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19 February 2013 19:03

Turmoil in platinum sector: Peter Major - mining consultant, Cadiz Corporate Solutions

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Hilton Tarrant anchors the daily national business news programme, the SAfm Market Update with Moneyweb.

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    Bad habits, says Peter, can't be changed in a couple of months.

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    HILTON TARRANT: Let’s bring in Peter Major now, mining consultant at Cadiz Corporate Solutions. Peter, we saw some turmoil with Anglo American Platinum yesterday. Today all South African operations were shut and remained shut. There are indications from Anglo that those will restart tomorrow. We've seen the Minister of Mineral Resources, Susan Shabangu, getting involved as this all happened. Met with stakeholders today.
       This disruption is perhaps the last thing that Anglo American and the platinum industry needs right now.

    PETER MAJOR: It doesn’t need it at all, and it just shows we haven't really resolved what’s led to these kind of outbreaks for the last couple of years. We've talked a lot about it, and we started making movements to address it, but when you’ve let bad habits become ingrained for years and years and years you are not going to change them in a couple of months.
       So at least all parties – unions, the management and government – are taking action. They are not taking action fast enough or strong enough and they are going to have to keep taking action, every day, 24/7, probably for the rest of the year before the instigators of this nonsense learn that we are living in a constitutional democracy and everybody has to follow the rules.

    HILTON TARRANT: Peter, what's your reading of what's happening on the ground? Are there instigators or is this really just as simple as a union battle?

    PETER MAJOR: Even if it is a union battle, it's not simple. AMCU apparently – I can't prove it – has continued for the last few years telling all the new potential recruits how much better they can do for them than the NUM has done and ever can do. But you don’t know how many of these recruits are really violent people – I don’t think they’d be employed if they were violent – but they are being very disruptive and there is tribalism in our history here. This must have some kind of effect.
       We talk about our culture – well, you’ve got culture, you’ve got tribalism and this is how competition goes. They don’t understand that we have a Constitution and a democracy and this isn't the way you get what you want.

    HILTON TARRANT: Thanks to Peter Major.

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    The SAfm Market Update with Moneyweb is broadcast on SAfm 104-107fm, weekdays at 18:00 to 18:30.
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