The working environment in the mines is still bad: Lindiwe Zulu

by Trust Matsilele 0

Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu made veiled attacks on platinum mining companies over the just ended five month strike.

“Things must not be left too late before they are addressed. It’s very clear that the environment of the workers in the mines is still very bad which means that the mining sector itself should have taken responsibility,” minister Zulu told CNBC Africa.

(WATCH VIDEO: Impact of platinum strike on Rustenburg

“It’s not only about salaries, it’s also about the environment under which the miners live. There is need for engagement with unions and Department of Labour as to ensure we move forward as a country.”

Zulu further noted that the five month old strike that nearly brought the country to its knees was not helpful for a country in need of foreign investment.

“There are people who are out there who need a conducive environment to make the much needed investments for growth,” she said.

Turning to her new ministry, Zulu called on the private sector to partner with her ministry as to avoid loss of capital due to inadequate training.

“Private sector should help us with skilling people, support and incubation as to ensure that investments that are made do no go down the drain,” noted minister Zulu.

(WATCH VIDEO: Investment behind start-ups in S.Africa)

“We need to engage with the private sector on the issue of funding making sure that they understand that it’s their responsibility.”

Zulu added that government could not operate as a buffer between the rich people and the poor people.

“Government should be there to provide conducive environment for both big business and small businesses,” Zulu added.

According to the National Development Plan, 90 per cent of jobs created in the country by 2030 should come from Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs).  

The SMEs sector currently contributes about 30 per cent into the country’s GDP.