A crisis of optimism ravages S.Africa’s mining sector


Eunomix’s managing director Claude Baissac said the crisis in the mining sector was a creation by the industry.

“The crisis in the mining sector is a crisis of expectation as the sector has made extreme promises to almost everyone including shareholders, government and communities,” said Baissac at the Joburg Indaba held in Sandton.

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

Industry executives also called on for improved involvement of the mining labour force in decision making and not only to resolve labour disputes.

Valli Moosa, chairman of [DATA AMS:Anglo American Platinum] said there was a need to integrate workers in decision making as they formed part and parcel of company growth.

“A better skilled, better paid and better involved workforce will increase our companies’ levels of productivity,” added Moosa.

He said this buttressed the need for mechanisation while accepting that job losses could be squarely levelled on mining companies.

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

“Where there is reduction in the labour force we are responsible [because] we have a moral obligation to the communities which we are involved,” said Moosa.

“Technology is going to be the big driver for development and growth not only in South Africa but in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.”

However, some industry experts are optimistic and argue that economic headwinds the country is facing are going to be a catalyst South Africa needs to turn around the economy.