Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

NUM pleads for end to platinum strike

Parties involved in the platinum sector wage dispute must resolve the fall-out speedily in the interest of workers, mining communities, and the country, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Sunday.

“If the dispute is not resolved we are going to see permanent casualties in the loss of jobs and people losing their property,” said general secretary Frans Baleni after the union’s national executive committee meeting in Johannesburg. 

Baleni said the strike was damaging the economy of the country.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Lonmin, Impala, and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) in Rustenburg in the North West province and Northam in Limpopo downed tools on January 23 demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

They rejected the companies’ offer that would bring their cash remuneration to R12 500 by July 2017. The strike has cost employees R8.6-billion in earnings and companies have lost R19.5-billion in revenue according to a website, platinumwagenegotiations.co.za, created by the companies.

Labour Court brokered mediation talks between Amcu and the companies were ongoing, after no agreement was reached on Friday.

Platinum producers said on Friday they were committed to finding a common commitment to resolve the dispute.

Violence and intimidation
The strike, now on its 122nd day, has been marred by violence and intimidation, leading to the deaths of five NUM members.

“In this regard the NEC makes a clarion call to all its members to exercise their right to go to work and, most importantly, it calls on all its members to exercise their right to defend themselves against any forms of violence and intimidation.

“The NEC calls on the them to defend their families, their lives and property.”

Baleni said law enforcement agencies must apply the law effectively to restore safety in the mines and in the mining communities. 

“Violence must be removed, it is not part of collective bargaining,” he said. “We urge all strategic philanthropic institutions and government to give support to the victims of violence, particularly the families that have been affected for no cause of their own.”

He said the NUM deplored the selective support that had been given to some victims.

“For example Lonmin provided support to all those killed by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in 2012 and has not extended the same treatment to subsequent victims of violence.”

Police shot and killed 34 strikers and injured more than 70 at Lonmin in Marikana on April 16 2012. – Sapa

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Sapa
Guest Author

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

R350 social relief grant not enough to live on

Nearly half of the population in South Africa — one of the most unequal countries in the world — is considered chronically poor.

More top stories

Officials implicated in arts council mismanagement will be brought to...

The National Arts Council vows that every cent from the sector’s Covid-19-relief programme will be disbursed to artists, after auditors uncover maladministration

Covid-19 vaccine mandates: a constitutional balancing act

South Africa’s laws allow the government to implement mandatory Covid vaccinations but, if it chooses this path, it must do so responsibly

Popularity will not guarantee mayoral selection — Ramaphosa

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has promised a more rigorous mayoral selection process, which will involve the party’s top six

Nowhere to turn for abused bakery workers

After being chased away for asking for minimum wage, Gqeberha bakers who endured racism turned first to the CCMA, then to a political party, then to a union. None helped
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×