Condolences to family of Sibanye-Stillwater employee

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources on Wednesday sent its condolences to the family of a chief safety officer at Sibanye-Stillwater mine in Welkom, Free State.

Shai Mikia Mophapi, who was a chief safety officer at the mine, was shot while sitting inside his car at the parking lot of Commando Shopping Centre in Welkom on Saturday.

The video of the incident -- where two men are seen approaching Mophapi, who was sitting in a blue Volkswagen hatch, and fired several shots at him before driving off in the vehicle -- was shared on social media.

“The committee is concerned about the circumstances surrounding his death, considering that it came at the height of many criminal issues facing the sector, including illegal mining,” said the committee.

The committee further noted with dismay the recent criminal activity in the sector, whereby a wife of Harmony Gold executive was kidnapped for two bars of gold as ransom.

Committee chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo has called on the police to double their efforts in their quest to root out criminality in the sector.

Proposed merger between Sibanye Gold and Lonmin 

Meanwhile, the Competition Tribunal is hearing submissions from parties affected by the proposed merger between Sibanye Gold and Lonmin Plc.

Hearings into the matter got underway at the Tribunal’s offices at the dti Campus in Tshwane on Monday.

The Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) acting on behalf of Sikhala Sonke, the Association of Mine Workers and Construction Union (AMCU) and the Mining Forum of South Africa (MFSA), among others, have stated their intention to participate in the proceedings and raise concerns about the possible impact of the proposed merger on the public interest.

The Competition Commission, which assesses large mergers prior to referring them to the Tribunal for its decision, evaluated the transaction and concluded that it was unlikely to raise significant competition concerns.

However, the Commission was concerned about the potential impact of the transaction on employment since it believes 3 188 workers stand to lose their jobs, as a result of the merger, and a further 10 156 could lose their jobs for operational reasons after the transaction.

The Commission was also concerned about the impact of the merger on the “Bapo ba Mogale” community and on small businesses and historically disadvantaged people.

Accordingly, the Commission recommended that the Tribunal approve the merger subject to a range of conditions aimed at addressing these concerns.

Safeguard employment

Meanwhile, to safeguard employment, Sibanye Gold and Lonmin have agreed to a number of projects that aim to conserve jobs, however the outcome of these projects depends on the price of platinum group metals (PGM). 

“In order to meet their social responsibilities to the Bapo ba Mogale community, where their platinum operations are located, the merging parties have agreed to continue complying with the existing social labour plan they have in place for this purpose and to honour four existing contracts between the merging parties and companies within this community,” said the tribunal.

In addition, the merging parties are also considering a possible agri-industrial development programme for the benefit of the Rustenburg community which is likely to be affected by the merger, however this programme is subject to the outcome of a feasibility study that will determine its suitability.

The hearings are scheduled to conclude today. -