Today's Labour News

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miners2BL Premium reports that Orion Minerals CEO Errol Smart says that a group of people demanding contracts to provide jobs and services to the R5bn Prieska mine project by intimidation and blockades are symptomatic of a countrywide problem that must be stopped quickly.

The zinc and copper mine in the Northern Cape is restarting operations after it was mothballed in the 1990s. The protesting locals are demanding that the mine owners provide them with contracts to source labour in the community and to provide goods and services to the mine. Smart said Orion, which is based in Australia and listed in Sydney and Johannesburg, will not bow to the threats and demands made at the project by what could be regarded as a “type of mafia”. The mine would draw most of its labour from the community anyway as well as spend the bulk of its R3.5bn annual running costs in the area on goods and service provision, he indicated. The protesting locals are blocking roads with burning tyres and stopping access to the project as well as disrupting traffic to three nearby renewable energy projects and farms. According to Smart, during a recent march, men thought to be part of a local security company and carrying automatic rifles were part of the protest. “People who are in positions of responsibility need to take responsibility now. It needs to stop. The danger is that this kind of behaviour has become normal in SA,” Smart warned. Construction companies have also come under pressure from criminal groups invading building sites to demand benefits.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Allan Seccombe at BusinessLive (paywall access only)

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page