Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday expressed unhappiness with the salaries earned by the mineworkers in South Africa.
"I'm not happy at all with the entry level [of salaries] that the mineworkers are getting. I think it needs to be addressed," he told a business summit in Midrand.
"It [the mining industry] is absolutely important. This is an industry that has made South Africa in the main to be what it is. And it is an industry that must respect its workers."
Zuma said he was also concerned about the poor conditions the miners lived in.
He said he would be meeting all concerned parties on Friday to find solutions to the current labour unrest in most sectors of the economy.
Zuma agreed to discuss a proposal by the Black Business Council of a ministry of small, micro and medium enterprises.
"Given the drive that we want to create jobs, I don't think we'd have a problem engaging with this proposal and perhaps look at it at the right time."
Zuma brushed off criticism from expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.
"I don't think I should pay attention to that one. There are things in my life I don't pay attention to."
Asked whether Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga was in control of the textbook saga in Limpopo, Zuma said: "She is actually in control.
"She's been missing some of the cabinet meetings out there. She has talked to the teachers, who give a different picture about what has been happening to the kids."
Motshekga had given Zuma a verbal report and a written one would follow.
Zuma seemed unmoved by the nomination of his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe (by Gauteng province) to become the president of the ANC in the coming elective conference in Mangaung.
"That is because we are a very democratic organisation. Democracy does not mean people should come with one thing only. They come to a meeting with different views."
The summit was hosted by the Black Business Council at the Gallagher Convention Centre.
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