Leading global fund managers are reducing their holdings in SA’s troubled mining sector as labour unrest continues to plague North West platinum mines and the government adopts a tougher line against strikers whose actions have led to widespread disruption and production stoppages.
One global institution told the Financial Times it had sold virtually all its holdings in SA’s mining sector and in miners with significant businesses in SA — a shift it said was "indefinite".
Other brokers and advisers pointed to a trend whereby international investment dollars were being pulled from the country’s mining sector, largely to be replaced by funds from local institutions, the newspaper said.
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Yesterday, in an interview in Sweden ahead of a conference today, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan warned that the strike needed to end soon, and that it would have an effect on jobs and growth in the third quarter.
"The period in which we have this instability needs to be confined, to the extent that it is possible, and at the same time we require this collective commitment to resolve the issues," Mr Gordhan said.
He played down the idea the government would help the mine firms finance more generous terms for their workers.
"We will cross that bridge when we get to it, but it certainly hasn’t appeared on our agenda at the moment. The mining industry is not on its knees," he said.
Lonmin said talks with striking workers would resume today, after its first offer was rejected. Mine workers at Lonmin are demanding R12,500, which the company says it cannot afford.
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