Shabangu: mergers will cost SA jobs

MINING Minister Susan Shabangu has cautioned against potential corporate mergers in the mining sector, saying they could lead to monopolies and job losses.

Responding to media questions ahead of her department's budget debate in Parliament yesterday, Shabangu said the proposed merger between mining giants Xstrata and Anglo American could lead to a monopoly.

"Monopolies can no longer be tolerated in South Africa," she said.

She said companies that sought to consolidate assets because they were struggling as a result of the global recession would need to consult the government.

Anglo American and Xstrata own a chunk of South Africa's mining assets.

Shabangu said given the potential job losses that come with mergers, any move towards consolidation of assets among companies should involve other stakeholders.

"If they are responding to the global pressures, they cannot do so on their own . there are other role players." She planned to initiate a discussion with both companies.

She also promised to develop a "comprehensive approach" to deal with illegal mining that had resulted in a number of deaths in defunct shafts in Welkom.