Johannesburg - Businessperson Mamphela Ramphele's decision to
resign as Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] chairperson is long overdue, the National Union of Mineworkers
(NUM) said on Wednesday.
"The mining sector requires people with a very strong
character to be able to transform, rather than a mere opinion-maker who shouts
from the sidelines with no concomitant action," the NUM said in a statement.
"The NUM requires people with a certain level of
pragmatism, rather than theorists, to occupy these strategic positions in order
to influence decisions that would favour the majority."
Gold Fields announced Ramphele's resignation earlier on
Wednesday. "Dr Ramphele has decided to retire as chair to further her
socio-economic and political work," spokesperson Sven Lunsche said in
"She has resigned from most of her private sector
directorships, and will relinquish all other remaining private sector
directorships and positions to focus on these activities."
He said non-executive director Cheryl Carolus would succeed
The NUM accused Ramphele of not caring about the workers.
"Gold Fields - now Sibanye [Gold] - has been one of the
worst performing [mines] in recent years in terms of health and safety of
mineworkers, under the watchful eye and leadership of chairperson Mamphela
Ramphele," it said.
"It is common cause from what she said at last week's
mining indaba that she sees no problem with African workers losing their jobs
in favour of some future one."
During the 2012 Mining Indaba in Cape Town Ramphele said
sustainable mining is the only future for the country.
"We have to accept that the traditional way of mining
in SA, with its reliance on cheap and low-skilled labour, is over. You [had]
better get used to it. It is not sustainable," she said.
The NUM said it had not yet been consulted by Gold Fields on