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Economy must be stabilised - Gordhan

Pravin Gordhan says government will continue to consult role players in the mining industry.

THOUGHTFUL: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says government will continue to consult role players in the mining industry. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Thursday said while government would continue to consult role players in the mining industry it was important to assure investors that the country's economy was not in turmoil.

Gordhan is part of a government intervention led by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to stabilise the industry and crackdown on union violence.

The stakeholders weren't able to reach an agreement on returning stability to the mining sector at a meeting chaired by Motlanthe last Friday. Following the meeting the deputy president said the participants identified short- and long-term objectives that needed to be met.

Cosatu-affiliated mining union NUM has been battling the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) over which organisation should represent workers in the industry. The tension between the two unions was pushed into the spotlight during violent protests at Lonmin's Marikana mine in the North West last year. At least 40 people were killed during the unrest, with police gunning down 34 miners in a tense stand-off.

A commission of inquiry is currently underway to establish what happened during last year's fatal demonstrations.

The minister said they've made progress in getting unions and mining houses to start discussions.

He added that police, private security companies and trade unions had to ensure a peace and stability accord was implemented.

"At the end of the day we all lose if this is the picture that the world constantly gets of South Africa. We might think we're having robust debates and criticising each other but people sitting 10,000 kilometres away are asking questions about the kind of country South Africa is," Gordhan remarked.

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