Cape Town -
It was too early to tell whether the Marikana tragedy would have long term effects on investor confidence, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Wednesday
Answering questions in the National Assembly, Motlanthe did however acknowledge the immediate impact that the killing of 44
people at the Lonmin mine in North West had on business confidence.
“What I've observed by looking at the share price of Lonmin itself is that it has gone down. As to how long that would be, I'm not sure yet,” he told the House.
Motlanthe stressed the importance of the government continuing to inspire business confidence.
“The point is, however, that we should as a country, as public representatives, continue to reassure investors that South Africa is the place to invest their money, particularly in mining as an important investment outlet for them to consider.”
Democratic Alliance MP Tim Harris later probed Motlanthe on labour issues related to the Lonmin strike.
“In order to prevent an explosion of unrest associated with the dominance of certain trade unions in sectors like mining from breaking out, would he (Motlanthe) support the replacement of closed shop agreements with the proportional representational model for labour bargaining?” Harris asked.
Motlanthe was loathe to support or reject the proposal, and said the collective bargaining regime was regulated by the Labour Relations Act (LRA).
The deputy president said it was not up to him to express an opinion, but it was the job of MPs to amend the LRA, if needed.
“I am wary of any suggestion that is aimed at whittling away rights. We are a country and society which prides ourselves on our record of human rights.
“Now, whether the collective bargaining regime impacts positively or negatively is something we must always debate, assess and adjust our legislative framework accordingly,” Motlanthe said.
Following the tragedy, some commentators claimed the Lonmin tensions and violence were a result of the dominance of the National Union of Mineworkers in the sector. - Sapa