Lonmin resolution awaited

By Drum Digital
18 September 2012

There was still no news of a resolution to the protracted Lonmin miner strike on Tuesday, as new pay offers were being mulled over.

And, at Gold Fields' KDC west gold mine near Carletonville, shafts also remained idle as workers remained on strike.

Striking Lonmin workers in Marikana in North West have been offered a once-off bonus in the hope of getting them back to work, a National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) negotiator said earlier on Tuesday.

"They have been offered R1500 once-off, which is available [until] tomorrow [Wednesday] for them to report to work," said Eric Gcilitshana.

Employees were considering the offer, he said.

Workers gathered at Wonderkop stadium near the mine to discuss their future, and were unhappy that reporters were present as the talks entered a crucial phase.

On Monday, expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema was barred by police from entering the stadium where they were meeting.

Shortly after that meeting, SA Council of Churches Bishop Jo Seoka, who has been facilitating for the workers, said they had presented a new wage increase demand to management, and it was not the original R12,500 they had insisted on.

He was optimistic of good news on Tuesday relating to the strike which began on August 10.

At Gold Fields, the NUM and management hoped to continue talks to resolve their strike, which began last Sunday.

Police spokeswoman Constable Elsie Tshonte said miners had tried to close a public road outside one of the mine's shafts on Monday night, but police intervened, cleared the area without force and nobody was arrested.

Last week, Malema called for a national strike at mines, five days a month.

Meanwhile, 55 people arrested during a protest at Rasimone platinum mine near Rustenburg appeared in the Bafokeng Magistrate's Court in Tlhabane on Tuesday.

They were granted bail of R500 each and the matter was postponed to October 26 for investigation.

They are not allowed to be part of any illegal gathering in Rasimone and cannot intimidate other workers.

They were arrested on Monday at a protest outside the Royal Bafokeng Platinum mine.

Amplats and Aquarius said they resumed operations on Monday.

Operations at Implats, where workers had also been agitating for higher pay, were running as normal, said spokeswoman Alice Lourens.

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