Deep Insights #49 A recap of SA Mining in 2022 with Mamokgethi Molopyane

Episode 49 November 21, 2022 00:40:16
Deep Insights #49 A recap of SA Mining in 2022 with Mamokgethi Molopyane
Deep Insights with Mining Review Africa
Deep Insights #49 A recap of SA Mining in 2022 with Mamokgethi Molopyane

Nov 21 2022 | 00:40:16

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Show Notes

Mining and labour analyst Mamokgethi Molopyane takes a recap of the year 2022 in the South African mining landscape. We discuss the Sibanye Stillwater strike and retrenchments, New technology in mining, the Jagersfontein crisis and the just transition- the future of coal mine workers.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:10 Hello and welcome to Deep Insights on Mining Review Africa. My name Ismo, it's exactly seven weeks until we wrap up the year 2022. And I must say that it's been an eventful one when it comes to the South African mining landscape. So in today's session, we take a look at the top five occurrences that stood out in 2022 and how these have and will continue to have an impact on the workers at the helm of production to help us unpack these as mining and labor and list Mao, who is the founder of Creative Voodoo Consulting and has worked in the biofuel, forestry, mining, energy, and space industries. Mao, welcome to Deep Insights and thank you for joining us. Speaker 2 00:00:55 Hi, good afternoon. Thanks for joining for inviting me. Speaker 1 00:00:59 Yes. So now let's get into some of the significant, uh, labor related incidents in the South African mining this year. We'll start with the Seban Stillwater three month strike. This must have been, uh, quite a draining year for workers. How does a lengthy strike affect workers? Firstly, and I mean, after a work resumed, the company has recently announced that it plans to retrench around 2000, uh, employees at its free state. And how dang operations, um, the company points fingers at, uh, escom and its operational challenges. However, um, unions are saying the company is using Retrenchments to settle scores. What do you make of this? Speaker 2 00:01:43 Well, industrial relations, um, between the employee and the employee in the mining industries are always going to be, first of all, conflictual and highly, highly contested and very political. Um, and then by that I mean, is, I always context, give it context of the, the, the historical role mining played and why even in, in, in couple of years after democracy in the Democratic South Africa, relations between employee and employee in mining industry are always so full of friction, um, um, because of the dynamics of the mining industry. So it's not surprising that, um, we saw but also be besides the, the, the, the conflictual nature between employer employee, um, um, the union rivalry, uh, adds to the, the, the very tense situation in mining. And, and of course besides union rivalry, triun rivalry also, um, um, um, occurs and, and, and, and, and, and heightens the tensions as it weigh. Speaker 2 00:02:51 And so it's not surprising that, um, as the year was, was, was carrying on, we saw, um, um, a strike that was happening that took place occurred in Siani, and we saw that workers, um, by the way, where usually they would be on opposing side workers. Yeah, I mean those mine workers represented by the National Union of Mine workers, and, um, and those represented by Amco, uh, for once, um, agreed or found common ground. Again, this highlights in the South African context how, um, the shifting terrain will, there's always going to be shifting terrain in issues that are affecting workers in the sense that one moment, um, um, unions are rivalries the next they can find a common ground and work together. So of course, that is going to have an impact on, on, on how, um, um, the strike was carried out. And, and what is perceived by union leaders and, and ordinary union members as a successful strike often results in, um, um, um, the any intervention such that the employer eventually concede and, and, uh, uh, either meets the workers demands halfway or agrees partially to a higher than anticipated, uh, agreement on the part of employer. Speaker 2 00:04:13 Now, it's always, I emphasize that it must always be noted that we tend to South Africans look at South African mining industry in, in, in singular and very inwardly in, in, in the sense that because it has been so contested full of conflict and very political, we tend to think it's very unique to us, um, the challenges of workers demanding more wages, demanding inflation related wages, and demanding what they call and, uh, what many workers around the world are calling a living wage. Um, but it's not unique to South Africa's, um, uh, uh, alone. Um, and, and, and, and most certainly not limited to South Africa's mining sector, and most certainly if you are going to be breaking it into sub sectors, not limited to just the gold sector. Um, but also it occurs at a time when, as we have seen the, the, the social disconnect, and I must emphasize this. Speaker 2 00:05:17 So, um, um, for for audience who might bring the corporate side of mining, they might of course find it, um, challenging or even say, but this is not an issue. We do not view it the same. The, the, the very wide social disconnect between what the CEO and company executive earns versus what the work has in and what the workers are often demanding can add fuel will to the length of the strike can even be one of the reason that it drives workers to say the negotiations are falling apart and we will serve the employer with a notice to strike. So that is significant that we contextualize this. Um, as we know, and we have seen that it has been widely reported about, um, the remuneration and the benefits, what the c e O of Cban got, uh, at a time, by the way, per financial report at the time when the company was saying, we cannot afford what the workers are demanding. Speaker 2 00:06:20 But also at the time when workers were making their wage negotiations, uh, were in the middle of wage negotiations and we were making their demands known. So this disconnect as if it's a warped reality from what the actual ordinary mind worker gets, um, and what they go through and the kind of compensation that are associated with corporates, not just in mining alone, but in, in South Africa, but globally competitive, um, remunerations for CEOs and being able to keep them and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and meet their demands that that disconnect, uh, for as long as we do not address it in the South African mining industry will almost be an issue of contention and we'll add probably to, to, to the issues, um, around seban. So of course, that strike carried on, um, workers, as we know the rules in South Africa that if you're on strike, no work, no pay applies, but workers will always say what we are giving off in, in the sense that what we are losing is far worth, um, uh, sacrificing, uh, in the long term. Speaker 2 00:07:28 Now, uh, will the retrenchments, um, that has been recently, that are recently announced by the employer, be perceived by unions as a way of employer getting back to them? Absolutely. Again, it's not unique to South Africa and it's not unique to the mining industry. Um, and, and, and, and especially at a time when, um, it is seen as if the geopolitical tensions that are have been happening have boosted some of the key sectors in mining. And then we know that gold disregarded as a haven during times of political uncertainty, uh, it basically performs better. So it's not surprising that, um, workers are perceiving this, um, announced retrenchment as an attack on them directly, and this boats, well, this boats bad for, for the employer in terms of their relationship with their members. Uh, it may be by the way that, um, uh, retrenchments were planned, um, or restructuring. Speaker 2 00:08:31 The operations were planned. And as such, um, the law and workers are the ones that are going to be affected most. But in the context of what has happened, it'll always be taken by workers as an assault on engaging with them, but as, as also as perceived as an employer's nonchalant, um, approach to negotiation in the sense that it's always going to be a ti forted fine. We don't get what we want. We will concede to some of the demands you're making, but now this months later down the line, we are going to retrench because that is how it is playing out. It may not necessarily be so, but that is how it is perceived that I will at surface the value that, uh, that is how it's happening. And, and, and of course we, we, mind you, the company is, is, is, is is one of the most diversified companies in the mining industry. Speaker 2 00:09:24 And so, um, um, and, and it's operations in South Africa, some of the oldest operations that it has. So one on the other side can always say, Hmm, we understand the need for companies to remain globally competitive, to be agile, to adapt to the changes that are carrying quickly. Um, um, but again, the impact of, uh, electricity supply shortages as the companies mentioning it, um, why workers will ask why must it always affect, uh, workers who are the low end of salary scale. And, and so this, this, this really does not bode well in terms of the relationship between Siani as the employer and its, and its workers going forward, but then it's still, uh, the year still has some time to go. And of course, we know that the industry psychical something can happen that completely changes that. But as it stands now, yes, the sort entrenchments are always going to be met with skepticism, um, considering a performance, for example, of the company in terms of how it is performed over there. Yeah. But also in terms of the remuneration associated or aligned to executive management versus those of workers. Speaker 1 00:10:37 Now let's move onto health and safety in both workers and, uh, mine communities. We know of, uh, we speak of the YA dam collapse, which was another crisis that left communities in calamity, and once again, the vulnerable were left stranded, the flood destroyed, uh, more than 160 homes killed at least one person and, and, and hundreds of animals damaged, um, uh, 26, I think square kilometers of grazing land. How do you think this was dealt with in, in your opinion, and is the industry doing enough on environmental justice and do you think the D M R E has a clear framework on tailings? Speaker 2 00:11:22 Well, it's quite tricky, this one, but one thing that is for sure is that it's not something that happens suddenly and just now, um, it, it, it, um, one, we think the mine and the company has had warnings and, and the impact thereof or, or what could happen, um, um, was announced to them or they knew what could happen. So in terms of handling it, I do think it, it, it, it played out, uh, absolutely terrible even after the incident. And the, the tragedy that has happened, uh, many lives may not have been lost, but in the long term, the impact on not just the environment, but on the livelihoods of the people of the Afros fontain and their lives, because they are completely changed by what has happened, uh, highlights, again, the importance of not just, um, limiting or, or simply passing the bug of environmental, uh, management and ensuring that monitoring and evaluation of, um, um, um, of, of, of, of, um, of health and safety related issues, um, is left to the social labor plans, but also is left to the mine and Health and Safety Act. Speaker 2 00:12:37 It is quite important in South Africa's context to, um, um, um, to emphasize health and safety beyond, by the way, um, what happens inside the mine or underground. We have seen it now in, in that health and safety expands beyond the workplace, but has filtered right through to ordinary South Africans and to communities. And, and so it must always be tied, as I emphasize in, in, in, in, in many of my work, that health and safety must be tied not just to the, to the work itself, but must be tied to the area mind hosting communities as it were. Now, again, emphasis must be put that where mechanisms meant to contain, um, um, um, private practices, um, of, of that overlook and, and, and often under place the importance of health and safety. By mechanisms, I mean where, where government as, as the regulator, as the legislator is meant to have mechanisms that are important in terms of health and safety, in, in terms of, um, acid mind drainage, in terms of tailings, in terms of, um, of, of, of, of management of toxic, um, waste that is coming out of minds. Speaker 2 00:13:58 Um, if there is not clear legislature and there is not clear policy guidelines as to what is meant by that, there's always going to be a room where, um, um, companies are going to find a way to, to avoid their responsibility because there's no clear, clearly defined, uh, rules about that. And I do think it's time, perhaps for dmr, uh, to again, hire more people for their health and safety, for mining inspections, for, uh, community areas where mine activity are taking place for inspection for random inspections at, at operations. So that such things such a, a tragic accident could be prevented. Yeah. But also to always be a step ahead, um, in terms of what needs to, to, to, to, to take place and happen in terms of managing tailings. And I, I do think, um, the DMR has the capacity through the, the geoscience Council to do that. Speaker 2 00:15:04 They have the capacity to implement that, but somehow there's always a disconnect between government, um, or the government activities today is their inability to implement, to enforce and to monitor regularly, um, activities in the mining areas, activity, health and safety related to, to mines not just by the way of workers who of of underground work, um, but also, um, related to, um, the environment and managing, um, minds activity in the environment. The DRE could have done much better, um, um, particularly in the sense that together with the department, environmental office, they must be clear as to who, for example, is responsible for enforcing legislature and enforcing regulations regarding tailies, regarding mind drainage, regarding pollution, regarding environmental crisis, um, regarding, uh, toxic, toxic waste that is coming, um, as a result of mining activity. It must always be clear, um, who is responsible for that and, and, and, and if it is not, it leaves room for it be avoided. And Speaker 1 00:16:27 You passed around as well. Yes, I absolutely agree with you, the ma that the D M R E does have the capacity to kind of outline who's who. So now moving on to new technology in mining, this is a subject that, um, I heard you, uh, present on at, at meina, and it's a subject that is very controversial among workers. So while taking mining has had always been looming, it's been coming, the Covid 19 pandemic accelerated this need and, uh, for tools that don't need much of human intensity. So it's really something we cannot avoid because we are facing the fourth industrial revolution. We've seen the launch of spot the robots that goes into unfamiliar for inspections, virtual reality that allows for remote drilling, as well as drones that are efficient in the exploration process and many other, um, significant new technologies. So now how, just to accommodate new technology, what is their role and what is the role of the company? As I can imagine, this will require some effort from both ends. And what are the downsides of not embracing new technology and and where do we see technology in mining within the coming years? Speaker 2 00:17:43 Well, it's there, look, technology in mine is not unique. I mean, mining went through the face, face of automation and went through, um, um, um, I mean mechanization and automation. So it's not new, and it's an industry that has always been, uh, ironically at the forefront of developing, of innovating. And in, in, in its innovation. In fact, it's arguably possibly second only to space indu industry in terms of the technology it innovates. Often it's been some of the technology it uses because it, it, it explores terrains that are unknown, um, are inspired by technologies that are from the space industry. Having said that, um, I do not see how modern mining can be carried out without the deployment of, of, of new technology. And I say that for, for because of three things. One, to increase, uh, through PDO production, and two, um, two, race safety, which we have just tackled in the previous, um, in the previous discussion. Speaker 2 00:18:50 And, and second, and, and finally to reduce cost and, and all these three increasing product throughput, um, productivity, re safety and, and reduce cost. All these three ties to the overarching theme, why companies are adopting technology to remain globally competitive, because it, it serves you no value if you're a company, uh, uh, producing a particular commodity, but you're not globally competitive, but also to access the market much easier. So, uh, the acceleration of, for example, the fourth industrial, uh, revolution, and it's a company technology together with the globalization and the diversification of global markets and the access to new markets means mining industry and companies have to, um, accelerate how they deploy technology and, and, and in, in what sense. But, um, I, I think one of the key challenges that in the context of South Africa is the, uh, execution focus approach. By that I mean the, the how that technology is deployed and when is it deployed and in what manner, uh, was it, um, um, the approach was, was taken and how was it, um, um, uh, introduced to, um, those that are going to be affected. Speaker 2 00:20:18 You'd recall that, um, um, um, one of the many things new technologies are doing is replacing tasks that seem to be repetitive. Repetitive, yeah. Yeah. And, and, and very much, um, um, um, um, a linear, and it tends to not just replace it, but it tends to compress a couple of tusks, um, and into one task or two task, thus reducing, um, the number of occupations that were associated with a particular task. If there were seven people doing different tasks, um, new technologies able to compress that into just one task that, uh, yeah, uh, produces a singular occupation such that those six other people fall away. They are becoming, as the term that is often used as they become displaced by adoption of new technologies. Um, um, um, I do think the best way for South Africa would be, um, a, a a a partnership. Um, and, and since we are a country that has always liked to have the hopeless discussions in DA's gatherings, yeah, I do think in the mining industry, this is crucial for the stakeholders collectively, um, that the employer and the employee and government find each other in terms of, um, of technology collaboration, not necessarily in the sense that, uh, as, as it's technology collaboration in its, uh, its very literal sense, uh, but technology collaboration in the sense that obviously the employer is the one that, or the combining companies are the one that are investing heavily in the technology. Speaker 2 00:22:07 But, um, they always engage, um, workers in terms and their me their workers in terms of the kind of technology they investing in and why that is necessary. And of course, always, um, involved government because anyway, government is the regulator. Um, even if they might, legislation might be behind in managing new emerging technologies. Um, but, um, must always, um, um, um, um, um, engage them on that one of, um, um, for example, we, we have seen many companies globally, and I think it's going to filter to South Africa, have adopted, um, uh, uh, um, um, um, deploying new technologies such as blockchain, mostly providence and, and, and carbon emission tracking. And obviously this ties to a bigger issue even as we know COP 2017 is, is currently under way and it's about the environmental IT climate change crisis. So minds of future one way or the other in South Africa or in other parts of the world are going to have to invest in blockchain, um, for, for platforms, um, that are able to track, um, um, um, to track, um, um, um, carbon emissions and so forth, but also that are going to, um, at the same time, um, help improve operations efficiency logistics. Speaker 2 00:23:42 Um, and, and I think even financing in a way, in a way that reduces cost for, for, for, for, for, for high value minerals as it were, right down to supply chain and ultimately to the end buyer. So it's just to highlight how blockchain is not just limited to one thing, but it is something that can completely change how mining is carried out. And of course for many in South Africa, Africa, of course that is in the coming years, but now autonomous trucks that are introduced in autonomous is in driverless, yes. Ation remotely are going to, in the context of South Africa, not only improve, um, worker safety, but are, are going to increase productivity because they do not have to have a lunch break. They do not have to have, um, often safety stop page issues, <affirmative>, um, and, and, and they are always going to be managed, um, remotely, of course, the cost of investing in in them mm-hmm. <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:24:50 Get companies that produces like cater peel and coade is going to be expensive. Yeah. But in the long run, so initial takeoff cost for companies is going to be and is expensive, but, uh, first forward three, four years later, it has probably paid itself and at the same time has increased, um, um, uh, productivity, especially, um, autonom, mass haul trucks and, and you know, that is quite important. Um, and that of course the technology, this incredible technology that we've spoken of, as I say, and I emphasize again how its deployed and where it's deployed and the engagement associated with it is important, particularly because I come to another issue, it's going to affect labor. And, and one of the challenges, not just these south, uh, international labor organizations will show you that many of the reports, the O C D reports will show you that, um, um, studies, um, that are about technology impact on, on labor force will show you that, um, many unions and, and many workers have struggled to adapt to, to technology as it comes along and as it changes. Speaker 2 00:26:04 So obviously for South Africa, for unions that are, uh, have historically contented issues about recognition, safety, uh, in the 19th and 20th century are now going to have to adapt in this 21st century moving forward. Um, it's not just no longer about, you know, recognition, health and safety workers have rights. It's now about how do we as unions, um, respond to technology that is coming and workers, uh, and, and, and it's deployment and making a workplace that, uh, uh, accommodates both workers and technology such that men and machine work side by side. Yeah. This are some of the issues that unions are going to have to, to contend with. And not just that blockchains and, and, and, and, and, um, and autonomous track, but robotics and automation too is quite important in the mining industry, but also it's very important for workers to be able to respond to that. Speaker 2 00:27:05 We have seen it, for example, in the manufacturing industry where, um, it's very prevalent robotics such that, um, you'll find that in a plant, in a car producing plant or in any other plant, uh, one section is mostly of comprised of robots, and the other section is comprised of human workers or human labor. And, and so tied that together, how do, do, do they make that work? And this are today's issues that trade unions in the mining industry are going to have to contend it, it goes beyond ideology. Sure. Must emphasize that. It goes beyond ideology of, of are we, uh, uh, socialist leaning worker organization, do we, um, prescribe to the Marist learning list or do we prescribe to worker autonomy, um, worker controlled or worker led, um, idea, um, or do we prescribe to the egalitarian nature of, of society? It's really about the here and now, the lived reality of, of workers as they are experiencing technology at their minds at their shas. Speaker 1 00:28:13 That's true, that's true Speaker 2 00:28:15 Work. As they experience technology then and there, how are unions able to respond to that? And if they cannot, one of the challenges is they, they run the risk of being left far behind because already unions are three or four steps behind technology as it's being deployed in, in industries across, not just in mining in South Africa particular. So, um, if they are not reimagining themselves as union that are, uh, uh, future looking, forward looking technology embracing, uh, they run the risk of, of not just being left behind, but of failing to come up with with solutions. Speaker 1 00:28:55 That's right. Just before we close the, just transition, let's talk about briefly the just transition. Um, we are seeing presidents Rama right now at COP 27 cementing some of the investments that the usa, Germany and other European countries have towards South Africa, um, with regards to decommissioning certain coal power stations. Um, what is your take on that? They promise that, uh, the poor and vulnerable will not be left out, but what is the guarantee that they will be taken care of during this process? Speaker 2 00:29:32 Well, it's going to be difficult, really. And, and, and again, on the one hand here, it's, it's, it's a cri I I wouldn't say it's, it's a crisis, but government eventually must come out with a clear position on that because we have had previously Minister Mantas is, is is in a way pro sustaining, uh, coal mining because it continues to perform well, has performed well this year. Uh, the coal miners, that is, the companies will tell you CEOs of coal mining companies are some of the happiest people this year because of the crisis energy crisis in Europe and how, and, and the Russia Ukraine issue and how globally they started to tend towards South Africa and other coal producing country for coal. So they've performed well. However, also tied to that, they just transition is the narrative. Um, and it's always going to be, we must look at the political economy of, of, of, of just transition, but also the political economy of mining and of development in the sense that as we have had many in the global south are saying, even at COP 17, the burden of this just transition seemed to be heavily reliant on, uh, the developing south living coal or life preparing for life after coal, yet a developed country used coal extensively and for longer periods to develop to the state that they are in today. Speaker 2 00:30:57 Sure. And now that they have developed, they say developing countries must disregard code. Um, so again, we must look beyond, um, um, the ordinary beyond, um, the, the headlines as it were and say, where does, um, um, the just transition narrative, um, um, who is pushing it from what angle and of what benefit will it be to South Africa? Yes. A climate crisis is here, an environment and an ecological crisis is here. And we, we, we do not need to be, um, an environmentalist and, and scholars to acknowledge as we are seeing it. We are seeing long periods of drought. We are seeing, uh, uh, unusual rain patterns. We are seeing so many things globally and vi here in South Africa. Um, um, however, we, for, for South Africa's coal production, uh, that has been performing relatively well. And, and by the way, South Africa continues today, today relies on coal to generate 92% of our electricity. Speaker 2 00:32:09 And, and, and, and, and, and roughly if I'm not wrong, um, we supply coal to other parts of, of the continent. So it's a revenue generating and it's an electricity generating at the same time, uh, a commodity to simply, uh, uh, unplug from that. It is going to be, it's not just going to be an easy thing that because it has been agreed or signed on a discuss at CO 17, it has significant implication on, on, on, on, on, on work as, as we know mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the cook might not be the biggest employer sub-sector in the mining industry, uh, because the biggest is a PGMs, but even plus around 80,000 people. That's right. In, in, in coal mining and, and, and, and, and, and the, the state own entity o we know the number of people that it, it, it employs for, its primarily coal fired power station. Speaker 2 00:33:06 So, so if we are going to South Africa, um, drive the, just transition as and position ourself as a country that is planning a just transition, um, we must have alternatives to, um, um, to, to call, but also we must be able to see how, um, um, the linkages between, um, between, um, um, um, what is, uh, experienced on the ground workers, um, that are in the core sector, um, the community as a whole. Of course, we see the effects of pollution in Pumalanga, uh, um, very clearly. Um, um, but at the same time, we have to be quite clear what are the reason that we as South Africa are preparing for a life of tar, as it were, and calling for this change and supporting the change for just transition. And as, as, as, as in politics or in sociology, often they would ask just transition for who and under what context and why, why now just transition? Speaker 2 00:34:13 Yes, it's important. Um, um, um, but we, we important to ask those questions. Yes. I I do think so. Um, uh, politically and socially anyway, uh, jobs and job losses that are, are going to be associated with that and, and, and so to, to, to and and, and to, to, to say what about the skills of coworkers? Um, um, what happens when, um, um, we are, we are moving from, from coal, but also from an economic perspective, the regional economic activity that is associated with coal production needs to be considered. Yeah, absolutely. You look at Pumalanga, um, um, probably income, um, economic activity, income associated with mining. Uh, you look at, um, in municipalities like municipality, govern, municipality, you look at the type of, um, um, subsequent employment created because of coal mine, uh, for example in the transplant sector, in the truck and rail sector. So those are some of the issues that are going to, to come out very clear and we must be clear about it, uh, as to when we are just transitioning in South Africa, uh, the unintended consequences and the implication of on transport sector, on, on, on other sectors that are, are product or affected by cold, what is going to happen. Absolutely. Speaker 1 00:35:50 Um, um, really, you have said more than a mouthful, but just on a lighter note, in closing, what has been your highlight in the 2022 mining year in South Africa? I know mine has been, when Anglo was launching its, uh, first hydrogen fuel, uh, truck. What has been your highlight in mining in 2022 South Africa? Speaker 2 00:36:11 Mm. Because this a sociologist in me, um mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, and, and I am fascinated by the sociology of work. Yeah. It is arguably, and I know it's not a big story to many people, but also to observe this is quite significant mm-hmm. <affirmative> that we have seen, uh, for the first time in a long time, uh, un rivalry put aside, um, at the SI strike and, and unions that would otherwise have not agreed on an issue, numan work together on an issue and, and, and, and, and tackle it to the Speaker 1 00:36:49 Core. Speaker 2 00:36:49 Yeah. That, that for me was, is a significant shift in a way that maybe it might reduce the, the violence associated with union activity two years, but also among those areas. Um, but a key issue. But that's my what one of the highlights that I have seen. Um, and one of the highlights also that I have seen, which is recent based on the work engagements, that one is deep Yeah. Is the kind of conversations that are occurring at, at, at, at the union level in terms of how they see technology affecting them and, and beginning to tie technology, not just to them as mind workers, but tie the, the, the, the, the effects, the impact of technology to them as part of society. Mm. And so that come that that that transits work, work issue, but becomes socio socio socioeconomic context in the sense that now we are tired, we are beginning to engage, um, we being workers are beginning to engage as they say now we are beginning to engage, um, on issues that are beyond that are just not limited affecting us just as workers, but has the potential to affect us, um, when we are, when we have clocked out of work and we are members of society mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Speaker 2 00:38:13 The, that they are society. I, I think that has been one of one of the highlights, um, for me. And, and also equally so companies that have tried to, um, um, be, I mean recently there were, was about the companies that are some among the best remunerating companies in the country, um, in, um, and I think one or two mining companies was featured there. So it's, it's, it's quite encouraging to see despite the con contested, uh, relationship between the employee and employee, there are some companies that are determined one to, uh, remunerate their employees better and are committed to, and I have done incredible work on their social labor plans, um, and, and, and, and, and, and, and continue to, to, to see South Africa as, as a critical for their development or growth as company in the mining industry. Thank you. Wow. Speaker 1 00:39:14 Thank you so much. That was certainly a mouthful. And, and, and I really, really commended you, um, for your opinion on how you saw, um, unions coming together to resolve an issue that really affects the livelihoods of people. Um, I read somewhere where you had an interview when I ask you what your favorite quote was, and you said to a child learning her letters, each word means standing for something. What do you stand for? And un but also for us, it's really clear that you stand for human labor rights and, um, a healthy social economic ecosystem. And thank you so much for giving us your time today. Speaker 2 00:39:53 Yes. And that's a, that's of course I love poetry. Yeah. That's Jessica Fisher's book in Speaker 1 00:39:58 Most. Yeah. Jessica Fisher Collection. Speaker 2 00:40:00 Yeah. Sos, Speaker 1 00:40:02 Thank you so much for your time. Speaker 0 00:40:06 Thank Speaker 3 00:40:07 You for listening. Remember to like, share and subscribe to deep Insights. For more mining news, visit mining review.com. Until next time, goodbye.

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