“They [AMCU] requested to be afforded time to take the framework to their members so that they can get proper mandate to sign. We felt we should afford them that opportunity but the rest of the stakeholders signed,” said Motlanthe.
Several chief executives of mining companies on Wednesday signed the government-brokered stability pact aimed at defusing tensions in the mining sector ahead of tough wage talks.
Stakeholders included the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu)’s rival, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Federation of Unions of South Africa, Chamber of Mines and Cosatu.
Only Amcu used its veto power against the peace accord at a signing ceremony held at the Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.
The government’s point-man on the mining crisis said allowing the union more time to consult does not mean that they have been given preferential treatment. He said stakeholders jointly agreed to extend their signing period on the basis that civic organisations use different operating systems.
“So far there’s nobody who’s getting special treatment, we treat everybody the same way. All stakeholders are important, and Amcu included, that is why stakeholders agreed. It’s by agreement that we afforded them the opportunity because, remember, the experience and capacity is not equal across the board. It might happen that for them their growth has been exponential so I don’t think it’s something to be concerned about if they need a bit of time,” the Deputy President said.
Motlanthe said investors are not keen on domestic issues aimed at defusing tensions in the mining sector but are fundamentally concerned about the markets’ stability, certainty and respect for statutory laws.
“Investors don’t look at this kind of development because what they want to see is the implementation in practice, and in concrete terms, that there’s stability, certainty and the rule of law is adhered to,” he added.
President Jacob Zuma assigned his deputy to lead talks between the unions and mining representatives after a spate of wildcat strikes where violence rocked the country’s platinum belt a few months ago.