Businesswoman Mamphela Ramphele's decision to resign as Gold Fields chairman is long overdue, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Wednesday (13 February).
"The mining sector requires people with a very strong character to be able to transform, rather than a mere opinion-makers who shout from the sidelines with no concomitant action," the NUM said in a statement.
"The NUM requires people with a certain level of pragmatism, rather than theorists, to occupy these strategic positions in order to influence decisions that would favour the majority," the union claimed
Gold Fields announced Ramphele's resignation earlier on Wednesday (13 February).
"Dr Ramphele has decided to retire as chairman to further her socio-economic and political work," spokesman Sven Lunsche said in statement.
"She has resigned from most of her private sector directorships, and will relinquish all other remaining private sector directorships and positions to focus on these activities."
He said non-executive director Cheryl Carolus would succeed Ramphele.
The NUM accused Ramphele of not caring about the workers.
"Gold Fields -- now Sibanye [Gold] -- has been one of the worst performing [mines] in recent years in terms of health and safety of mineworkers, under the watchful eye and leadership of Ramphele," it said.
"It is common cause from what she said at last week's Mining Indaba that she sees no problem with African workers losing their jobs," the union said.
The NUM said it had not been consulted by Gold Fields on Carolus' appointment.
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