General

Mineral Resources Committee Dismayed by Plan to Cut 2 000 Jobs

Parliament� The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources has learned with dismay of a plan at AngloGold Ashanti to cut 2 000 mineworkers’ jobs.

Although aware of the drop in commodity prices internationally in the recent past, the committee strongly believes that the retrenchment plan is a slap in the face in a year dedicated to celebrating Mr Nelson Mandela’s legacy.

The committee further notes a tendency of mining companies that close operations, but keep their mining rights. The committee Chairperson, Mr Sahlulele Luzipo, said: It is high time legislation is reviewed to include a ‘use it, or lose it’ clause.

He said abandoned mines containing mineral deposits attract illegal miners, known as zama zamas.

The social contracts that mining companies and stakeholders enter into should contain clear clauses on how to mitigate eminent retrenchments. At the moment, mining companies are free to take unilateral decisions, even on matters that have far-reaching consequences for the welfare of workers, said Mr Luzipo.

The committee is encouraged by the commitment from rival organised labour unions to engage with AngloGold Ashanti in order to find amicable solutions. The committee urges other stakeholders to also participate in the engagements.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa