The new politician overseeing Africa's biggest mining industry believes it is heading for winter and workers shouldn't be left out in the cold.
South African Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who many in the industry feel has little experience in mining, spoke on an international stage for the first time as he opened the Mining Indaba in Cape Town.
"There are ebbs and flows, there are sunny days and winters...The question is what lessons can be learned to ensure that as we move on the next season, our workers do not remain the ones worst affected by the winter," says Zwane.
The minister also spoke about safety days after the Barberton gold mine collapse in Mpumalanga in which three workers are still missing.
"The year has begun with a series of tragic incidents, safety remains a priority that we all have a duty to ensure...the manner in which workers are treated in some of the mines has a profound impact on productivity, we urge companies to treat miners with dignity and respect."