We are not biased: Gift of the Givers

2014-05-25 14:52
Mineworkers on strike.  (File, AFP)

Mineworkers on strike. (File, AFP)

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Johannesburg - Gift of the Givers has denied that it is distributing food selectively in the embattled platinum belt of the North West province.

"We do not work with Amcu or NUM. It is a lie that we are only helping Amcu members," spokesperson Emily Thomas said on Sunday.

She said they worked with the Marikana Campaign Committee, which identified people who needed to be assisted.

"They only ask for a clock card number not whether you are Amcu or NUM."

National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) general secretary Frans Baleni accused Gift of the Givers of providing food only to Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members.

Baleni said his union members were equally affected by the four-month-long strike as they were intimidated to stop them from reporting for duty.

No agreement

Amcu members at Lonmin, Impala and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) operations in Rustenburg and Northam in Limpopo downed tools on 23 January demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

They rejected the companies' offer that would bring their cash remuneration to R12 500 by July 2017.

The strike has cost employees R8.6bn in earnings and companies have lost R19.5bn in revenue according to a website, platinumwagenegotiations.co.za, created by the companies.

Labour Court brokered mediation talks between Amcu and the companies were ongoing, after no agreement was reached on Friday.

Platinum producers said on Friday they were determined to find a common commitment to resolve the dispute.

The strike, now on its 122nd day, has been marred by violence and intimidation which has led to the deaths of five NUM members.

Thomas said Gift of the Givers would continue to provide food to mineworkers and their families in Northam, Limpopo on Monday.

On Saturday, the organisation gave food to 2 300 families in Wonderkop near Marikana.

"Hungry and starving men, women and children ululated as 2 300 families received food parcels, 6 000 were fed a hot meal, over a thousand were treated by a 25-member medical team and 300 were given blankets and tinned food in an attempt to give something to everyone of the 10 000 desperate people who turned up," she said.

She said the medical team encountered people with a whole range of conditions, including HIV, hypertension, diabetes, skin ailments, and TB. Those at greatest risk were the many pregnant women, who have not been receiving normal ante-natal follow-ups.

- SAPA

Read more on:    amplats  |  lonmin  |  amcu  |  num  |  gift of the givers  |  impala  |  mahikeng  |  labour  |  mining  |  strikes  |  mining unrest
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