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Oct 17, 2013

South Africa’s migrant mine labour conundrum

LUSIKISIKI, South Africa, Oct 17 (Reuters) – South Africa’s
system of migrant mine labour has come under renewed scrutiny,
with government and company officials blaming it for a host ills
bedeviling the industry and the country, including last year’s
wave of violent wildcat strikes.

But there is no easy fix for such an entrenched feature of
the social fabric and the cure is proving as bad as the disease
as it means job losses on a grand scale with devastating
consequences for what are now called the “labour-sending areas.”

Oct 11, 2013

Fruit farming offers escape from South Africa’s mining gloom

NOQHEKWANA, South Africa, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Peter
Somakhephu’s life has followed a pattern familiar to many black
South African miners: he exchanged a marginal existence of
peasant farming in his home village for low-paid labour
underground before being forced back onto the land.

His life has come full circle but he has broken the cycle of
grinding subsistence by moving from staple crops for family
consumption to small-scale fruit production for commercial sale,
a business that was, until recently, far out of reach.

Oct 10, 2013

South Africa proposes rules for fracking shale gas

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 10 (Reuters) – South Africa’s cabinet on
Thursday proposed new regulations to govern exploration for
shale gas, an important step in opening up an industry that
could provide new energy supplies for Africa’s largest economy.

South Africa last year lifted a moratorium on shale gas
exploration in its Karoo region, where fracking might tap what
is believed to be some of the world’s biggest reserves of the
energy source.

Oct 2, 2013

Amplats set for talks with union in quest to end strike

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Talks will resume on
Thursday to seek an end to a strike that has brought to a
standstill most of the operations of South Africa’s Anglo
American Platinum (Amplats), the head of the union
behind the stoppage said on Wednesday.

Workers downed tools last Friday in protest at Amplats’
plans to cut 4,800 jobs as the world’s largest platinum producer
and unit of Anglo American strives to restore profits.
The company has already backed down from an initial target of
14,000 job cuts.

Sep 30, 2013

South African miners rally as Amplats strikes enters fourth day

RUSTENBURG, South Africa, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Around 2,000
striking South African miners from Anglo American Platinum
rallied on Monday to protest planned job cuts at the
world’s top producer of the precious metal.

Now in its fourth day, the strike at Amplats has hit
production at the mining company, which is still reeling from
labour unrest last year and has said it needs to drastically cut
jobs to return to profit.

Sep 29, 2013

Amplats strikers in South Africa to rally on Monday

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Striking South African workers at mines operated by Anglo American Platinum (AMSJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) kept the company guessing about whether they will call off the stoppage at a rally on Monday.

Miners with the hardline Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) downed tools on Friday to protest plans by Amplats, the world’s largest producer of the precious metal, to cut 3,300 jobs to restore profits.

Sep 27, 2013

Strike hits Amplats South African mines

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Fewer than one in five
workers turned up for work at Anglo American Platinum’s
(Amplats) South African platinum mines around the city
of Rustenburg, it said on Friday, in protest against planned job

Amplats – part of global mining group Anglo American
and the world’s No. 1 producer of the precious metal – said last
month it would cut 4,800 jobs, laying off 3,300 workers and
paying off the rest.

Sep 26, 2013

South Africa coal producers and unions to resume talks on Monday

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 26 (Reuters) – South African coal
producers and unions will meet again on Monday next week to try
to hammer out wage agreements and avert possible strike action
that could affect exports to Europe and Asia and supplies to
power utility Eskom.

Companies, which include units of global mining giants Anglo
American and Glencore Xstrata, made a revised
above-inflation wage offer to employees last week, raising hopes
of an agreement in the sector without industrial action.

Sep 12, 2013

In Africa growth story, don’t forget the aid

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Africa’s robust economic
growth over the past decade has raised hopes the world’s poorest
continent can reduce reliance on aid.

The problem with this scenario is its failure to consider
the role aid may be playing in the “Africa Rising” narrative.

Sep 11, 2013

S.Africa gold wage hikes to add $150 mln in costs-industry

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Wage settlements in South
Africa’s gold sector will amount to 1.5 billion rand ($150
million) in extra costs for companies over the next 12 months,
the country’s Chamber of Mines said on Wednesday.

Companies and unions agreed to wage hikes of up to 8 percent
last week, ending a three-day strike in an industry that has
produced a third of the bullion ever pulled from the earth but
is now in almost terminal decline.

    • About Ed

      "I cover commodities in southerrn Africa, a region that I have returned to after spending over four years covering religion, politics and the Great Recession in America. I am a Canadian citizen and grew up in Nova Scotia."
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