Rustenburg - Striking Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS]
(Amplats) mineworkers demanded pay of R16 070 a month at a meeting at the
Blesbok stadium in Rustenburg on Thursday.
This was according to Gaddafi Ndoda, who described himself
as a member of a newly formed workers' committee.
"To us, R12 500 is just a basic salary," he said,
referring to the amount raised as a demand among many mineworkers over the past
"Anglo is the most-paying (sic) mine in the country, so
our demand is different from other mineworkers," said Ndoda.
He said they wanted "nothing to do" with Amplats'
Mageu beverage, and wanted their refreshment allowance to be R30 a day.
On Wednesday workers there complained about the quality of
the Mageu, an energy drink made from fermented grains.
He said currently workers were not entitled to a safety and
"We want our transport allowance to be R60 daily and
(our) safety allowance to be R1 500."
They also wanted the increase in their living-out allowance
to be R2 000 - up from R1 700.
An "executive committee" of six members
representing workers outside formal union forums had been formed and they were
expected to take a memorandum to the mine's management in Klipfontein near the
stadium, he said.
While heading towards the nearby offices, about half the
workers who had been in the stadium accompanied the committee, singing and
dancing, amid tight security.
As in the past week, the police had Nyalas stationed in the
area and a helicopter overhead. Amplats security vehicles and security guards
were also on alert, and a Netcare911 ambulance was on standby.
Workers carried knobkerries, sticks and whips. Some also
It appeared that a group of striking workers from Lonmin
[JSE:LON] did not join them as hoped.
Amplats said it suspended operations on Wednesday out of
concern for the safety of its employees, and said there was no strike at the
CEO Chris Griffith said the situation in the Rustenburg area
was volatile, and that people who wanted to go to work could not because of
threats of violence.
"Anglo American Platinum has decided to suspend its
operations in the Rustenburg area with immediate effect," he said in a
"The suspension will continue until such time as
operations can be safely resumed."
Amplats' chairperson Cynthia Carroll said the company was in
touch with authorities "at the highest level" to identify ways of
working with government and the recognised labour unions to achieve a swift and
She said the company's Rustenburg platinum operations were
already under financial pressure, and the suspension of operations on Wednesday
risked their long-term viability, the longer the situation lasted.
A strike at Lonmin entered its second month this week.
Workers at Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] KDC West mine were also on strike on Thursday.
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