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Jul 7, 2013

Analysis: Price-cost pinch dulls last luster of South Africa’s gold

KROMDRAAI/JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) – A hand drill lying in the hillside tunnel of a 19th-century South African gold mine testifies to the back-breaking labor by black miners that built what was once the world’s biggest bullion industry.

But even with basic tools and cheap labor, costs overran returns at the Kromdraai gold mine north of Johannesburg, which listed in London in 1893 and closed in 1914.

Jul 2, 2013

Can Obama’s Africa Power plan hold a candle to China?

JOHANNESBURG, July 2 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack
Obama’s $7 billion plan to shine “light where currently there’s
darkness” in Africa by doubling access to power on the world’s
poorest continent was billed as a highlight of his African tour.

He announced the Power Africa initiative in Cape Town on
Sunday in a speech which he also urged the fast-growing but
still troubled region to follow the shining example of South
Africa’s anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.

Jun 28, 2013

S.African union gives Glencore ultimatum to rehire sacked workers

JOHANNESBURG, June 28 (Reuters) – A South African union gave
Glencore Xstrata a seven-day ultimatum on Friday to
rehire more than 1,000 workers fired at chrome mines for wildcat
protests or face unspecified action.

The protests, launched in solidarity with a worker who said
he was assaulted by a supervisor in an incident which has taken
on racial overtones, are part of a wave of labour unrest that
has shaken the mining sector in the world’s top platinum

Jun 27, 2013

Oil hunt in Ugandan national park tests Africa’s eco defenses

KAMPALA/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park is bisected by the majestic Nile river and boasts some of Africa’s wildlife treasures – elephants, lions and a rare giraffe sub-species.

Beneath it lies another natural prize: oil. Now French energy giant Total has begun surveys to prepare for seismic tests in the national park, one of Uganda’s last great wilderness areas, as a prelude to probable crude production.

Jun 26, 2013

Strike at South Africa’s Lonmin averted in favour of wider talks

JOHANNESBURG, June 26 (Reuters) – South Africa’s hardline
miners union postponed talks with platinum producer Lonmin
, averting an imminent strike, to allow more time for the
government to reach a wider stability pact between labour and
the mining industry.

South Africa’s deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe, is
trying to get unions and companies across the mining industry to
sign up to a stability pact as wage talks kick off to bring an
end to unrest that has been rocking the sector.

Jun 25, 2013

S.Africa’s AMCU union wants entry-level gold miners’ pay doubled

JOHANNESBURG, June 25 (Reuters) – South Africa’s AMCU mining
union is demanding gold mining companies more than double the
wages of entry-level workers, according to a document seen by
Reuters on Tuesday, raising the stakes for pay talks set for
early next month.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU)
demands far exceed those made by the dominant National Union of
Mineworkers (NUM) union, an ally of the ruling ANC party that is
keen to ease tensions in the sector before elections next year.

Jun 24, 2013

Gold wage demands from S.Africa’s AMCU union rival NUM’s-source

JOHANNESBURG, June 24 (Reuters) – Wage demands submitted to
South African gold producers on Monday by the hard line
Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union equal or
exceed those made by the rival National Union of Mineworkers, a
source who has seen the demands told Reuters.

“They are the same level or higher than what NUM demanded,”
the source, who did not want to be named, said.

Jun 14, 2013

Sparring South African mine unions talk, Amplats hit by strike

PRETORIA, June 14 (Reuters) – Disgruntled workers at an
Anglo American Platinum mine in South Africa prevented
2,400 miners from going above ground on Friday, the company
said, dealing a blow to an attempt by the government to ease 18
months of unrest in the sector.

The world’s largest platinum producer, commonly known as
Amplats, said the industrial action at its Thembelani mine
followed the dismissal of four union shop stewards for
“inappropriate behaviour”.

Jun 10, 2013
via FaithWorld

Lay preacher turned union boss wages South African class war


(Joseph Mathunjwa addresses members of the mining community during a strike at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine in Rustenburg, 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, May 15, 2013. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko)

The 48-year-old son of a Salvation Army preacher has won tens of thousands of followers portraying himself as a Christian soldier fighting for South Africa’s downtrodden miners.

May 29, 2013

South Africa labour strife creating vicious cycle

JOHANNESBURG, May 29 (Reuters) – Labour unrest in South
Africa’s mines, which threatens to spread to bigger sectors like
manufacturing, is plunging the economy into a vicious cycle that
may spiral into stagflation, disinvestment and more social

South Africa’s rand has lost 16 percent against the dollar
so far in 2013 and hit new four-year lows this week, with mining
worries triggering the latest sell-off – which picked up pace on
Tuesday when data showed growth in Africa’s top economy slowed
to a snail’s pace as manufacturing output shrank.

    • 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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