Cape Town - The current labour crisis in South Africa can be attributed to the failure of the ruling party to provide leadership and address the root causes of the problem.
According to Bantu Holomisa, leader of the opposition party UDM and a member of parliament, the heart of the problem is that the Tripartite Alliance partners (the ANC, trade union federation Cosatu and the SA Communist Party) simultaneously play the dual roles of employer and employee representative in the mining sector.
“Through its political deployees and Tripartite Alliance investment arms, the ANC has prioritised the interest of big business at the expense of the workers,” Holomisa said.
He added that while mineworkers never receive dividends, trade union investment arms declare profits from the projects they undertake in the same mines that are employing the workers.
“Can we, therefore, blame the mineworkers for losing trust in trade unions?”
Holomisa said political unrest in the mining sector and the rise in wildcat strikes are piling up the pressure on an economy already reeling from the global economic downturn, and are “tearing into South Africa’s economic growth”.
Holomisa said the ANC should instruct its national executive committee (NEC) deployees and Tripartite Alliance partners in the mining sector to intervene in unrest in the industry.
“This is critical, considering that mining companies have already begun instituting disciplinary action against illegally striking mineworkers, which means that thousands of our people could lose their jobs.”
ANC NEC member Cyril Ramaphosa is a also member of the board of the Lonmin [JSE:LON]
group at whose Marikana mine 34 miners and two policemen were killed.
Gold miner Goldfields [JSE:GFI] warned this morning it would lay off about 15 000 workers if they continue with an illegal strike.
The world’s fourth-largest gold producer is losing around R100m every day the strike continues and has given workers till Thursday to return to work.
A week ago platinum giant Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS]
fired 12 000 workers.