‘Peace between mining unions a top priority’

Ngoako Ramatlhodi says Amcu, the NUM and Numsa should be able to exist without violence.

FILE: Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi says one of his ministry's main focuses this year will be to smooth out relations between competing unions in the sector.

Ramatlhodi today addressed the Investing in Mining African Indaba 2015 in Cape Town and warned that government would not hesitate to intervene should another protracted strike loom in the gold or coal sectors.

Negotiations in these sectors are due to start in the coming weeks and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union ( Amcu) has warned that it will attempt to secure the same increases that its members in Rustenburg achieved last year.

Ramatlhodi says Amcu, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa ( Numsa) are the three main unions in the mining sector and should be able to exist without violence.

Chamber of Mines president Mike Teke said he is relieved an isolated incident of violence between Amcu and the NUM was resolved last week.

"We have seen some violence last week in the gold sector, especially in the Free State area, but I'm glad its resolved. There is an agreement arranged by the parties and that shows a level of maturity."

Amcu and Numsa are not attending the indaba but yesterday took part in an alternative forum with community groups and NGOs.