Johannesburg - Labour unrest sweeping across SA's platinum
sector hit Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] on Wednesay, with striking miners blockading
roads leading to shafts belonging to the world number one producer, police
"Around 1 000 mineworkers had a confrontation with mine
security last night at the Siphumelele shaft and the situation has spread to
other mine shafts this morning," regional police spokesperson Thulani
The company said earlier that workers at Anglo Platinum in
Rustenburg have been "re-directed" from the mine due to intimidation.
"To ensure the safety and security of our employees,
management took the decision to re-direct employees to a neutral place,"
said Amplats spokesperson Mpumi Sithole in a statement.
"We confirm that yesterday (Tuesday), some of our
employees were unable to clock in for night shift due to fear of intimidation
and threats by unidentified individuals in and around our Rustenburg
She said "widespread cases" had been reported of
intimidation against Amplats workers throughout the Rustenburg area.
National Union of Mineworkers (Num) spokesperson Lesiba
Seshoka confirmed that the union's members had reported intimidation since
"There is apparently a high-level of intimidation,"
Seshoka said. "There is a group that is coercing people to gather and have
Seshoka said this group had initially been rebuffed and has
since been threatening workers with violence if they did not go on strike on
Wednesday, including throwing petrol on them.
"They tell you that next time you do this thing we're
going to burn you. It's no longer going to be an issue of putting petrol on you
and leaving you. You're going to get burned," Seshoka said.
He also claimed that the labour unrest at Amplats was
connected to recent troubles at Impala Platinum Holdings [JSE:IMP] and Lonmin
[JSE:LON] in Marikana.
"The people who are responsible for organising this
threatening (of) workers are the same people who are doing it at Marikana and Impala.
A couple of people come and they start talking to workers. If you don't listen
you are dealt with," Seshoka said.
Sithole did not say how many workers had been sent to a
neutral place or how severely operations at the Rustenburg mine had been affected.
Further comment from Amplats was not immediately
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