Cutifani urges S.African mining industry to rebuild social relations - CNBC Africa

Cutifani urges S.African mining industry to rebuild social relations

Southern Africa

by Trust Matsilele 0

Mark Cutifani, chief executive of Anglo American has called upon mining companies to rebuild social relations in the country. PHOTO: FairFax

He said a five month strike experienced in the Rustenburg platinum mines was a reflection of the broken relationship with its employees.

(READ MORE: Anglo American battered by platinum strike)

While speaking at the Joburg Indaba in Johannesburg, Cutifani added that most parties outside South Africa were not vested towards the country’s forward looking success, which at the moment was at crossroads.

(READ MORE: Joburg Indaba puts spotlight on S.African mining sector)

“We have to make our own future as we cannot rely on anyone else,” warned Cutifani.

“We are ranked outside the top 50 mining countries besides having over a trillion US dollars’ worth of reserves, and the largest in the world.”

Cutifani said policy conversations will continue to stifle investment in Africa’s second largest economy.

The [DATA AGL:Anglo American] executive decried the past decade, as a ‘lost decade’.

“Real values in terms of our companies have declined by 30 per cent,” said Cutifani.

Cutifani said the mining sector was the country’s important industry with about 1.3 million people directly employed in the sector.

On transformation, Cutifani said changes to the mining charter target were inevitable.

“There is no doubt with regards to the required transformation however uncertainty is in what is not being said.”

Earlier in the day the mineral resources minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said penalties for non-compliance could be as extreme as withdrawing an operating licence.

(READ MORE: Mining is S.Africa’s alpha and omega: Ramatlhodi)

“People understand the issues of transformation generally but let’s make sure they understand where we are in that process,” urged Cutifani.

He said South Africa needed reliable partners globally, to move the country forward.

“The world determines whether we get money to invest into the future or not [because] we are not generating enough revenue as a country,” he said.

Cutifani indicated a challenge the industry was facing was satisfying all key stakeholders.

“We have three core constituencies, shareholders who are becoming more demanding, employees who want to be paid more and communities we work in.”

(READ MORE: A crisis of optimism ravages S.Africa’s mining sector)

Cutifani also noted that the sector needed to restructure and modernise the industry.

“There is no future without modernising the sector; we are still 30 years behind our operating structures. We have to improve production and deliver on expectation, and above all keep these three relationships in balance.”

Cutifani dispelled fears of Anglo American folding operations in the country saying his company sees South Africa as critical to the mining company’s future with 30 per cent of its global investments being in the country. 

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