PRETORIA, Feb 22 – The South African government and mining industry stakeholders have signed a framework agreement to secure peace and stability in the sector. “A task team, constituted by all role players, agreed to work on the document, the framework for peace and stability,” Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said at the signing here Thursday. The signing of the document comes just days after violence flared in the platinum sector, where 13 people were hurt in clashes at a mine near Rustenburg in North West Province on Monday.
A group of about 1,000 workers had demanded the closure of National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) offices at the Siphumelele mine of Anglo American Platinum Limited (Amplats), which accounts for almost 40 per cent of the world’s supply of platinum.
Shabangu — flanked by stakeholders who included representatives from the Chamber of Mines, NUM, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), United Association of South Africa (UASA), Solidarity and Amplats — briefed the media on the signing of this key framework. She said the government — represented by the Departments of Mineral Resources and Labour — and stakeholders met to discuss a way forward and to prevent a repeat of the tumultuous events that unfolded in the sector last year.
“What happened need not happen again,” she said in reference to the Marikana tragedy last year.
All parties involved except the Association for Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) have agreed to the document. However, the union had been involved in the process that began on Tuesday and Shabangu remained positive Amcu would sign the agreement. The minister reiterated that parties were committed to bringing back stability to the industry. According to the framework, violence, intimidation, lack of respect and intolerance for different views and freedom of association and disassociation should be eradicated.