Mantashe stands by his Amplats comments

Gwede Mantashe denies his reaction to Amplats’ shake-up contributed to a weaker rand.

The ANC's Gwede Mantashe denies his reaction to the Amplats shake-up contributed to a weaker rand. Picture: SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on Thursday denied to Eyewitness News that his reaction to Anglo American Platinum's decision to shut four shafts in the North West had contributed to the rand going above the R9 to the dollar mark.

Earlier this week, Mantashe said he believed Amplats was cutting 14, 000 jobs merely to push up the platinum price, while Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu suggested Amplats could lose its mining licences.

Mantashe said he did not regret making the comments.

"It can't be correct for society to protect the owners and the reckless in dealing with workers."

And he said he believed a weaker rand was not bad news.

"The rand is weaker now, which is good for mining in the sense that it has actually increased the rand price of platinum."

Yesterday, President Jacob Zuma told investors attending the World Economic Forum in Davos that government would not review Amplats' mining licenses.