Mining minister Gwede Mantashe warns against criminal activity in Richards Bay
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DURBAN – Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, has urged the Richards Bay community to protect investment company, Richards Bay Minerals (RBM).
Mantashe met with RBM management and the community on Thursday following the assassination of one of the company's senior managers, Nico Swart, last week.
The meeting was chaired by the KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala.
Also present were Rio Tinto Managing Director, Stéphane Leblanc, KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Neliswa Peggy Nkonyeni, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Ravi Pillay, and uMhlathuze Municipality Mayor, Mduduzi Mhlongo.
Mantashe said RBM is a vital company, not only for KZN but in the context of mining nationally.
“RBM is an important stakeholder in KZN with regards to investments and its continued existence is dependent on what we do to preserve Richards Bay as a prime investment area,” he said, adding that residents in the area must protect RBM as their asset.
“The safety and security issues affecting Richards Bay are not only a threat to the province but the country,” said Mantashe.
Zikalala assured all stakeholders that they would continue to remain in the area to facilitate stability and attend to all stakeholder concerns.
Leblanc said for them, the safety and security of their employees was paramount.
“We have been working hard to reduce the risk to our employees to ensure that they work safely. We would like to closely work with the government to find a way to ensure that those that are behind these murders are brought to book,” said Leblanc.