News24

Limpopo mine quiet after protests

2012-03-16 09:20

Polokwane - The situation at Modikwa Platinum Mine, near Burgersfort, was calm after protesting mineworkers barricaded a road, Limpopo police said on Friday.

"It was quiet last night [Thursday], police were patrolling the area," said Lieutenant Colonel Ronel Otto.

"Up to 07:00 this morning [Friday] it was still quiet. There was no gathering or blocking of roads and police are on the scene monitoring the situation," she said.

Early on Thursday morning, the striking mine workers blocked a road leading to the mine and people threw stones at the police when they arrived to disperse the crowd.

Tense

Non-striking workers were intimidated by those protesting over wages, Otto said.

The situation had remained tense throughout the morning.

Teargas and rubber bullets had been used, but no injuries were reported, said Otto.

The protesters left at around 15:00 on Thursday.

The road was reopened, but Otto said police expected a renewed attempt to block it on Friday morning and were prepared for this.

The National Union of Mineworkers announced on Wednesday that its members would strike from Thursday, until their pay demands had been met.

Spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said the union was demanding a 12% wage hike while the company was offering 9.5% for the lowest paid workers and 8.5% for the highest paid workers.

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