27 May 2014
New Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramathlodi has appealed for an end to the four-month strike in South Africa’s platinum mining belt.
“I appeal to all stakeholders to assist this country to emerge from the crippling strike that is really hurting the economy and individuals involved,” Ramathlodi said after being sworn in to office at the Sefako Makgatho presidential guesthouse in Pretoria on Monday.
Mineworkers affiliated to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) downed tools over wages at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Impala Platinum (Implats) and Lonmin mines in January.
“Everyone would be keen to see the strike end as quickly as possible,” Ramathlodi said. “It will be my first job tonight, as I will be briefed by my director-general so that I have a sense of what are the issues that are holding the agreement back.
“I’m sure we will succeed,” he added. “I am aware that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration is mediating, and I think we must give them the necessary support.
“But, for my ministry, I’ll be meeting the trade unions individually, collectively [and I’ll also] be meeting the mining houses as well as the traditional leaders in the areas that the mines are operating [in].”
Ramathlodi was one of 35 new Cabinet ministers who were sworn in to office following President Jacob Zuma’s announcement of his new Cabinet on Sunday evening.
He takes over from former minister Susan Shabangu, who has been moved to the Ministry of Women.