
Mathabatha was speaking during the State of the Province Address in Polokwane on Friday, days after the Chamber of Mines and mining stakeholders agreed to postpone a court challenge of the Mining Charter.
According to Statistics South Africa's Quarterly Labour Force Survey, the province had recorded the largest employment gains in the fourth quarter, with 62 000 new jobs, and reduced unemployment by 1.7%. 

However, 35 000 jobs were lost in the province in the same period. At least 15 000 of those were lost in the mining sector.

"We commit ourselves to working harder to recapture the lost jobs and even create other jobs for our people. We will do this by ensuring that agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and the construction sector contribute optimally to the provincial GDP (gross domestic product)," Mathabatha said.

According to the provincial growth and development plan, mining and agriculture are key pillars of the planned special economic zones. Mining alone contributes at least 28% of the GDP.

Hope for investment, partnerships

He also expressed concern over illegal mining in the province's Sekhukhune region, saying 60 suspects had been arrested.
Turning to the Mining Charter, Mathabatha said the province anticipated a review that would produce a win-win solution for mining communities.

"The resolution of this matter will help us attract investment into the provincial economy, and strengthen partnerships with mining houses, and organised labour."

He said the Makhado-Musina special economic zone implementation was underway with R147m channelled to support the rollout.

"We are basically at the tail end of our planning phase of this mega initiative."

The zone will feature logistics between the south and north corridor, which links the Beitbridge border and Durban Harbour freight services.

Mathabatha also vowed to help struggling government entities find their footing and achieve clean audits.

Read more on:    stan mathabatha  |  polokwane  |  mining

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