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South Africa: Government to Develop Skills in Mining
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Monday, October 27, 2014
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Country: South Africa
Created: Oct 27, 2014

“In partnership, we will place bursary-holders, interns and students at various universities and mining companies for training in critical skills,” Minister Ramatlhodi said.
Speaking at the Joburg Indaba on investing in mining and resources, he urged the mining industry to invest in young people and mineworkers by developing their skills, so that the industry can be better equipped to face opportunities and challenges in the future.
Minister Ramatlhodi said government will continue to prioritise opportunities and encourage investment to grow the economy to deal with inequality, poverty and unemployment.
“We have noted with some concern developments in the industry, where mining companies come to the department as a last resort before making major announcements on disinvestments and/or expansion of their companies, which has the potential to impact on the economy.
“These are not helpful, and go against the spirit of open and transparent engagement,” he said.
Minister Ramatlhodi said the recent period of prolonged labour relations unrest had an adverse impact on the country’s economy.
According to Statistics SA, there was a contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) that was attributed to the strike.
“In the first quarter, sales of total minerals declined by 24.7 percent. This had narrowed to a 9.4 percent contraction in the second quarter,” he said.
Minister Ramatlhodi said a sustained improvement in the labour relations environment was critical for sustaining South Africa’s reputation as a key investment destination for mining.
“Mineworkers are the bedrock of this industry, decent working and living conditions should thus be non-negotiable,” he said.
The department will host the 2014 Mine Occupational Health and Safety Summit under the theme ‘Every mine worker returning home unharmed every day - striving for zero harm’, in November.
“The overarching objective of the summit will be to review the current state of health and safety in the mining industry and to decide on new targets to improve health and safety of mine workers,” Minister Ramatlhodi said.
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