Today's Labour News

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glencoreFin24 reports that Glencore Ferroalloys' Rhovan operations have been shuttered as a result of community unrest, which has dragged on for two weeks with no end in sight.

The resources group said protesters in Bethanie were blocking access roads leading to the Rustenburg operation – an open-cast mine and smelter complex producing mainly vanadium alloys – which has been closed since 29 April as a consequence. According to Glencore, it has engaged with various provincial and local governments, unions, the regulator, and community representatives. "The company has also obtained a court order against the protestors that directs the South African Police Service to prevent criminal conduct being perpetrated on the roads to the Rhovan operations. This has to date not resulted in the removal of the protesters," the company said. Glencore is the majority shareholder in the Rhovan-Bakwena Vanadium Venture, while its minority partner, with a 26% stake, is the Bakwena-ba-Mogopa community. The company said it would engage with representatives of the protesters once they have dispersed, the roads reopened, and the operations resumed. According to a Glencore spokesperson, the grievances behind the protest action remained varied and unclear. But the Bakwena-Ba-Mogopa Community Development Foundation said a list of six grievances had been clearly written down in a memorandum that was submitted on 30 April by the tribal authority to Glencore representatives in SA and in Switzerland. A key issue is apparently the lack of job opportunities for the youth. The other grievances relate to local economic development as well as the thorny issue of a community trust, which has been the subject of a long-run dispute.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Lisa Steyn at Fin24

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