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Gigaba: Investors confident

Sep 07 2012 18:02 Sapa

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Pretoria - Investors have confidence in South Africa's capacity to resolve the ongoing turmoil in the mining sector, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Friday.

The effects of the unrest would be limited, as the country had a proven record of conflict resolution, he told reporters in Pretoria.

"I don't think this (unrest) has had a major impact on the country because everybody knows that South Africa has a very solid Constitution.

"They know that the rule of law applies in this country and we are capable of resolving industrial disputes. We have (had) many industrial disputes that we had to deal with."

South Africa's image as a viable investment destination had not been significantly tainted so far.

"The international and domestic investors are confident that we have the necessary leadership with requisite skills and experience to rein in the situation."

However, Gigaba warned if the situation was not curtailed, many jobs could be lost in the mining sector.

He said prolonged turmoil would undermine investor confidence, which would lead to job cuts.

The government would work with its partners in labour and business to stabilise the mining sector.

"The challenge we face as government, mining sector, and unions is to ensure that we close the space for those who seek opportunistically to exploit genuine industrial disputes in the mines for political ends," Gigaba said.

"It's quite clear that in the wake of the tragedy at Marikana there are many people who have sought to abuse the situation for political gain."

The solution to the Marikana impasse would not be found "on the streets, with people shouting at one another".

"Instead of leaders going there (at Marikana) to fan the conflict, promoting the impasse, and hyping up the emotions, we need the leadership to say 'give the commission (of inquiry) time'."

The minister announced a review of the board of struggling state-owned diamond miner Alexkor. Rafique Bagus would chair the new board.

Other members of the newly-appointed board are Gillian Nonhlanhla Jiyane, Dr Nono Mohutsioa-Mathabathe, Mohammed Bhabha, and Zukiswa Ntlangula.

Dr Roger Paul had been retained from the previous board, "to provide institutional memory and continuity", said Gigaba.

"The company had budgeted for a loss in excess of R20m for the 2011/12 financial year. As a result of effective cost-cutting measures implemented, the company only incurred an actual loss of R16.4m for the year," Gigaba said.

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