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Lonmin mine strike again in South Africa
May 15, 2013, 11:11 am


The strikes could pose a big risk to the South African economy [AP Images]

Thousands of South African miners continued their strike on Wednesday at the Lonmin Platinum Mine in Marikana, the North West Province.

Lonmin spokeswoman Sue Vey said the strike has led to the suspension of operations at the mine, although no violent incidents have been reported.

The miners, members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), held a strike on Tuesday to press their demand that rival union National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) vacate their offices.

Lonmin Platinum Mine is the world’s third largest platinum producer.

AMCU, which has been fighting with NUM for dominance among the miners, claimed that NUM no longer represents the majority of miners.

Their rivalry has often led to violent clashes.

“As we speak, the demand is about the closure of NUM. AMCU has signed a peace accord in which they committed themselves to respecting freedom of association,”AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa said.

NUM should accept that AMCU is now the minority and should shutdown its offices, Mathunjwa said.

AMCU’s demand to close NUM’s office has been rejected by the Lonmin management, which calls for co-existence among unions under a peace accord signed last year.

This is the latest round of labour unrest that has hit South Africa.

The strikes could pose a big risk to the South African economy as mining accounts for about 10 per cent of the country’s output.

The Lonmin mine was the centrepiece of widespread labour unrest in the mining sector last year.

In clashes with police in August, 2012, 44 people were killed in what is being described as the worst labour unrest in the post-apartheid era.

Source: Agencies