01 Oct Conflict resolution in the mining sector
The recent conflict at Lonmin Marikana platinum mine saw 44 people killed in violence sparked by a union membership turf war between the dominant National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the newer Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU). Strike action in the gold and platinum sectors this last quarter are said to change the face of the SA mining sector.
According to OIM International, a leading consultation firm to the mining SA mining sector – who have worked with companies, among others, Anglo Platinum – although a significant human tragedy, this incident was not unexpected and could have been prevented. However, a long-term solution is now needed for the sector to move forward.
Minnaar and Jacobs can discuss, among other topics:
- Understanding the conflict – what we have learned to date;
- Improving labour stability and productivity;
- Employee and stakeholder engagement (including the issue of union rivalry and its effect on potential conflict);
- Community upliftment – how important this is in mining towns;
- The current lack of skills sets in conflict resolution in the mining sector (what is required).