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Ndzaba Msuthu
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The platinum battle

31 March 2014, 14:45

Platinum battle

The strike by employees on the platinum mining industry is currently on its third month.

Firstly as an employee of one of the companies affected by the strike, we lost our brothers and sisters in 2012 in that bloody illegal strike. Most of the people killed were from my province the Eastern Cape because it looks like they were in the front maybe because they come from a poor province so they might be hungrier than others.

I always tell my colleagues that we would have got R2500 by then if we were to get it because the situation by then was so frightening.

Amcu claim it fights to improve the living and working conditions of mineworkers, well that’s good if NUM failed. That 2012 strike lasted for two months, people were forced to take loans more than they used to because they needed to full fill their daily family responsibilities. According to the information I have, negotiations started last year regarding the current wage dispute, they demanded R12500 for lowest paid employee, definitely that means also the other levels will need an increase mostly closer to that percentage increases and i understand they have never made any concessions during negotiations up until now after one month strike, that shows lack of leadership on their side, they should ve dropped their demands during the negotiations before they rushed to strike. They should have marched to Pretoria and these company main offices before the strike. Otherwise they should use the money to hire buses instead to hand out food parcels to the hungry families affected by the strike.

Now, who is winning and loosing? On our side as employees we are really struggling, cars we were nearly finishing paying will be repossessed, people are hungry, we can’t pay our monthly instalments at school and in retail shops. By the time we get that R12500 we will have to start our lives from scratch. On company side they are also loosing but I don’t have the correct facts. From the information I have most people want to come back to work but afraid of intimidation. Sometimes as a leader you have to show leadership, tell the people, we have tried our best, let’s go to work for the sake of our families.

Mr Mathunjwa claims that CEO are paid millions of rands,well I think if we fight that, we will never win it because it’s an international thing, also it’s not our battle, that means we are being sacrificed. There is also the battle between NUM and AMCU as to success rate in wage demands, and then we are also being sacrificed. The companies also might want to prove Amcu otherwise, we are also being sacrificed. It would be a stupid idea to say the companies must leave if they can’t give us what we want. We don’t know  there is no political agenda on the crisis but let’s wait and see. Its good thing that Amcu emerged because Num leadership was being complacent, they were no longer putting pressure on mine management, they were looking too much on their personal interest. Most of them were accused of being involved in corrupt practices with mine bosses.

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