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‘Mining sector vital for SA economy’

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said ructions in the mining sector will be felt well into the future.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said ructions in the mining sector will be felt well into the future. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The impact of ructions in the mining sector will be felt well into the future, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said on Wednesday.

She made the commets while delivering her budget vote speech at Parliament, Cape Town.

The minister also announced that a Labour Relations Indaba would be held to get unions and business to talk about issues.

Oliphant said the indaba is necessary because mining is a key pillar in the South African economy.

"Precisely because mining has been and remains a key pillar of our economy, its troubles echo all over the country and affect many industries in its wake."

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan urged action over continuing labour tensions in the mining sector while delivering his budget vote speech in Parliament on Tuesday.

He said unless problems are resolved, South Africa will face loss in investor confidence and companies will be forced to close down.

The minister added further job losses could take place if the unrest continues.

"The present uncertainty in the labour relations environment in mining and other sectors requires concerted action by organised labour, business, civic leaders and government. There is no room for complacency here.

"We are all in this together. If we do not resolve our labour challenges, we will be losers. We will see deteriorating confidence, job losses and business failures."

Gordhan said finding a fair solution would encourage investment, put more people to work and allow for better living conditions.

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