Parliament, Friday, 19 June 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy was briefed by the Minerals Council of South Africa (Mincosa) and organised labour, including the National Union of Mineworkers, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Solidarity, and Uasa on Covid-19-related work in the mining industry.
The committee has noted a concern by some of the organised labour about a possible conflict between section 56 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) and section 189 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA).
The committee Chairperson, Mr Sahlulele Luzipo, stressed that organised labour should put the interests of the workers first during this pandemic, and that it should utilise all established platforms to express its concerns, including the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac). This after some organised labour highlighted that, in most cases, conflict in the sector arises when companies ignore section 56 of the MPRDA and conveniently implement section 189 of the LRA.
The committee has welcomed the high rate of testing for coronavirus in the sector. According to Mincosa, the mining sector has currently tested 30% higher than the national average. A total of 385 mines collectively conducted up to 12 131 tests and 261 710 screening – and 1 133 employees tested positive, with 390 recoveries, but unfortunately two died. Mr Luzipo encouraged organised labour and employers to work closely with the Mine Health and Safety Council in order to ensure compliance with the regulated safety standards.
The committee will deliberate on all presentations, including that of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, presented in a joint meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, as well as the Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy in order to determine a way forward, including a post-Covid-19 recovery strategy for the mining sector.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON MINERAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, MR SAHLULELE LUZIPO.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the Committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Mr Justice Molafo
Tel: 021 403 8444
Cell: 081 424 748
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