JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- The South African government remains in control of the situation in the mining industry and law and order continues to prevail despite the recent deaths of 44 miners, a panel of five government ministers announced here on Monday.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on the Marikana tragedy, where 44 miners died during a strike for better wages last month, told the foreign correspondents association media briefing in Johannesburg that the deaths of the miners have not affected the country's ability to attract investors.
"We would like to reassure all stakeholders and the international community that mining operations continue unhindered in other parts of the North West province and throughout the country," said Collins Chabane, minister in the Presidency.
Chabane said the government is doing its best to make sure the Marikana incident does not happen again, calling on the mining companies and workers' union to do the best they can in ensuring that the needs of the workers are met.
"More work needs to be done in the area of social investment in mining communities and in the improvement of living conditions of the mineworkers to mitigate against the unfavorable material conditions that give rise to tragedies such as Marikana," he said.
On Aug.16, the shootout took place as police attempted to disperse several thousand striking miners at the Marikana mine in the northern province of the North West, leaving 34 miners dead, 78 other injured and 270 arrested.
Chabane urged the police to treat fairly all the miners who were detained during the violent strike, saying the minister of police has ordered investigations following allegations of ill- treatment and torture of miners arrested in connection with the Marikana incident.
Chabane stated that President Jacob Zuma will not interfere in the work of the Marikana commission investigating what happened in Marikana or any other processes, including the prosecution of persons associated with the tragedy.
Minister of Mineral Resource Susan Shabangu urged mining companies to fully fill all their obligations which they signed for under the mining charter to avoid violent situations like the one that caused the death of 44 people at the Lonmin mine in Marikana.
Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant, who had met with the Lonmin mine management and the workers representatives, said that all stakeholders have agreed that creating a peaceful climate was the most important step.
Chabane said that 36 of the miners who died have already been buried, the remaining will be buried during the upcoming weekend. He urged the nation to wait for the outcomes of the commission of inquiry appointed by President Zuma to investigate what led to the violent situation.