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Mineral Resources Minister in a bid to save jobs
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Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi is on Wednesday meeting with leaders in the mining industry in an attempt to save jobs in the sector.

The meeting follows recent announcements by several mining companies of their intention to retrench workers.

Chamber of Mines President Mike Teke said the global markets had impacted the mining industry. China, which is one of the big markets that the mining industry depended on, was not growing at an expected rate.

“We thought that it would be growing at above 10 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and it’s below that,” Teke said.

Commodity prices had taken a slump across the board with copper hitting its lowest price on Tuesday.

Minister Ramatlhodi said: “We are going to look at what government must do in order to contribute to saving the jobs. We will look into what the unions should do to save jobs and we will look at what the management of the industry should do to save jobs.”

He appealed to the gold sector, which is currently in wage negotiations with unions, to be transparent and for unions to be reasonable during wage negotiations to save jobs in the industry.

“They have got to approach this issue on the basis that we need to save jobs. Whilst we do not have to accept slave wages, we have to contribute towards saving jobs,” Minister Ramatlhodi said.

Recently the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) rejected a final wage offer made by the gold sector.

Minister Ramatlhodi encouraged the gold sector and the unions to re-engage to avoid a prolonged strike.

He said government was discussing how it could streamline its activities; simplify regulations to ensure that it is coordinated to make the mining industry conducive for business.

Teke said he hoped the meeting with Minister Ramatlhodi would be constructive.

“We are here to listen and participate…we don’t go out and shed jobs because we feel like shedding jobs, it’s difficult for the mining companies,” he said.

The meeting with Minister Ramatlhodi was attended by AMCU, NUM, the Chamber of Mines and Solidarity. – SAnews.gov.za
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