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Amcu to engage in nationwide protest over jobs bloodbath

We are in crisis – Joseph Mathunjwa.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa said at a press conference on Thursday that drastic action needed to be taken to avert the “jobs bloodbath” facing the mining industry. As many as 20 000 jobs have been put at risk in the last few weeks alone.

“The sector is under enormous pressure at the moment, and workers as an economic resource are expendable. The economy cannot create enough demand at present to absorb people into the labour market,” said Mathunjwa.

He laid the blame for the perilous state of affairs at the door of a number of factors including government and, specifically, Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane. 

“Since Zwane joined, there has been no direction at all from the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR). He is now backtracking on the moratorium on mining licences because he said something that his ruling party did not agree with. We are in a crisis and they are dysfunctional.”

But Mathunjwa also veered out of his usual ambit involving issues of workers by criticizing broader government policy, which even involved invoking Donald Trump. Taking about the economy, he said: “The challenge has been the lack of capacity to diversify the economy and create new industries. [Our] trade agreements do not promote local manufacturing. We should have a policy like Donald Trump that says ‘Africa and South Africa first!’”

Two companies engaging in the largest retrenchments include AngloGold Ashanti (8 500) and Sibanye Gold (7 400). Mathunjwa said Amcu would continue pursuing all avenues to avoid job losses, and noted that according to information at its disposal, each mineworker supports five to ten people dependent on their wage, “so 8 500 job losses means a potential 85 000 people lose their livelihood. These job losses will be felt across Carletonville and the surrounding towns.” Mathunjwa also said it was “highly unethical and hypocritical” for these companies to be investing overseas at a time when they were cutting jobs in South Africa.

Amcu has served the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) with a notice that it intends to engage in a nationwide protest over the issue of job losses, and this will include a petition directly to the office of the President of the Republic. No strike is being considered at present, as this will “plunge workers into more difficulty”.

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Welcome to radical economic transformation. Just keep voting for the Zupta party your turn will come at the trough. Who cares about job losses rather petition the Gupta’s if memory serves me right they appointed Zwane.

Agreed. We should all just abandon the 21st century and go farm with three chickens and a goat in our back yard.

If the mining charter is adopted he will have a lot more to complain about. 100 000 additional job losses.

Does anyone care anymore?
Will anyone do anything?
Can anyone do anything?
South Africans are fed up long ago!!!
We gave up long ago!!!

Welcome back to reality, these people indirectly voted for job losses. Did no one explain to them???

They voted for a group of people that have NO ECONOMIC plan, except to loot the country.

Where are these people protesting? Again at the the wrong address.

Visit the Minister of Mines and the No. 1 and his close friends.

and I quote: “and this will include a petition directly to the office of the President of the Republic.”

Give long term assurances that previous agreed arrangements made at the time of investing will not change with each new minister. Look for win-win situations and people may begin investing and developing new mines again.

Also keep the price of electricity as low as possible as it is no use having a mineral but no energy that is cheap enough to recover and add value to the ore by processing it. If the DRC can produce the same processed mineral cheaper because of a lower cost of labour or energy (from their hydroelectric scheme), we are out of business.

Unfortunately, needing to be economically (and policy) competitive is quite harsh on jobs. That is unless one has a world-wide monopoly on the mineral and people cannot find a replacement.

This is like the AIDS virus complaining that it is running out of hosts.

Hello !
Welcome to the world of reality.

Can you imagine if the mines were nationalised – under the ANC?
They would immediately employ 10 000 more and double their wages.

Ha ha !

I and possibly many other people have no sympathy for trade unions anymore, there modus operandi is once they are upset with anything then they go on strike, promising that they will be peaceful, ha! ha! that never happens, there is always mayhem and destruction

The unions are good for a laugh. Their often disastrous actions occur before they consider the consequences. The consequences are often job losses. Then they organise marches to protest job losses! I thought more workers in jobs was good for unions but it seems unions want less and less members to receive more and more outrageous increases. Too many destructive forces in this country means very few can get ahead.

There is only one place to protest – at Luthuli House!!!!

there is talk of another ONE MILLION UNEMPLOYED by this time next year. its a disgrace – something has to happen – hopefully not a civil war!

How you would love that, Satan in Sydney. Mr EFF supporter living in capitalistic white country.

these unions need to do the math, they are such idiots.

take the platinum strike a few years ago. The money that the mines saves not paying the workers for was it 5 months, when the increase was agreed, the normal 7 odd %, the mines used the millions they had saved to cover the increase for years to come, so who won? The mines ofcourse.

No one wins. Employees lose out on wages. Production targets and investor returns get left in the dirt. Negative perceptions are created that disadvantage the whole country/industry. Efficiency and productivity go out the door. Mines have to service debt, and with no production, they have to use cash reserves..

Striking serves no proper purpose. Just to waste time and resources. There are other ways and means to negotiate.

Unions are archaic and need to be scrapped. Typical middleman, waste both sides’ time and money, and create convoluted outcomes.

Ask your members to raise some of their own capital, buy out some of the existing shareholders and get on with it …. oh, and good luck and welcome to the real world!

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