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Shabangu hits out at mining companies

The minister said mine bosses folded under pressure when confronted with illegal strikes.

Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu. Picture: Regan Thaw/EWN

PRETORIA - Mining Minister Susan Shabangu on Friday said the Marikana tragedy happened as a result of mining companies ignoring collective bargaining agreements to hold wage talks directly with workers.

She made the comments during a National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) executive committee conference in Centurion, Pretoria.

The minister said mine bosses folded under pressure when confronted with illegal strikes.

Shabangu said if these companies had respected previously negotiated agreements, last year's strike season could have played out differently.

She added mine bosses were partly to blame for the deadly shooting that claimed the lives of 34 striking miners in the North West mining town on August 16.

"Marikana's tragedy and the consequences has taught us a lesson that the current recruitment strategy, characterised by the migrant labour system, is not sustainable."

Shabangu told delegates the unprotected strike at the Lonmin mine shook the foundations of the collective bargaining system.

She also stressed that collective bargaining is crucial in the platinum sector.

The minister said a forum is unlikely to be established soon, as the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is not willing to take part in talks.

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