A war of words has broken out between mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe and Gold Fields over the antiretrenchment strike at South Deep that has halted the mine for nearly a month with a loss of R70m in unpaid wages. With no sign of an end to the impasse between Gold Fields and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) over the company's plan to retrench 1,500 employees at the perennially unprofitable mine, Mantashe, a former general secretary of the union, has intervened. Mantashe, who is also the chairman of the ANC, accused Gold Fields of acting in bad faith and merely going through the motions in the process. “We don’t believe the company is acting in good faith. They have merely engaged in a tick-box exercise for compliance purposes. This is a disturbing approach, and we remain unhappy with the way the process has unfolded thus far,” he said after meeting management and CEO Nick Holland on Monday night. “We continue to urge employers in the sector to be responsible, as we ...

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