South Africans have united in shock and sadness at the violence which occurred during the industrial dispute at the Marikana mine, said Chief Executive of Brand South Africa, Miller Matola.
“Our first thoughts must be with the families of those who have died or been injured in this senseless violence. The fact that President Zuma has cut short his attendance of the SADC Summit in Mozambique to return to South Africa to deal with the situation is a sign of how seriously our leadership takes this.”
Matola added that South Africa was a constitutional democracy with sophisticated labour relations law and long-established negotiating forums in which business, organised labour government resolved labour issues.
“We cannot allow the country’s long history of industrial action in support of social change to be undermined by violent protest”, said Matola.
He went on to say that it was vital that the investigation currently underway determine exactly what happened and identify the perpetrators to ensure that justice was served.
“Now is a time for cool heads. Leaders in government, business, the labour unions and the local community must come together to restore calm and commence dialogue.”
Both citizens and business are pleased that President Zuma has given instructions to take the necessary steps to restore calm; and to bring the various parties together to resolve the issues at the mine.
The labour conflict is confined to Lonmin’s Marikana mine near Rustenburg, a mining town about two hours away from Johannesburg.