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‘Retrenchments are the current challenge facing mineworkers’

The mineral resources minister & NUM raised concerns at central committee meeting in Centurion.

Mosebenzi Zwane, Minister of Mineral Resources. Picture: AFP/Rodger Bosch.

JOHANNESBURG - Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane says he's concerned that some employers aren't following the guidelines of a stakeholder declaration in the mining sector, which was created to save jobs.

Through the declaration, companies have vowed not to resort to retrenchments as a first course of action when faced with challenges.

Zwane was addressing a National Union of Mineworkers central committee meeting in Centurion, where the union says more than 47,000 workers in the mining sector are currently at risk of being retrenched.

The minister has pleaded with employers in the mining sector to honour the agreement made through the stakeholder declaration and to their best to protect jobs.

He says while retrenchments are the current challenge facing mineworkers, in future, technology could also threaten their livelihoods.

The minister says conversations need to start happening now, to discuss how workers can be incorporated into the evolving nature of the mining sector.