Johannesburg, 4 September 2019: The Minerals Council South Africa is deeply concerned and saddened at the urban violence that has erupted in and around Gauteng in recent days. In particular, the mining industry is disturbed at the xenophobic character of the violence.
Since its inception the industry, and South Africa as a whole, has owed much of its development and growth to the contributions of non-South African citizens to our mining operations. This is so even as we recognise negative socio-economic policies on which the industry was built.
In more recent decades, investments in the mining industries of numerous sub-Saharan African countries and other parts of the world have become part of the lifeblood of many Minerals Council members.
These reasons, and also recognition of the impact of the instability on the country’s economy and, most importantly, for concern at the human costs inflicted on those targeted in this violence, are the basis of the mining industry’s distress.
We call on government to maximise its efforts to halt the violence and to ensure that those responsible face the full force of the law.
We need also to recognise that joblessness and poverty, though no justification for it, are likely to some extent at the root of some of the violence. For government, the immediate “law and order” response must be supported, too, by urgent economic reform that puts the country back on a reasonable growth path.