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Mining sector 'hijacked by lawlessness'

NUM's Senzeni Zokwana issued a warning for stability to return to the mining sector.

The National Union of Mineworkers president Senzeni Zokwana at a news briefing in Johannesburg. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Senzeni Zokwana says the South African mining industry is in a dangerous phase and has been hijacked by lawlessness.

Zokwana issued a stern warning to delegates at the second annual mining lekgotla, which is being held in Gauteng today, saying investors would withdraw from the country if stability isn't returned.

The NUM leader says the industry feared nationalisation last year, but this year things are different.

"The scenario we are in is different now because there's lawlessness. There's a spate of killings and companies are hauled into ransom."

He says mining houses are currently feeling the pinch of labour costs, but there is a bigger threat because of the instability.

"I think the more painful cost we're faced with is losing the trust of investors."