The chronic labour instability in the platinum sector would conveniently present a chance for producers to divert their attention from critical issues of transformation, Blade Nzimande, Secretary General of the South African Communist Party observed recently.
“There is a danger that any settlement reached would focus on remuneration, while issues of transformation would be sidelined,” he said, deeply concerned that the situation would hand the initiative of restructuring to the hands of the mining monopolies. He suspected the mining houses were intending to close many shafts and operations at the cost of labour in the more profitable operations.
Besides, Mzimande felt that the Platinum producers had no one but themselves to blame for the chronic labour instability in the sector. While the centralised bargaining option on payment of workers would have forestalled the recent chaos, the three platinum producers, Lonmin, Implats and Amplats, opted to compete amongst themselves, he explained.