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'Historic' agreement signed to include unions in modernising SA mining sector

26 October 2021 9:04 PM
Tags:
CSIR
Mining
AMCU
NUM
NUMSA
Solidarity
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Uasa
Unions
Minerals Council SA
mining unions
Mandela Mining Precinct
Minerals Council of South Africa
Minerals Council
Sietse van der Woude
mining modernisation

'If we don't modernise, jobs will be lost.' Bruce Whitfield interviews Sietse van der Woude from Minerals Council SA.
© 1971yes/123rf.com

South Africa's Minerals Council announced a groundbreaking agreement between mining employers and unions on Tuesday.

The Council lauded the public-private partnership the Mandela Mining Precinct "for ensuring all stakeholders participate in its research and development planning for a modernised mining industry by including five unions for inputs at a strategic and policy level."

We are incredibly pleased that five trade unions (Amcu, NUM, Numsa, Solidarity and Uasa) have agreed to come onboard. This is historic in that it is the first time that organised labour, as a critical stakeholder in the modernisation journey, will actively participate in research, development and innovation (RDI) initiatives in SA.

Sietse van der Woude, Senior Executive: Modernisation and Safety - Minerals Council SA

Bruce Whitfield interviews Sietse van der Woude, Senior Executive of Modernisation and Safety at the Minerals Council.

We've been on this journey for six years now with plenty of twists, turns, setbacks rapids... but today we could come together and celebrate that we are united in our purpose to reimagine what the South African mining industry is all about.

Sietse van der Woude, Senior Executive: Modernisation and Safety - Minerals Council SA

Whitfield asks what exactly they want to achieve by getting trade unions around the table when it comes to the discussion of modernisation.

"So much of modernisation, by its very nature, puts jobs at risk?"

Van der Woude says it's exactly because of this effect that the unions must be part of the conversation.

It's absolutely critically important that the unions are meaningfully involved in the Mandela Mining Precinct through which we are championing the modernisation.

Sietse van der Woude, Senior Executive: Modernisation and Safety - Minerals Council SA

The unions represent the most vulnerable amongst the employees in the industry so it is very important for us to get their perspective, their inputs into the modernisation work that's being done...

Sietse van der Woude, Senior Executive: Modernisation and Safety - Minerals Council SA

... so that they can consider the outcomes that are being achieved and also identify the possible opportunities and also challenges for their members.

Sietse van der Woude, Senior Executive: Modernisation and Safety - Minerals Council SA

Contrary to what many people believe, that this is a job loss issue, the work we've done has shown that if we continue the business as usual and don't modernise... then we are in deep trouble...

Sietse van der Woude, Senior Executive: Modernisation and Safety - Minerals Council SA

Van der Woude says modernisation is imperative to extend the life of mines, or else around 200,000 jobs could be lost.

For more detail, listen to the interview below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'Historic' agreement signed to include unions in modernising SA mining sector




26 October 2021 9:04 PM
Tags:
CSIR
Mining
AMCU
NUM
NUMSA
Solidarity
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Uasa
Unions
Minerals Council SA
mining unions
Mandela Mining Precinct
Minerals Council of South Africa
Minerals Council
Sietse van der Woude
mining modernisation

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