Workers and employers must ensure all matters pertaining to labour relations, including union recognition agreements, verification of membership and wage negotiations, are conducted within the provisions of the Labour Relations Act, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said yesterday.
Speaking at Chatham House in London, where he is on a mission to promote investment in South Africa, Motlanthe said the government would act decisively to enforce the rule of law, maintain peace during strikes and other protests relating to labour disputes, and ensure the protection of life, property and the advancement of the rights of all.
“In this regard, the minister of police on Wednesday, August 14, 2013, launched the Mine Crime Combating Forum, which will see mining companies, trade unions and mining communities working with the SAPS to maintain peace and stability in the mines and surrounding communities.”
Motlanthe, whose delegation was meeting investors, bankers, mining companies and opinion makers, said the government would ensure that law enforcement agencies acted in a way that was fair, impartial and objective.
He was accompanied by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu and Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim.
Motlanthe said there was an emergent appreciation that stakeholders in the mining sector needed to build a relationship based on trust and respect and avoid actions that adversely affected this relationship.
“This appreciation is driving all role-players (government, labour and business) in the mining sector to find ways to stabilise the sector and advance the South African economy,” he said.
“Each partner brings unique insights, understandings and inputs to the table, which augurs well for finding practical and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the economy.
“Under current socio-economic conditions, we are determined as a nation to use social dialogue and an all-inclusive approach to set our economy, and in particular, mining, on a sure footing that leads to sustainable growth and development.”
The sector accounts for about one third of the market capitalisation of the JSE.
Mines employ 2.9 percent of South Africa’s economically active population, which translates into half a million direct jobs, Motlanthe added. - Pretoria News