Tag Archives: Lonmin

Amplats’ restructuring reflects broader trends

By Niall Reddy Anglo’s platinum operations are not “unprofitable”, rather they are not “profitable enough”. Plans to restructure will jeopardise the income of 14 000 workers and more than 100 000 dependants. The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union’s (AMCU) call to nationalise in response reflects the growing consensus on the need for drastic redirection in the…

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What do we do with another 14000 unemployed?

By Aidan Prinsloo In my previous contribution, I made a fairly simple point: the retrenchments proposed by the big mining companies in South Africa are unavoidable. The only way our mines can offer competitive prices and look after their employees properly is if they move from the outdated and inhumane many people, low-tech model to…

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Why Amplats is doing the unavoidable

By Aidan Prinsloo The upcoming retrenchments are neither malicious nor a justified retribution. Instead, they are signs of transition that South African business must make. The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and Cosatu have expressed outrage at Amplats’ proposed cut of 14 000 jobs. Other mining companies are proposing similar cuts. Some think…

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Amplats passing the buck after pocketing the rand

No wonder Anglo American Platinum, the world’s largest platinum producer, is fixing to lay off at least 14 000 workers. According to the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, the remuneration of a mineworker increased by an average of 30% each year between 1999 and 2011. I highly doubt the average mineworker increased his or…

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Marikana: From Foucault’s ‘bio-power’ to Agamben’s ‘Homo Sacer’

Readers of Michel Foucault will know that when he turned to Greek and (especially) Roman antiquity in his genealogical investigation of human sexuality, he found there admirable personal ethical practices, conducive to a high degree of autonomy under the rubric of “the care of the self”. In earlier genealogical studies, however, the picture that emerged…

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Nine New Year’s resolutions for Parliament

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions as a sign of a fresh start or courage to reach a specific goal. This year I decided to write a few for Parliament. 1 Forgotten (or to-be-forgotten) reports Our legislature has become very comfortable with writing comprehensive reports but does not implement them. Dusty reports include the…

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We are the leaders we’re waiting for

It’s poor form for a so-called writer not to be able to express this without beckoning the aftertaste of half-digested Gouda but so be it: we are the leaders we’re waiting for. This is true and has been said many times, often with a Coelho-esque earnestness that’s left those with the misfortune of hearing it…

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Insurgents closing in on Zuma, he’ll be gone by 2014

The opposition’s motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma coincided with the Shakespearean fall of CIA director David Petraeus. Both Zuma and Petraeus know about modern insurgencies. Petraeus wrote the US Army counterinsurgency strategy handbook when America was losing her wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Zuma, with less success, is trying to fight off…

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How should we remember Zuma’s presidency?

History is a complex social construction but a few grand narratives tend to stick out. Among other stories we’ll remember Mandela as the reconciliatory president, asking us to throw our “pangas into the sea” and forgive. We’ll remember Mbeki’s poetic appeal to our African identity, an aloof renaissance man and, bitter-sweet, as the statesman who…

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No one’s safe in Marikana

I met Marikana community member, mineworker and activist Tsepo M at a coffee shop in Melville. He had some business to attend to in Johannesburg and a colleague set up the meeting for me to discuss the current situation in Marikana. A man in his late 50s, Tsepo’s face bears the markings of years of…

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