South Africa 7.8.2018 03:12 pm

Nationalise mines ‘under care and maintenance to create jobs’

Steel worker. Picture: AFP Photo.

Steel worker. Picture: AFP Photo.

Amcu says Highveld Steel closed a manufacturing plant close to Kusile power station, only for the country to import steel from China. 

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) today called for the nationalisation of mines under care and maintenance in a bid to create more jobs for South Africans.

Joseph Mathunjwa, president of the majority union in the platinum mining industry, said that government must create demands for its own minerals. He made an example of Highveld Steel which shut down a manufacturing plant in Limpopo close to Kusile Power Station, only for the country to import steel from China.

“One wonders why government never nationalised this resource, in order to create jobs and sustain communities. One wonders how many tonnes of steel was used in the construction of Kusile and Medupi. Ironically all this steel was imported from China. How short-sighted can one be?” Mathunjwa said.

“One has no doubt that our state is a capitalist state, in that the state has no control over its economy. This has been proved by proposed amendments to the Labour Relations Act to make it easier for capital to abuse the working class, the lack of emphasis in the Mine Health and Safety Act in protecting the workers and making the mining bosses accountable for the deaths of workers, and the continuous enrichment of a small political elite at the expense of the broader community.”

Mathunjwa was speaking during a media briefing to address the announced job cuts by Impala Platinum.

Last week, the world’s second-largest platinum producer announced it would cut its workforce by 13 000 employees over the next two years at its operations in Rustenburg as part of the implementation of its restructuring plan to meet the challenge of declining global demand.

African News Agency (ANA)

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