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Zuma: Let's restore confidence in mining sector

The president says government has to take the lead to ensure the sector remains viable.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - President Jacob Zuma says consistently low commodity prices and the risk of job losses have forced government to call an urgent meeting with labour and business leaders in the mining sector.

The troubled industry is struggling with sinking commodity prices, rising costs and labour unrest, forcing a number of companies into mine closures and layoffs.

Zuma was addressed the mining sector national consultative forum in Pretoria.

The meeting comes after a 10-point plan was signed by the mines ministry, labour and industry to stem a wave of job cuts triggered by falling prices and rising costs.

The president says the meeting was convened to re-establish confidence in the mining sector which remains a pillar of the economy.

He says the difficulties South Africa is experiencing are not unique as the world economy struggles, which is why the mining Phakisa will be convened next month, which he hopes will be a catalyst for development.

The president says government has to take the lead to ensure the sector remains viable and continues to contribute to the economy.

In a message to the unions, Zuma urged them to respect the rule of law and denounce violence and intimidation among their members.

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