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‘Severe job losses in SA mining sector continue to be a threat’

The committee says the minerals sector is a key contributor to the South African economy because of the half a million workers it employs directly.

FILE: Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s portfolio committee on mineral resources says the country's mining industry faces a bleak future.

In its report to Parliament, after having considered the performance of the Department of Mineral Resources, the committee has noted that further severe job losses continue to be a threat.

This as the industry faces volatile commodity prices, mounting costs, and logistics issues.

The committee says the relationship between the mining sector and the Department of Mineral Resources is at a low point that has never been seen before.

The mining industry employed 462,870 people in 2017, a small increase compared with 457,292 in 2016. Mining jobs have fallen by some 74,000 since 2012.

The committee says the minerals sector is a key contributor to the South African economy because of the half a million workers it employs directly.

It goes on to say that the future life of the industry will be bleak unless all the parties can face up to the economic, social and environmental realities and negotiate a sustainable way moving forward.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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