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Community demands 1 500 jobs at Lonmin

May 11 2017 19:12
Kevin Crowley, Bloomberg News

Johannesburg - Members of the Bapo Ba Mogale community are demanding 1 500 jobs at Lonmin’s operations, training and access to mine certain areas, a spokesperson for the world’s third-biggest platinum producer said.

“We have been engaging with this part of the community, holding multiple meetings over the past month, but have not been able to reach a resolution,” Wendy Tlou, a spokesperson said. “We have explained to them that we cannot hire 1 500 people.”

A BapoTrans bus, a joint venture between Lonmin and the community, was set alight in Bapong as part of the protest on Wednesday. The driver escaped unhurt, Mpeile Talane, a warrant officer with the police, said by phone Thursday.

Some of Lonmin's mining shafts have been shut for a week after members of Bapo Ba Mogale disrupted operations.

Lonmin’s E2 and E3 shafts near Bapong in the North West province have not been operational since May 3 to protect employees, Tlou said on Wednesday.

The company so far suffered the equivalent of R40m ($3m) in lost output, she said.

The production outage comes as Lonmin, which raised about $400m in a life-saving rights offer in 2015, burned through 70% of its cash in the final quarter of last year after a low platinum price combined with falling production from its biggest shaft.

In November, Lonmin pledged to spend R1.6bn on procurement from the Bapo community over the next five years. The agreement was part of a 2014 black-empowerment deal that saw the community swap royalty payments for equity in the company.

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lonmin  |  jobs  |  labour

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