tv Inside Story 2018 Ep 228 Al Jazeera August 17, 2018 10:32am-11:00am +03
disaster and investigation is on the way. a passenger plane has skidded off the runway whilst landing at manila's it was raining when the incident happened the boeing plane off rated by shopmen airlines had flown from china one hundred fifty seven passengers and eight crew escaped using emergency slides the vatican has condemned the sexual abuse described in the report in the usa to pennsylvania as morally reprehensible a vatican spokesman said pope francis was with the victims the report detailed allegations of assaults on more than a thousand minors by those described as predator priests inside story is next as protests in nicaragua against the president continue and the number of those cubes rises. someone says i'm staying. for the have to crash into a school of reality that usually gets. sent here america's take is former vice
president al jazeera. mining has always been part of south africa's rich economic history but the sector is now shrinking companies are planning to cut thousands of jobs even as many struggled to find work so what impact will it have this is inside story. hello and welcome to the program. south africa has some of the world's biggest reserves of platinum gold iron ore and coal but mining now makes up less than seven percent of its economic output a steep fall from twenty percent in the one nine hundred seventy s. companies are blaming low prices and soaring production costs for the decline mining is also intertwined with race relations the people who work deep underground
in often dangerous conditions are overwhelmingly black while the executives overseeing them are mainly white some of the firms have pushed back against government plans to make them bring back more black shareholders will bring in our guest in a moment but first for me the miller reports from rustenburg. from the depths of this mind comes one of the world's most valuable metals despite the value of platinum above ground at the impala mine in rustenburg many workers live in poor conditions but impala platinum says productivity and profits are down and it now has to restructure its operations it plans to slash about a third of its workforce this miner who doesn't want to be identified says while working conditions are often difficult miners are desperate to save their jobs is a rare form for our management there on the ground in simi challenges in freezing is in really sore in their god there are snipers in the seeing and surely things in
extras there are reasons you can apply a through or for the shaft actually. pulled out. impala platinum declined al-jazeera is request for an interview but released a statement saying the cutbacks would be done responsibly and it would try to save as many jobs as possible mining in the rustenburg area makes up at least seventy percent of economic activity with mines employing at least half of the people working here three of the largest ones have spent tens of millions of dollars on education health and local housing programs so a decline in production would mean more than just job losses for thousands of people. this is where six years ago thousands of mine workers at the neighboring lonmin mind went on strike demanding higher pay into living conditions police opened fire on the crowd killing thirty four miners and injuring seventy eight
others the wounds of that day still rule in this community the sense of the volatility and what this could be leading to who was already given in january and february where there were protests within within within rustenburg. from. but there we claim to do with with the growing so to social desperation which has come in with the downturn in the past and mining industry while most of south africa's conventional platinum mines like impala platinum and losing money for the jump cuts are not easy to swallow in a country where the unemployment rate has risen to just over twenty seven percent. workers union amcu says it won't accept the job cuts and is considering mass action a concern for many is that the job cuts could further escalate simmering labor and social unrest for me al jazeera rustenburg northwest province.
all right let's bring in our panel who are joining us from johannesburg level one piccolo is a senior research fellow at trade collective a nonprofit organization promoting social justice molecular pocket he is the deputy general secretary of the south african federation of trade unions and ralph mike there is a researcher and lecturer at the university of the western cape welcome to you all routh let me start with you why are these job cuts and cutbacks necessary what is the rationale behind them. well i think first of all there is pressure when it comes to the price of commodities mining companies are feeling a great deal of pressure there of so they cannot carry on as they see with their maintaining their jobs within dots are tough but i also think there is are not affected as well because one could say that they should be willingness on the side of mining companies to stay obvious not to react in the manner in which god doing
to wait for maybe recovering of prized within communities but the biggest problem as well which makes it difficult for them to have a positive outlook it is just a very uncertain policy environment where they believe that government seems not to be clear when it comes to policy is and if you look at sort of forgotten output is the discourse it is very very tense and nothing but we have there a very tense a conflict within the policy environment and that is the reason why mining companies prefer to cut and run in state of way deal of this because they do not see any positive outlook in a medium term labor hung the wealth gap in the country getting used to widen are there measures that the government is taking to help to close that gap there are a few things the one is national minimum wage which has been discussed over the last couple of years in this funny thing put into you know put in place i mean that's supposed to exactly do that to increase decrease the inequalities of wages and also increase the inequality in our class inequalities i think another thing
that's quite important though is that we come from in a structural legacy of an equality a structural legacy of wage inequality and poverty and that comes from spatial a lack of spatial democracy where people travel huge long distances to get to work and so a huge amount of their savings is expended on transport the second is that our coal industry in a lot of our our our capital our industry is a capital intensive including coal which is not sustainable so we know we need to think about low carb. in ten seconds says and also the third thing would be that our sense of spatial means that the migration from the hill to urban areas has resulted in a really following the cultural our cultural economic landscape which is racially skewed and which has also meant that a lot of people don't see the culture as a sunrise sector and as one that is viable and yet is one that is extremely fireball and that we need to look at in order to democratize the opportunity for
jobs and rural areas and of course between and within they still. look to me as though you were nodding to what level hong was saying if you want to add to what she was talking about. part of. the reality is that i do so the frickin mining industry that's the lived when the big one being the magna leave us the steam to be rupee. to be the issue of who we can put decent. you'd appreciate the fact that with rising up to the business to do monday to we just we appreciate the introduction of the less than a minimum boyce's by the police to people that can not necessarily be in. the coast of mining such that they can be able to keep that amount of witness i think is just. they have to do with the. greed so to see they want to continue to oppose the legal decisions that investors have been to you and they
need to be some form of changes to the left or for. our economy as it relates to us but one being may need a second look so it could not be correct that therefore mines will doesn't run to come up purely because of market fluctuations. the government officials there have been calling for a dialogue with the mining sector and they've been calling for this dialogue repeatedly i mean has that actually happened as it started. well the problem is that government officials political leaders in south africa they have actually lost legitimacy to mediate this dialogue the problem is that whenever the us the trade unions to moderate on the ways demands with the aim to grow the economy they do not have good a valid case to make against government to say that day wait a minute you externally have got no leg to stand on you have not implemented police see you have been marred by corruption and actually were acting in the interest of the mining bosses this is one of the reasons why if you look at the standoff in the
mining sector the strikes are becoming quite lama government has lost the moral ground to actually tour and lee everyone around and to say that that's fine i mean the ways in which to deal with this and in a situation such as this in a situation where government leg moral legitimacy to mediate the tension between the mining bosses that is the employers and the trade unions you end up with the direct confrontation between mining bosses and the trade unions it is a very unhealthy environment it has a lot to do with government's inability to assume this moral high ground and say that day we're in the interest of the broader society as we speak it becomes very suspicious when government comes to and say to the trade union that this would want to read to do one and also in south africa as well government has not been able to manage its relationship with the private sector very well that is why the trade
unions are very suspicious as i state now i think south africa's trade unions are becoming more and more impatient they've become more and more radicalized they're more and more willing to walk away from the table because they don't believe that government in the interest of everyone that is a moral problem that we heard us amalek a what do you think about the prospect of government mediation or moderation i mean is there hope that something like this can succeed or as rob was saying has the government really given up any kind of moral high ground on this issue. i think the government is just blowing the effect of the month that he just taking sides when you were. going back into your room alone you remember that is one of the could you go days that were causing so tough to go live again in this is a result of the commemoration of the lives of workers that were lost during the man with the strike and did issue a simple issue as a matter between employers and the police cars with the money being
a decent week's a tough doesn't have to be but the intervention by government to state that it's a part of does bust played by us less in the interest of the employer this in this case mining companies which for years listen this is to be part of will continue plus a place where cars and people wheaties government is not the study taking the films when it goes about in top beginning with in this case just we have to be vomiting that we don't get the idea but the capabilities to do so with. that they have. to have sitting to just what exactly that they want what level hung because marco brought up money qana i mean it is striking that this discussion is really intensifying you know this particular week you know six years on the families of the maracana thirty four still haven't gotten justice or compensation why is that. yes a lot of us a very good question i mean the one reason would be political will and just
a really sluggish a sluggish sense of obligation and i think that's to do with them of every combative and slightly parochial attitude that the state has towards workers but the state has exhibited towards changed unions and that the state has concern has also exhibited towards the widows and the global community that have been impacted by the marikana massacre i think secondly it's also to do with really at this ng gauge mint with the fact that the economy is changing and shifting it is shifting not only cure graphical it is also shifting in terms of the way that the economy happens soldier graphicly jobs are moving to different places which i think is a horrible horrible model because this suggests that companies and industry continues to go rent seeking across the world in search of the lowest form of wages new cheap cheapest form of wages which also mean the cheapest form of working conditions i think thirdly aligned to that is that we have not been intentional in
this country about our policy our policy framing as saying early on so we've got excellent ideas about what needs to be done we know what we need to do we need to we need to close down the spatial lack of democracy in this country we need to also deal with the skills gap we need to have a transitional economy which means that people are multi-skilled and able to call participate in different parts of the economy we need to deal with the climate aspect of our economy because as i said previously it's a labor intensive capital intensive carbon intensive economy which is finite i don't think that fracking is the way to go forward and also we also need to think about our global participation in regional value chains i'm not very much in favor of global family chains because obviously those those up those are determined by different dictates world trade organization etc and northern countries which have their own policy and trade parameters which are disadvantages to a clinic. we need to think much more clearly around how we leverage african
economics and regional local regional value chains we have done none of the above so we have the national development plan with the new growth path we have the industrial policy plan we have a whole host in a menu of things that need to be done and we know what needs to be done but the point is when are we actually going to put one policy in place and allow it the let the levity and the long to do no access to actually happened five to ten years or three to five years is not long enough for some things to actually work effectively ralph i saw you nodding along rather vigorously to many of the points that lead to hong was making there so i want to ask i mean what did you have did you want to add to what she was saying as far as the solutions she was offering up for the economic woes. i fully agree with my colleague because it is above the focus of police ie if you look at south africa's police see what has happened to police a trajectory in the last eight years or saw the policy has actually been appropriated by interest groups who have been able to influence politicians in
a manner that resulted in focus so if you if you have and if you have but lost opportunity on the side of government to implement policy in a sustained manner toward tried out and evaluate the policy and find a way forward if you have rules that you cannot demonstrate that it becomes very difficult for south africa to actually react to the global economic challenges that you are having i mean sometimes you listen to south africa's policy makers and i think there is level four when missed when it comes to the hostile global economic environment where we are globally. multilateralism in. almost failing there is a lot of unilateralism and bilateralism but month is dead as we nor countries are slowing are too much tom said to each other you do have the trade wars that are underway so call it contra such as south africa and imagine my good
coming from this historical legacy of inequality you just cannot waste an opportunity with those social inflicted problem such as state capture such as loss of focus when it comes to policy implementation the world is not going to wait for us and the world economy is actually shifting by the time we get this thing right my fear is that someone out there will have found a way to manufacture platinum in a laboratory they will no longer be needing these mines and i would be a lost opportunity we need to understand that the world is not going to wait for us we cannot with an opportunity when it comes to policy forecasts. presidents are around opposing you know came into office promising. to be a stable and steady hand to advance the economy there in south africa first of all how do you think he is doing and secondly i mean are the systemic problems in the economy there are they essentially bigger than roma poser. oh moment
the sort of a process presidency does not excite us you know and i like the sound of this just under the pacing of he's telling me we were not excited even at the time that he was taking the lead we knew that there was nothing that you can expect from the budget that he leads the police is that they like me we knew that the new dawn is nothing but the moment in the force. that they wouldn't listen to nothing but somebody the most of us out there it is even worse and they said with these three seats we have to meet up with a texas increase of about one percent to be exact seven percent the same in the unemployment rate is increasing poverty has not been addressed in their wages have been dipping look to be set up to see that people are losing jobs the current economy does not take any if anything is to go but we are losing jobs you can go into even other sectors can go into the closer sector you can go into the public service that we have been informed about thirty thousand planned blame to let it
drop i mean it is about the plenty about how we were thirty thousand jobs so the remark was it does not give you give us any dream of opening something as well concerned however i will never forget them and tell us what america under because we believe they were quite clear that they are the chief of the twelve thousand five hundred to the done one of the two things moment first thing that they would have done they would have broken down a way structure in south africa that is in our view based on the least gender and the monies from their colonial times abutting times and it's to be tweeting they would have brought hope to what south africans but little you know we can class we wouldn't exist in the first phase of the implementation of the freedom talk that that's where the east of put is come into play you cannot divorce lent you cannot divorce labor from mining the three are intertwined and you have to talk to them in a balanced way such that one does not necessarily. get lost in the creation last is the issue of making communities you'd appreciate that mining communities have been displaced because certain companies. who wants to take over such that he's moved.
let's go to meet him for that much of a good to find if he's good there's no reason russell government should not be. just the guys in my. company where we can be equally mine and even the beneficiary there is no reason what that's going to have been will not be given to us in that government being decisive and it's going to be. level among molecular was talking about mining communities was talking about the workforce there so i want to step back for a moment from the facts and figures from talk about the politics behind all this i want to talk specifically about the human toll in all of this when it comes to these workers that have been laid off how dire are the circumstances for them how are they able to survive are they able to get jobs in the short term or are their communities completely devastated. i mean look this destitution that's involved in this remember that a lot of these communities as i mentioned many people have had have come from
a situation of structural inequality so that is that we need to deal with the structural which is the historical and the economic the systemic which is the way that we do what we do and the current the put this the social political which is you know the kind of policy choices that we can make in the medium to short term to update us so one thing that we haven't been able to do is to deal with as i mentioned earlier skills transitioning skills transferring and multi skilling to an able anywhere to to take on a job in another sector. skills secondly all social benefits are really shocking many of the workers by the way that now destitute and their communities according to some of the research my all think tank has also been conducting also not only from south africa so this is a regional issue the question of portability of social benefits the portability of of funds and the time and and the pull to plead to a basically human dignity is also one that really we have not touched on even
though. that the southern african development corporation does have a protocol on on labor and migration but many in many cases the such a dissonance between what is what is the in the protocol and the way in which states and nations and governments relate to the protocol and last year i think that it's also important to note that. you know many of these mining companies are not necessarily from this country and there's a debate about whether of foreign direct investment and foreign companies are of best placed to produce jobs to produce wellbeing to build up but mining communities to build up houses education and the things the social amenities that would give community members an enhanced sense of life and and hans life choices my opinion is that the state must always have a role to play we cannot allow foreign capital on no matter what the how well dressed their intentions may be to continuously run roughshod over our local in our local policy and development polities terminating the environment disrespecting
labor rights and also disrespecting the lives of people once they have discarded them from the work force so i think that this is very important to discourse around what foreign direct investment actually means and how we need to recapitalize our local economy so that it works for us. what about the trade unions there i mean how strong are they now and are they actually able to protect workers. i mean as we speak now you do have a new federation you have suffered through and stuff to is a trade union that has been born out of dissatisfaction with the relationship but. the need to trade unions have ahead with government they have found that the mission should not to be in the interest of the way cost or you do have trade journals that are saying that there wait a minute we need to redefine the relationship that we have in government change you know and are becoming very wary of having an intimate relationship with the government are they protecting the webcast i think but the difficulty is that there
is just must've job cuts and they are suffering when it comes to membership of the decline of membership within trade unions i mean you talk to trade union such as i'm cool as well they have taken a very. clear position in relation to government they're not interested in having an intimate relationship with god i'm done not interested in going into government and i believe this is house of to also understand itself so there is a very serious realignment within the labor sector and i think but something that is even more interesting as well is that even trade unions that are related to cause side to that is close to government it's really trying to build a relationship with clay do new ones for the nation such as south to that are not aligned with that realizing that that classical alliance but they have had with government it's not improving the condition of where causes or trying to learn since all africa i really i think taking and they're fired for that that are lying
to civil society organization which i think it is very much interest in them beginning to try to redefine that labor space but they're confronted with the reality that there that declining membership that is the reality that they're dealing with as well are we have run out of time so we are going to have to leave it there thanks to all our guests level hung paco molecular package he and ralph my . and thank you too for watching you can see the program any time by visiting our website al-jazeera dot com and for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle is at a.j. inside story for me my mage and the entire team here bye for now. the philippines is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. now
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