Nor does it help when Mantashe signals what looks like the party’s surrender to its extreme left-wing trade union supporters and its youth league by talking about the state acquiring a 30% stake in the equity of operating mining companies. Will it pay for this and, if so, with what? Or does it expect this partial nationalisation to be transferred for nothing, as the mineral rights were acquired some years ago? How does that improve anything? And this grab comes from a party that has a long tradition of deep hostility to the industry that created the sinews of the modern South African state and which is now, thanks to nearly two decades of continuous political marauding, down and nearly out.
Of course, partial nationalisation of the mines opens the doors to the same process elsewhere. The banks would, presumably, be the next target. Will this help SA’s poor? Will it cure the dreadful state of education? Will it redress the savage unemployment problem? No, to all of the above. These are signs of the increasing vulnerability and insecurity of the current leadership of the party, which wants to remain concreted into its current positions.
The authoritative London-based Economist quoted miners at Marikana as demanding an increase from R4000 to R12 500 a month. Many UK newspapers and TV stations quoted the same number. Even Justice Malala wrote a piece for the UK’s Guardian in which he quoted the new Amcu union as promising rock drillers an increase to R12 500 a month.
We all make mistakes but this one really does need to be addressed. According to The Ratcatcher on Politicsweb (August 20), trade union Solidarity’s deputy general secretary, Gideon du Plessis, established that "the adjusted total cost package of a Lonmin rock drill operator is approximately R10 500 a month, excluding bonuses".
That figure has been verified, too, by the Mail & Guardian. And Lonmin’s Mark Munroe confirmed Du Plessis’s information. It would be charming to see appropriate corrections, but I won’t hold my breath.
What is Bankserv not telling the public?
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