Retrenchments at Bokoni Platinum Mines is a “direct sabotage” on the amendments made to mining legislation with the aim of transforming the industry, the non-profit organisation the Mining Forum of South Africa has charged.
The Forum’s president and mining activist Blessings Ramoba said the Mining Charter should instead be supported.
“The issue of retrenchments comes from the Charter itself – they realised that operating costs now have to be proportional to income,” Ramoba said.
“In this regard we are against the decision taken by these mining houses to retrench people. We don’t support it.
“I say it’s sabotage on the Charter so the citizens of the country can think retrenchments are because of the Charter,” Ramoba added.
“Where do you want these people to go?
“For the past three years there have been thousands of jobs lost in the mining sector because one of the things that these companies complain about is ‘political uncertainty’ due to the mining charter.
“The charter that was published that came up with transformation clauses has made things worse.”
His comments come after the Chamber of Mines intention to apply for an urgent interdict on the 2017 Mining Charter which seeks to achieve redress and transformation.
Ramoba added that the Forum fully supported the need for transformation through the charter and there must be no room left for corruption in this regard.
“This charter will bring transformation if the implementation is done without corruption. Let’s see different people coming into this industry, but we must avoid corruption.
“We also agree that the mining industry has not transformed as much as we would have expected, especially participation of historically disadvantage South Africans (HDSAs) and we encourage an increase in participation for HDSAs.
“We agree with the view that the road to transformation has its own difficulties and challenges.
“Setting goals for transformation in the mining industry in this time and era will be difficult and challenging for the mining companies, due to low commodity prices, an increase in shortterm volatility, and increased pressure on operating models.”