Amplants group vow to halt mining in Rustenburg

By Drum Digital
14 September 2012

Murray & Roberts and Aquarius Platinum management were given 15 minutes to respond to a request to close operations by striking mineworkers in Rustenburg on Friday.

"We came here peacefully to ask you to close operations, because we believe workers underground are being underpaid," workers' leader Godfrey Lindani said.

In responding to the request, a manager who did not want to give his name to the media, said he would be back in 15 minutes.

"We will talk to our people and come back to you," he said.

He further expressed the appreciation for the peaceful march of the striking workers.

"I am happy that you are marching peacefully, you are organising your protesters well."

He said he had been under the impression that the strike was only affecting nearby Anglo American Platinum (Amplats).

While they waited, workers sang revolutionary songs at the entrance to the mine.

Murray & Roberts had a contract mining agreement.

According to its website, this ended in July in a bid to reduce exposure to the platinum sector.

Aquarius Platinum was to convert to an owner-operator business model. The phasing out of Murray & Roberts in the transition could last until December, their website said.

Earlier, the group held a meeting at Amplats' Blesbok stadium, with police Nyalas driving in front of them for the 4km journey.

Mametlwe Sebei, leader of a group which has called itself the Democratic Socialist Movement, told the protesters that all mines in Rustenburg must come to a halt next week.

Sebei said protests were continuing to close all mines in the area and named Samancor, Xstrata, Murray & Roberts, Implats and Amandelbult.

Earlier, mineworkers insisted that their monthly salary demand of R16,070 was realistic.

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