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Inter-ministerial team expected to meet Amcu, mining bosses

Sapa

A team of officials from various departments will meet mining bosses and Amcu over strikes in the platinum belt.

Members of Amcu at Lonmin, Impala and Anglo American Platinum  downed tools on January 23, demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

An interministerial technical team is expected to meet labour union Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and mining bosses on Thursday to discuss the strike in the platinum mining sector.

The meeting would take place at an undisclosed location in Johannesburg. Members of Amcu at Lonmin, Impala and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) downed tools on January 23, demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500. They rejected an offer by the companies to bring their pay to R12 500 by July 2017. 

The Labour Court-facilitated talks aimed at resolving the more than four-month-old wage strike were held in Johannesburg on Tuesday. On Wednesday, newly appointed Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi announced the establishment of an intergovernmental technical team to resolve the strike in the platinum mining sector. 

“The mandate of the technical team is to broaden the approach and explore all possibilities for a resolution to the problem,” he said in a statement at the time. “They will interrogate all the information [including the figures] provided by both parties, and report back by the end of the day on what is possible.” 

The team is made up of officials of the departments of mineral resources, labour, and national treasury, who will be supported by representatives of the mining companies and Amcu.

‘Houses petrol bombed’
Meanwhile, two houses belonging to miners were petrol bombed in Sefikile, North West, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Wednesday.

“We are extremely worried because our members are being attacked and their houses petrol bombed. The police are not doing anything to protect our members who are going to work,” said Steve Modimokwane, NUM branch chairperson at the Union mine of Amplats. 

He said the houses belongingd to NUM members were petrol bombed on Tuesday night. “We do not know whose house will be petrol bombed tonight.”

Modimokwane said another union member was attacked on Tuesday morning and managed to escape with minor injuries. NUM’s national executive committee has called on all its members to exercise their right to go to work and most importantly to exercise their right to defend themselves against any form of violence or intimidation. 

“The NEC  [national executive committee] calls on them to defend their families, their lives and property.” 

The petrol bomb report comes a day after police said a was man found hanging from a tree in Broederstroom in North West’s troubled platinum mining belt, and is believed to have been a mineworker.

Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said he was found on the road between Hartbeespoort Dam and Krugersdorp.

“The body of a man, alleged to be a mineworker, was found hanging on the tree in Leeukloof, not far from Hartebeeshoek Road.”

Ngubane said the man was dressed in clothes similar to those worn by mineworkers.– Sapa

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