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South Africa reels under fresh strikes
October 1, 2013, 9:21 am

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Tuesday extended a deadline of a threatened new strike in gold mines to Friday [AP]

A series of wildcat strikes have hit South Africa’s gold and platinum sectors [AP]

Around 2,000 disgruntled South African miners continued to protest impending job cuts on Monday at the Thembelani Mine amid heavy security presence.

It was the fourth day the Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) workers had downed tools to show their support for the 3,300 miners the company is set to retrench.

“If they do not meet us at least half way, the strike will continue,” Thebe Maswabi, an Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) branch chairman was quoted by Reuters.

South Africa accounts for 75 per cent of global platinum output.

Striking workers are expected to meet at the Thembelani shaft on Tuesday for a report on the meeting that took place between the management of Amplats and the AMCU.

South Africa has been reeling under labour unrest since last year, worsened by a feud between the two unions, AMCU and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Amplats revised its earlier decision of laying off 14,000 workers last month after government intervention and protests from workers.

The mining company now plans to cut 4,800 jobs, laying off 3,300 workers and paying off the rest.

Amplats is part of global mining group Anglo American and the world’s biggest producer of the platinum.

A strike at one of the largest gold mining companies Harmony Gold came to an end last month when employees accepted a proposed wage increase offer.

A series of wildcat strikes have hit South Africa’s gold and platinum sectors causing losses of billions of dollars to the economy.

Mining related violence has also killed dozens of people in the last year and a half.

Source: Agencies