Plan to save jobs in mining sector announced

Pretoria - Minister of Mineral Resources Ngoako Ramatlhodi has announced interventions aimed at saving jobs in the mining sector.

On Monday, leaders in the mining industry issued a joint declaration demonstrating their commitment to save jobs and reduce the impact of job losses.

The declaration was signed by the Department of Mineral Resources, the Chamber of Mines, South African Mining Development Association, National Union of Mineworkers, Solidarity and the United Association of South Africa.

The interventions agreed to include delaying the implementation of retrenchments. The intervention allows for consultations to be extended to the extent that they will continue during the section 189 of the Labour Relations Act notice period, to allow for the implementation of the interventions.

The parties agreed to enhance productivity and manage cost pressures; accelerate concurrent rehabilitation activities to create alternative jobs for mineworkers; facilitate the sale of distressed and other mining assets and wherever possible save and even create jobs in the hands of other operators as well as find other alternatives to avoid job losses.

The interventions included the utilisation of the multinational companies’ procurement levy to also support employment opportunities for retrenched mineworkers. In terms of the Mining Charter, multinational suppliers of goods to the mining industry must contribute towards a development fund, which fund could be utilised to provide relief in terms of creating alternative jobs for mineworkers.

The meeting further agreed to streamlining the processes for downscaling, updating the database and exploring fiscal instruments so as to enable comprehensive management of the circumstances facing the industry.

There should also be investment promotion and market development; this includes joint promotional activities and increasing demand for South Africa’s minerals.

A communication and implementation plan was also set up; a milestone plan was developed and progress with its implementation will be communicated from time to time.