Fired Amplats workers gather for protest

2012-10-06 10:16
Amplats worker (Picture: AFP)

Amplats worker (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Two more mines join strike

2012-10-04 11:54

Kumba Iron Ore's Sishen mine workers in the Northern Cape on Wednesday joined their Gauteng Gold One counterparts in the wildcat strike that's crippling the mining sector. Watch.WATCH

kalahari.com

Rustenburg - Some of the 12 000 miners sacked by the world's largest platinum producer gathered on Saturday to protest their dismissal and mourn a colleague killed in clashes with police.

Around 100 miners started arriving at a stadium in Rustenburg, to debate how to respond to the mass dismissal by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats).

"Last night I received a message to say I've been dismissed because of the illegal strike," said Mkhari, 23, who only started work two months ago.

"It's not right. I've a lot of debt, a child, rent..." said his friend Mpoti, also 23.

Police armoured vehicles parked outside the stadium, while a helicopter circled the area.

Marikana murder


Meanwhile, in the nearby town of Marikana a union branch leader at a different mine was shot dead Friday evening, his union said.

"A branch secretary of the union at Western Platinum was shot and killed at his house in Marikana this (Friday) evening," said National Union of Mineworkers spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka.

Unions have come under fire as workers reject the traditional negotiation structures and accuse their guilds of conniving with mine managers.

Around 28 000 Amplats workers have been on a wildcat strike for three weeks at the firm's sprawling facilities in Rustenburg, which account for around a quarter of world platinum production.

Amplats on Friday said the miners failed to appear before disciplinary hearings "and have therefore been dismissed in their absence".

It is the latest crisis to hit South Africa's vital minerals sector, which has been crippled by a wave of violent disputes over miners' pay since August.

The company said the strike had so far cost R700m in lost revenue.

"Despite the company's repeated calls for employees to return to work, we have continued to experience attendance levels of less than 20%," Amplats said in a statement.

Violence


But with many miners unwilling to give up their demands for higher pay and Amplats taking a tough line, the spectre of violence looms.

In August 46 people died during a strike at the Lonmin platinum mine in nearby Marikana.

"Things now are tuning to a point," said Gaddhafi Mdoda a worker and activist. "They are leaving us with no choice."

At least seven people have been killed around Rustenburg in strike-related violence this week.

Late Thursday one miner was killed when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a group of 300 illegal strikers protesting on a hilltop close to the mines.

The independent police watchdog is investigating the man's death "as the incident appeared to have arisen from police action," according to police spokesperson Emelda Setlhako.

With around 100 000 workers currently on strike across the country, President Jacob Zuma - who has publicly kept his distance from the crisis - has called for the work stoppages to end.

"We should not seek to portray ourselves as a nation that is perpetually fighting," he told business leaders in Johannesburg.

Investors, already spooked by earlier violence, warned Friday's dismissals could deepen a crisis that has already paralysed an industry that accounts for around 20% of the country's GDP.

"The government is doing nothing," said Peter Attard Montalto, a strategist with Japanese bank Nomura, who warned the strikes had already shaved 0.2 to 0.3% off third quarter growth.

Analysts have warned that the strikers' demands will result in job losses in the country where one in every four employable people is already out of work.

In February, Amplats' rival Impala Platinum fired 17 000 workers, only to rehire them a few weeks later as part of a wage agreement.

Amplats on Friday indicated it was open to "exploring the possibility of bringing forward wage negotiations within our current agreements".

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.
Read more on:    amplats  |  mahikeng  |  strikes  |  mining unrest
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
123 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your ideas may feel like a sea of thoughts swimming around every which way, and now you need to find something to contain them in...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.