President Jacob Zuma addresses supporters at Orlando Stadium, as the party celebrates 105 years. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/The Star

Johannesburg – ANC president Jacob Zuma has issued a stern warning to mining houses to improve the living conditions of mineworkers or face consequences for failing to adhere to the Mining Charter.

Zuma also issued a similar warning to recipients of RDP houses who sell their houses and return to live in shacks.

The ANC president made the hard-hitting remarks while delivering his last January 8 statement on Sunday as president of the ANC ahead of its elective national conference in December.

The event at Orlando Stadium in Soweto also marked the 105th birthday since the ANC was formed in Bloemfontein on January 12, 1912.

While Zuma outlined his government plan to improve the lives of South Africans particularly black people, he singled out mining houses not complying with the mining charter and those who sell RDP houses as undermining progress made by his government.

“We shall remain vigilant in ensuring that mining communities benefit from mining activities in their areas and the ANC proposes that all stakeholders engage on how to utilise beneficiation more effectively to ensure economic growth and job creation,” Zuma said.

He also extended his condolences to all 44 people who were killed during the Marikana tragedy in August 2012.

Of the 44 victims, 34 people were killed by police which was widely televised and condemned by the world. Zuma said his government was busy in legal talks with lawyers of the victims for a settlement on compensation for their injuries and losses.

“We re-commit our ongoing efforts aimed at improving the social and economic conditions in all mining areas. The ANC calls on mining houses to give greater effect to the obligations undertaken in their social and labour plans and to work more closely with government and labour in this regard,” he said.

Zuma said his government was also going to work very hard to assist in improving the living conditions of those in mining communities.

Zuma also launched an onslaught against those selling RDP houses labelling their acts as “unacceptable”.

“We call on people to refrain from selling their RDP houses. It is unacceptable. It undermines the progress we are making in our social transformation programme,” Zuma warned.

He said his government had ensured that more than 22 million people have been provided with housing over the two decades.

“We are proud of the fact that more than half of these beneficiaries have been women. In real numbers, this translates to more than 4.3 houses and subsidies. Recipients of government housing are urged to retain ownership and not sell these assets.

“We are creating and developing new communities throughout South Africa. We shall create entrepreneurs and jobs by supporting SMME’s and cooperatives operating in this sector,” Zuma said.

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The Star