Zwane appears to issue veiled warning to AngloGold Ashanti

SA mines minister, Mosebenzi Zwane Pic: Martin Rhodes

AngloGold Ashanti spokesman Chris Nthite described a meeting held today with Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane as “cordial” despite a government statement released subsequently which warned companies to stick to the legal processes involved.

The meeting follows the announcement by AngloGold CEO Srinivasan (Venkat) Venkatakrishnan on June 28 that the group will carry out a Section 189 restructuring programme at its Tau Tona and Kopanang mines potentially putting 8,500 jobs at risk after a prolonged period of unsustainable losses at both mines.

According to the statement released by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), Zwane has instructed the Minerals and Petroleum Board; “to verify the information provided by the company, to ensure that the proposed actions by the company take into account – inter alia – commitments made in the stakeholder declaration signed by the industry stakeholders to save jobs”.

The statement then added that the Minister, “ further wishes to remind companies that the Section 52 process in terms of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) and Section 189 process of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) should be adhered to, in order to avoid the creation of uncertainty in the industry.

“Section 52 of the MPRDA states that the holder of a mining right remains responsible for the implementation of the processes provided in the LRA pertaining to the management of downscaling and retrenchment, until the Minister of Mineral Resources has issued a closure certificate to the holder concerned.”

Nthite declined to comment when asked what precisely AngloGold management thought that Zwane was getting at in making this statement, particularly as it has proven extremely difficult so far for mining companies to obtain a closure certificate from the DMR for mines they have shut down.

Nthite said only that, “the meeting was cordial. We presented our overview and rationale for the actions to be taken. There is a process that will now be followed.”


  1. Is Zwane as dumb as he looks? He must be if he thinks mining companies are in business to provide jobs. They are in business to make money! If they can’t they won’t open and can’t stay open. Eco 101.

    I think the government would be implementing better policies and understanding business response better if their leaders were not crooks and could read and write better than they can steal.

    • To Jacob. Have you ever heard this idiot speak? He is in fact MUCH dumber than he looks, which is why the Guptas hand picked him from the Free State little hovel he used to call home… Chances are that he does not even have the intelligence to understand that what he is doing is wrong and how much irreprable damage he is causing. He will be, If he not already is, a multi millionaire when all is said and done, so what does he care anyway. He never had the intelligence to even be accepted for a learnership to become an artisan. All he has going for him is the colour of his skin and the support of a president who has an intellect even lower than his…

  2. Realistically one cannot expect the minister to react any differently. He does not think a mine is a business but rather a institution to provide jobs… If he had any brains or sense and he managed the industry better, he would not have to worry about these issues. If you create a business friendly environment, the businesses will come, without being forced and they will thrive, and in the process create jobs. You cannot force businesses to exist and you cannot force them to provide jobs. The capital will go where it is loved, and it is not loved in South Africa unfortunately…the only exception of course is the curry and pap cartel business model…

  3. There isn’t enough combined brainpower inside the ruling elites to verify anything. Contrary to popular belief, this is not Cuba (or for that matter SAA), here management can make management decisions and can manage their business as they see fit.
    The maths these deep thinkers should be doing is: 26% of zero value equals zero value.
    In order words, what is for free is usually worthless.
    Euthanase what is left, harvest the remainder, and hand over to the zama-zama’s to distribute amongst the rural poor.

    • At first I thought Zuma was only pretending to be stupid. As time went on I convinced myself that he must be a really good actor because he was playing this role so convincingly… Unfortunately, I have now realized he is not only as stupid as he appears, it is much worse…And the unfortunate thing is that he surrounds himself with people with even lowe IQs than he… (and I know that pool is very shallow) yet he keeps finding them. Have you heard Zwane speak (on anything) he has the intellect of a 6 year old and Bathabile Dlamini of social services? Her stupidity cannot even be expressed in terms of childrens age, we can only compare her lack of intelligence to something that is very politically incorrect to use as a comparison in Africa…(And that is at the odd occasion that she happens to be sober enough to speak)…

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