DA calls for mining unrest committee
The Democratic Alliance has called for the establishment of an ad hoc parliamentary committee on problems in South Africa's mining industry.
Speaking in the National Assembly on Tuesday, DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said the committee should comprise members of the labour, police, trade and industry, minerals, health, and rural development portfolios.
"Unless we do so, we cannot raise work participation and reduce absenteeism. Only then can we make mining a more attractive industry in which people want to work, and investors want to invest," she said.
Closely aligned to this, President Jacob Zuma should intervene to end the de facto closed shop policy, so that workers could be represented by unions not affiliated to the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu).
The Marikana shooting was, in part, sparked by smaller unions being locked out of wage negotiations, she said.
The DA acknowledged there were no easy policy solutions.
"We will support this government if they sincerely seek to address the deep human underlying issues, and, at the same time, adopt measures to increase productivity. Sincerity, however, is subject to proof."
In framing a new vision for the mining industry, Zuma and his government should recognise the need for a structural shift in the industry.
The most urgent intervention should be to review all legislation underpinning the system of oscillating migration in the mining sector.
"Simply put, we need to introduce a more humane system of labour to help rebuild families and communities. We need to ensure that cash gets back to the many families in need in rural South Africa. And we must mitigate health risks, especially HIV infections. For too long, public policy has been crafted in a disjointed way," Mazibuko said.