Alan Kasujja, the outspoken host of Uganda’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, said Ms Rinehart’s remarks were ignorant and created a view among Africans that most Australians had little idea about people.
He invited Ms Rinehart to tour the region and witness first-hand the working conditions of underground miners.
Kasujja, who described Ms Rinehart’s comments as “extremely offensive” and “naive”, said scarcity of jobs meant many workers in Africa had little choice but to accept $2-a-day working conditions.
“It is true that in my country, it is not unusual that some workers earn as little as $1 a day, but the truth of the matter is that people are looking for jobs and are willing to do the most ridiculous things to earn a living,” said Kasujja.
“She is just removed from reality and we think: there’s another person who lives thousands of miles away and doesn’t give two tosses about Africa.
“She is welcome to visit and see that we have dreams and ambitions – we are an aspirational country.
“Those people who work for $2 a day look to a future where they can earn $10 a day.”
The 2012 International Labour Office Global Employment Trends report said many workers across Africa were still working in poverty despite efforts across the continent to reduce vulnerable employment.
The report said that more than 38 per cent of the employed population earned about $US1.25 a day last year, with a large percentage believed to be youth.
Ms Rinehart, estimated by Forbes Magazine in February to be worth $18 billion, warned on Wednesday that Australia was becoming too expensive for mining companies which, she said, could hire workers for under $2 a day in Africa.
The statement drew criticism from Prime Minister Julia Gillard, union officials and the business community. Australian Workers national secretary Paul Howes said Ms Rinehart had managed to make Clive Palmer “look grounded”.
“She has clearly lost her mind if she thinks our mines in the Pilbara can be compared to mines in failed African nations,” he said.
Industrial Global Union executive director Rob Johnston said he found Ms Rinehart’s comments ill-informed and concerning.
source – Daily Telegraph