Fin24

Expert: Instability needs leadership

2012-11-15 14:16

Pretoria - The instability in the South African mining sector can only be resolved with sound, accountable leadership by all parties, a mining expert said on Thursday.

The reaction by various parties, including the government, following the Marikana shooting was wrong, chief executive of the Siyakhula Sonke Empowerment Corporation, Fred Arendse, told the 2012 Transformation Indaba in Pretoria.

"Leadership means taking responsibility. What we saw after the Marikana tragedy was government blaming Lonmin and vice versa. The reaction of blaming one another was wrong.

"The mining sector is facing enormous challenges at this stage; a lot of things have happened which remind us of the dark days. Remember, what got us out of those dark days is leadership," he said.

The August 16 shooting of 34 striking miners at Lonmin's platinum operation at Marikana, North West, had repeatedly taken the spotlight at the two-day conference. Panellists suggested ways to avoid a repeat of the shooting.

Arendse described Marikana as a combination of failures which resulted in an "explosion".

"We had failures at all levels. There was failure in the community. You need to look at the poverty in the (Marikana) community. The people there do not experience transformation," said Arendse.

"I know that the President (Jacob Zuma) tried to engage the protesters who stayed on the koppie. When you want to address such gatherings as a leader, you take responsibility boldly. You don't stand in front of such people and start blaming others."

Dr Cornel Malan, head of knowledge and research at mining company Xstrata, said the volatility within the mining sector was evidence of insufficient leadership.

"Remember, not all the people caught up at Marikana were mine employees. Some were community members, and this tells us that communities are unhappy. If the communities are unhappy it means the government is failing.

"In my personal capacity, I think Marikana could have happened anywhere else. It's not a mining thing, it's not a Marikana thing, it is a South African thing. It's happening now in a different sector in the farming industry in Western Cape. People are unhappy."

She said the poverty and unemployment are unacceptable, causing general discontent. The wage protests by Western Cape farmworkers claimed their first fatality on Wednesday. A 27-year-old man died as protesters clashed with police in Wolseley.

Comments
  • gazaspells - 2012-11-15 14:47

    "In my personal capacity, I think Marikana could have happened anywhere else. It's not a mining thing, it's not a Marikana thing, it is a South African thing. It's happening now in a different sector in the farming industry in Western Cape. People are unhappy."

      gazaspells - 2012-11-15 14:47

      www.lovespells.me

  • strikeback.strikeback - 2012-11-15 15:03

    If the strikes and industrial action was limited to the mining sector, one could easily accept this is just about wages. Unfortunately the strikes are taking place in other sectors as well, such as farming, and now also brewing in education. When people across all sectors of the economy shows they are unhappy, then it points back to socio economic failures by government. The wages is used as "trigger", because it will always draw popular support. In a country with strong leadership, violent strikes are an exception to the rule, simply because a strong leader is respected and inherently "feared". Strong leadership does not allow theft, corruption and abuse of government funding. Where these transgressions go unpunished, the citizens of a country notices this and join the approach. Strikeback agrees that most violence in the country, strike action or service protests are a result on non-functional leadership. Fight the strikes now! www.strikeback.co.za

  • Mandla - 2012-11-15 15:05

    why don t pick one in your commentry box bcoz all what those so clled exp says we long rd abt on news24 comment site o what u cll it.

      itcrackpot - 2012-11-15 15:46

      Use more fingers or get back onto your phone

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-11-15 15:19

    People are very discontented at the moment and I still believe there is a force at work which is targeting certain sectors where employment is for the masses who are a bit lacking in education. We all know that it does'nt take much to prove these people. Until, proper leadership steps in this type of thing will be an every day occurence. Find the force behind this that is destabilizing the country and then we can move on. I heard a man with a very big mouth admit that he was intent on doing exactly what we are seeing at the moment, wonder where he is hiding, he has been very very quiet.

  • tasneem.sattar.5 - 2012-11-15 15:21

    "Remember, not all the people caught up at Marikana were mine employees. Some were community members, and this tells us that communities are unhappy. If the communities are unhappy it means the government is failing." Amen to that!

  • Eterni80 - 2012-11-15 15:36

    which we have no chance of getting while zuma is sitting on the throne..

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