SIKI MGABADELI: It’s Mining Monday. Let’s take a quick look at some of the main issues in the sector right now, some of the developments that took place last week, and also of course what to expect. We are chatting to Sungula Nkabinde, my colleague here at Moneyweb.
Sungula, thanks for your time this evening. The Chamber of Mines held its AGM. Any major developments there?
SUNGULA NKABINDE: Ja, Siki, thank you. The chamber appointed Neal Froneman, CEO of Sibanye, as the vice-president of the Chamber of Mines. And there was a lot of talking about positive engagement between the DMR and the chamber in lieu of all the headwinds that have been happening and empowerment and all of that.
The one thing that the minister [Mosebenzi Zwane] brought up was that there had been 30 deaths in the mining sector over the past year at this point compared to 27 at this point last year, so he was not very happy about that.
SIKI MGABADELI: Certainly not. And that also comes at this time when we’ve got the silicosis and tuberculosis case.
SUNGULA NKABINDE: Exactly.
SIKI MGABADELI: Did they touch on that at all at the AGM?
SUNGULA NKABINDE: Ja, they spoke about it briefly although there is still a lot that needs to come out of that case in terms of what the way forward is going to be. But the minister did touch on the fact that more needs to be done in terms of how the mining sector improves safety for its workers.
SIKI MGABADELI: Talking about the workers, the platinum industry of course has had bit of a hiatus since the last major strike, but they are heading into another negotiation season.
SUNGULA NKABINDE: Ja, negotiations are coming up soon, but there is a sense that things are not going to be anywhere near as dire as that last four-month strike in 2014. In the past year there was a one-week strike in the coal sector and that’s about as bad as it got. The mining sector did manage to achieve a two-year agreement in the coal sector and a three-year agreement in the gold sector as well. So they are hoping that the platinum-sector negotiations will go relatively smoothly.
SIKI MGABADELI: Let’s hope that they’ve done a lot of work in getting everybody around the table. Thanks for your time today, Sungula.