Trade union Solidarity today welcomed Gwede Mantashe’s appointment as new minister of Mineral Resources, and wished him every success in this new and key role he has to carry out.
According to Connie Prinsloo, Solidarity mining industry deputy general secretary, Mantashe’s appointment as Zwane’s successor, under whose leadership the controversial mining charter was drafted, is a positive step. “Given Mantashe’s history as a trade unionist with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) we trust that he would have appreciation for the role of trade unions and will collaborate with players to work towards a solution that would help the mining industry address difficult issues, restore investor confidence and let the industry prosper in a sustainable way.
Prinsloo furthermore said that much work needs to be done to undo the previous minister’s harmful attempt at drafting a third mining charter. “We trust that, in future, there will be engagement with all parties involved, and that unlike previous decision making, decisions will not be imposed unilaterally,” Prinsloo said.
According to Prinsloo, the trade union is ready and keen to consult with players such as Mantashe on a new mining charter and other relevant issues that suppressed the industry. Mantashe must negotiate with all parties in good faith to find a golden mean between the interests of the state and the industry as well as those of all players to create a new mining charter that would be a shining light for the industry,” Prinsloo said.