Mantashe: mining rights can be revoked

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IOL image Gwede Mantashe SAPA African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

Mining companies misrepresenting their intentions could have their licences revoked, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday.

“Are companies giving nice plans to government so that they get the licence and once approved (they forget about it)?” Mantashe asked at a news briefing in Johannesburg.

“If you misrepresent what your intentions are when you submit a plan, all parties have a right to revoke the licence.”

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) announced this week that it planned to stop production at four of its shafts in Rustenburg, which could result in the loss of 14,000 jobs, and to sell a mine which was considered unsustainable.

Amplats submitted a labour plan to government in 2010 but that plan was “falling flat”, Mantashe said.

He was briefing reporters after an African National Congress national executive committee meeting in Irene, south of Pretoria on Thursday.

The meeting was a continuation of the NEC held in Durban earlier this month.

Mantashe said the NEC meeting discussed the closure and mothballing of shafts.

“Mothballing shafts is not on in a country where unemployment is at the level that it is. Mothballing shafts doesn't mean that mine has come to the end of its life,” he said.

The issue of auctioning off those shafts which were not being used was on the table and would be discussed by the mineral resources ministry, the mining industry and labour.

Mantashe said the axing of 14,000 jobs was reckless and insensitive.

Amplats had done a review of its operations over the last 12 months.

Mantashe said the mining company should have consulted with all parties after it had done the review, instead of taking a decision now to cut jobs.

“Amplats is built on South African money and it is reckless in its operations in South Africa. These companies come here and behave as if they are strangers... when they were built on our sweat and blood,” he said. - Sapa

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