Lonmin: Minister soothes foreign fears

2012-08-23 10:08

Johannesburg - Trade Minister Rob Davies on Thursday sought to assure foreign investors over tensions in the platinum sector, as the country readied to mourn 44 people killed in a wildcat mine strike.

Davies said shares in Lonmin [JSE:LON], which owns the Marikana mine where police shot 34 striking workers dead a week ago had been hit with "some anxiety about similar mines", but that the state had moved to act.

"We haven't seen any projects being adversely affected as a result of it," Davies told Talk Radio 702, saying South Africa's broader investment climate had not been badly impacted.

"So I think it's an enormous tragedy but I don't think we should over-read into it (that) suddenly the investment climate is turning sharply against us and there's nothing we can do about it."

With the country's flag already flying at half mast, memorials will take place on Thursday nationwide as part of a week of mourning declared after the worst day of police violence since apartheid.

The main memorial service will be held in Marikana near where the 34 people were gunned down last week, bringing the death toll at the Lonmin mine to 44 after inter-union clashes days earlier. It will be led by religious leaders.

Shares of the world's number three platinum producer Lonmin have slumped, as tensions appeared to ripple out to nearby mines.

Hundreds of workers at the nearby Royal Bafokeng Platinum downed tools over wages and the world's top producer Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] has also been handed demands from its employees.

A judicial commission has been announced to investigate the shootings, while police and the independent police watchdog are also carrying out probes.

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  • fussed.anderson - 2012-08-23 10:22

    Foreign investors have a far higher iq than you and the gov put together. Dont try to lie to them aswell

      nrgx.nrg - 2012-08-23 11:34

      True, and Rob Davies thinks he can "sooth" investors right after zuma threatens the mines as well!!!

      Wally Walters - 2012-08-23 12:12

      this government could not organize a drop of water in the ocean never mind soothing investers

      kayley.segal - 2012-08-23 12:19

      Let's see, you have an illegal strike with demands for a 300% pay raise. You have strikers armed with weapons. You have 2 dead police and 2 dead security guards. You have a drug crazed mob attacking the police. You have video proof that the mob had guns and fired at the police as they attacked. THEN, you throw the police under the bus and blame the mine management, and of course appologize to the mob. Throw in a bit more "nationalization" tid-bits and then "reassure" the foreign investors. How stupid do you think foreign investors are??

  • sidney.gilroy - 2012-08-23 10:28

    The money will leave. Mines will close. It is inevitable. Investors are not stupid. They can recognize a panicked government who are losing grip of their political power.

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-08-23 10:59

    But didn't Zuma threaten them yesterday that they will lose their licence if they don't build better housing for the workers??!!!

  • piet.pompies.9028 - 2012-08-23 11:21

    The mine workers deserved wat they got, what about the police men and security that lost there lives, What about there families and friends? IS THAT NOT IMPORTANT? One of the miners opened fire FIRST, and they had weapons, what must the police do? Police shoot to stop, well they stopped!!! If they could just be grateful for what they have then this would not have happened, there are many people that would be grateful to get some money!

  • gregg.sneddon - 2012-08-23 11:21

    Zuma's comment sound an awful lot like a threat to "nationalise" this the left or the right hand speaking?

  • fanie.brink.5 - 2012-08-23 11:53

    You must be joking!!!

  • neville.chamberlain.509 - 2012-08-23 12:20

    A liar begins with making falsehood appear like truth, and ends with making truth itself appear like falsehood. William Shenstone

  • punungwe - 2012-08-23 13:38

    A group of people murders 10 people. The murderers deliberately provoke a confrontation with the police in which they come out losers. The government and politicians then fall over themselves to soothe these killers completely ignoring the real victims, the original 10 dead. And then a government minister wants the world to believe everything is normal!!!

  • alf.pop - 2012-08-23 16:14

    Rob Davies, Susan Shabangu, Angie Motshekga, the list of moronic ministers is endless. How many shareholders of companies do you Mr. Davies reckon, will tell the management of their companies to find high risk investment in a country with anti investor policies? You are insulting the intelligence of international investors! Your ignorance seems to be surpassed only by your arrogance. Go check foodstickers on imported products, to make sure they are in line with government policy!

      appietrader - 2012-08-23 18:30

      Rob Davies must be "smoking' or using the same "muti" that the miners used before attacking the police. Sorry minister it won't work on the investors either!!!

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