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gideonduplessisGideon du Plessis, general secretary of trade union Solidarity, points out that more than 22,000 mining employees presently have a so-called section 189 retrenchment notice in their hands.  

However, the real impact of the situation is considerably worse if one considers that every miner has around 10 dependents and for every miner who is retrenched 1,7 job opportunities are lost in downstream businesses.  Apart from factors that cannot be controlled, such as a decrease in the demand for mineral resources, a drop in commodity prices, exchange rate fluctuations and mines that have been mined out resulting in retrenchment processes, there are many controllable factors underlying retrenchments that can be contained if only the political will and sound leadership exist.  Du Plessis argues that the factors that need to be addressed encompass: (1) illegal mining activities, (2) trade union rivalry; (3) a lack of modernisation partnerships between government and the private sector; (4) political agendas and corruption; and (5) an effective and untarnished minister.

  • Read this opinion piece in full at BizNews


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