Jean-Jacques Cornish

Strike hit uranium mines to be sold

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South Africa’s miners’ union says it will try to block the sale uranium mines sucked into billion euro losses by a marathon pay strike earlier this year.

The country’s Labour Ministry says the three-week strike by metalworkers, the largest union, could be settled by week’s end.

The National Union of Mineworkers was not the majority syndicate in the five-month outage by 80 000 workers at three pits that produce 80 percent of the world’s platinum.

Impala Platinum, Lonmin and Anglo American Platinum say the strike cut their production by 40 percent and cost them 1.76 billion euros.

Angloplats says it will sell two mines it owns in Rustenburg northwest of Johannesburg and another it owns jointly with Lonmin.

It reported eleven million euros in headline earnings for the first six months of this year, compared with 93.3 million euros in the same period last year.

The NUM head Frans Baleni says selling mines will cost 20 000 jobs and it will try to stop this.

The 220 000-member National Union of Metalworkers and representatives of 12 000 engineering and car making firms met at the weekend to try to end their three-week strike.

The Labour Ministry says discussions went well and they’re confident there will be a settlement by the end of the week.

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.