Johannesburg - Workers at one of South Africa's oldest and
best known diamond mines have embarked on an illegal strike and are demanding a
salary of R12 500.
Around 1 800 workers of the Petra mine near Cullinan, east
of Pretoria, announced their strike at 6pm on Tuesday, Beeld reported.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the miners'
official union, is not backing the strike, but it is still obligated to
represent the striking workers, according to union representative Tebogo
He said the NUM represented nearly 1 200 workers.
Operations at the mine have ground to a halt, as nobody
arrived for work on Wednesday.
The mine garnered international fame when it produced the
3106 carat Cullinan diamond in 1905.
More than 750 diamonds larger that 100 carats have been
excavated at Petra, and it is the world's most notable producer of rare, sought
after blue diamonds.
The mine's spokesperson Gert Klopper, said it was an
unprotected strike, but the employer was in talks with NUM.
Klopper said it was in conflict with mine policy to discuss
labour matters publicly.