Johannesburg - Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] will no longer apply for an eviction order
to legally remove the 5000 miners from its KDC West hostels, the
company said on Monday.
"We are no longer applying for the eviction order," spokesperson Sven Lunsche said.
"We reached the agreement with [the National Union of
Mineworkers] that the miners should disarm. That was the reason for the
eviction and now that the majority have been disarmed we feel that it is
fair enough to halt the legal process."
However, he warned if they took up arms again the process would have to continue.
"But for now it is calm at the hostel."
Workers at the West Rand mine have been on strike for 29 days and are demanding a monthly pay of R12 500 after deductions.
Last week, the miners gathered on a hill off mine property as the word spread that they might be evicted.
On Wednesday, miners thought they were being evicted after receiving a notice from management.
They thought the notice was an eviction order, but
Lunsche said the application for an eviction order was yet to be
processed by the High Court in Pretoria.
What the workers had received was a sheriff's notice requesting reasons why they should not be evicted.
Lunsche said then the mine wanted the miners living in hostels evicted because of safety concerns.
Hostels were becoming a "hot-bed of violence" where
petrol bombs were being made and plans for illegal action were being
However, some miners on the hill, who began streaming
down towards the hostel after getting the notice, wanted to gather their
Security guards stationed at the entrance gates to the hostels were confiscating weapons and searching cars.
On Wednesday evening, Congress of SA Trade Unions
(Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and Num president Senzeni
Zokwana addressed the miners on the hill.
They told the crowd all CEOs of gold-producing mines
would meet the two unions the following day to discuss the need to
reopen wage negotiations.
They also said after a meeting with Gold Fields' CEO
Nick Holland earlier in the day that it was agreed the strikers should
go back to the mine hostels under the condition they disarm.
Later on Wednesday night, NUM announced that wage
negotiations in the gold and coal mining industries would reopen under
an agreement reached in a meeting in Johannesburg between the Chamber of
Mines, NUM, Solidarity, and UASA.
"The chamber agreed to negotiate... [an] increase for
entry level workers, [and] adjustment or upgrading for operators, which
includes rockdrill operators...," NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said in a
However, Lunsche said on Monday the company had not heard anything from the union.
"We are waiting for the NUM to present the framework agreement to workers at our mines to get them back to work."
Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.