Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Mining and agriculture must change to survive, says Ramphele

Speaking at the mining indaba in Cape Town on Wednesday, the Gold Fields chair and struggle stalwart said: "It's time to think differently … the mining industry has no option but to make a fresh start [if it hopes to survive]."

Ramphele said it was important for business government and labour to heed the wake-up call of the unrest and the "bombs in South Africa waiting to go off".

Many workers in the mining sector have been striking since last year August. 

In one of the most controversial tragedies last year, 44 people died at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine after violence during a labour strike, 34 of which were miners who were killed after shootout with police at the mine. The incident resulted in an inquiry into what happened at the mine.

Meanwhile, workers at Anglo American Platinum embarked on a two-month wildcat strike after the company said it wanted to close four of its shafts, shedding about 14 000 jobs. Government has since been in talks with the company and workers in an attempt to alleviate the effects.

The miner's profit also plummeted by 180% for the year ended December 31 2012 from a R7.9-billion gain in 2011.

Ramphele added on Wednesday the government needed to produce high-quality social infrastructure, education and a good legislative environment, while business needed to ensure that its actions took into consideration the needs of communities around the mine and the labour sourcing areas.

Sustainable job creation
She said labour also needed to move away from short-term wage goals and understand the importance of sustainable job creation.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant on Monday announced a new minimum wage for farmworkers of R105.

The new rate, R36 more than the current minimum wage of R69 a day, was due to take effect from March 1 after countrywide public hearings on a new minimum wage for the agriculture sector was prompted by violent protests by farmworkers across parts of the Western Cape.

At the indaba Ramphele also took a swipe at black economic empowerment, saying it failed to realise its objective of empowerment of the masses, instead it resulting in the empowerment of a few. 

Ramphele was rumoured to start her own political party after reports that she thought stronger opposition was needed when President Jacob Zuma was re-elected ANC president at the party's elective conference in Mangaung in December. – additional reporting by Sapa

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Capitec Bank flies high above Viceroy’s arrow

The bank took a knock after being labelled a loan shark by the short seller, but this has not stymied its growth

Zondo may miss chief justice cut

The deputy chief justice is said to top Ramaphosa’s list but his position as head of the state capture commission is seen as too politically fraught

More top stories

Council wants Hawks, SIU probe into BAT’s Zimbabwe scandal

The cigarette maker has been accused of giving up to $500 000 in bribes and spying on competitors

How Alpha Condé overthrew Alpha Condé

Since the coup d’état, Guinea’s head of state has been in the custody of the military officers. But it was the president who was the primary architect of his own downfall

‘The Making of Mount Edgecombe’: A view of history from...

Indian indentured labourers’ lives are celebrated in a new book, Sugar Mill Barracks: The Making of Mount Edgecombe

Case of men arrested with 19 rhino horns is postponed

Alleged rhino kingpin and a Mpumalanga businessman appeared in court on charges of the illegal possession and selling of rhino horns
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×