More platinum miners stage protest

2012-08-22 17:13

Johannesburg - About 1 000 workers of the Royal Bafokeng Platinum mine, outside Rustenburg staged a protest on Wednesday, demanding a salary increase of R12 500 across the board.

By noon, they were singing liberation songs about 300m away from the shaft.

Lebogang Mosito, a mother of two, said the R4 000 she was earning now did not meet her living expenses.

"I have two kids to take care of, I spend R850 for school transport, spend R700 for my travelling and R800 for rental - after all this I am left with nothing," she said.

Mosito said she started working in the mine as a rock drill operator in 2007. At that time she was earning R1 800.

‘Improving my life’

She said the R12 500 would enable her to pay for her children's tertiary education in the near future and would improve her living conditions.

Another mineworker, Alfred Matsau, said he worked as a pulp attendant and was paid R5 900 before deductions.

"I want the R12 500 so that I can improve my life," he said.

Matsau said the workers conveyed their demands and grievances to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Monday to take to the mine management.

On Tuesday, NUM called the workers into a meeting to inform them the mine intended retrenchments, Matsau said.

Situation calm - police

"We want the mine to retain the current workforce and pay us well."
North West police said they were keeping watch.

"The unarmed miners downed tools and are protesting peacefully," spokesperson Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said.

"At the moment the situation is calm and there is nothing to worry about. Police believe the protesters have no plans of intimidation."

This was the second platinum mine in the province affected by protests after rock drill operators at Lonmin's platinum mine, outside Marikana, went on strike. Forty-four people were killed during violence linked to this.

The protests were believed to have been caused by rivalry between the NUM and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union over recognition agreements at the mine. Workers also wanted higher wages.

Neither the mine or NUM could be reached for comment as both were in meetings.

  • spookhuis - 2012-08-22 17:23

    Can we now start singing "Shoot the driller, shooter the striker"

      spookhuis - 2012-08-22 17:40

      Vox would you talk, run or shoot if you had that (photo) coming at you?

      Junebugg - 2012-08-22 17:59

      @spookhuis, Its nice when they kill the miners but its horrible when they kill the farmers???? clearly some souls are more precious than others huhh?? Some people will never change

      rbphiri - 2012-08-22 18:14

      Here they go again, trying to rape a bee hive...The miners are behaving like Minors.

      rbphiri - 2012-08-22 18:17

      Let us not underMINE their stupidity...I think the sangoma fooled them again.

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-08-22 18:18

      They will not learn. If this turns ugly - what are the police suppose to do. This is turning into a hellhole. And the ANC has a huge challenge - Anger the miners, and they lose support from that group - anger the police, and they might sit with a lost vote in POPCRU. Funny business....politics.

      mveleli.mbombo - 2012-08-22 18:23

      spookhuis...its not too late to take that back surely you were not thinking straight

      mike.dufham.7 - 2012-08-22 18:46

      Wrong. Stop the singing and just shoot them

      tw2066 - 2012-08-22 19:05

      Well if these guys arent going to mourn for their OWN colegues - as instructed by HRH Jake Showerkop Zoomer, then why should anyone else.

      farmfreund - 2012-08-22 19:17

      It will soon just be 966

      spookhuis - 2012-08-23 08:38

      @ mveleli.mbombo, you take a "PEN AND PAPER" to negotiate not a spear and blade, FOOL.

  • aarchaic - 2012-08-22 17:24

    and so does the cookie crumble... before you know it its gone...

  • hector.barbossa.52 - 2012-08-22 17:27

    I love that idea ... my expenses are getting bigger so you must geeeve me more money. Cool I will run that past my boss and see what re-action I get ... Yeah just as I thought .. not likely ..

  • kondwani.mkandawire - 2012-08-22 17:36

    "I have two kids to take care of, I spend R850 for..." I have always found this type of reasoning strange. Who told you to have kids if you cannot afford them? In fact I've heard some very educated supposedly intelligent individuals using this exact argument, only it came in the form: "I have a bond, two kids in school, car installments..." Its as if the more financial responsibilities these clowns heap up, the more entitled they feel...

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-08-22 18:20

      Spot on. And when they get their R12 500 and their expenses rise(as we know expenses rise with the salary)- will they demand more?

      robi.thenga - 2012-08-22 20:49

      Hahaha, I think you two should just go to your bosses and demand a pay decrease, unless you are self employed...

  • spookhuis - 2012-08-22 17:38

    Look at the length of the blades in the photo and then tell me that they want to negotiate.

      rbphiri - 2012-08-22 18:15

      Sharp knives but blunt minds

      robi.thenga - 2012-08-22 20:52

      @spookhuis, read what's written below the photo; its not the same miners you think it is...

  • jean.tredoux.5 - 2012-08-22 17:44

    Forget quickly about how terrible these miners are and the way they are trying to get what they want, lets focus on their demand. I think what they asking is acceptable. Even if they get R12000 do you think the CEO or the owner of the mine still won't walk a way with a fat cheque in his/her pocket?! Do you think he won't live comfortably if his/her wealth is just over R50 or a R100 million and not over half a billion or billion Rand? Will you be able to survive if you were paid R5000? Rather make more people richer, let them pay tax, rather let the money circulate in our own country, then giving an enormous amount of money to one person who probably spends it overseas...

      jean.tredoux.5 - 2012-08-22 18:17

      God... I shouldn't have used the word tax cos you people immediately use the gov as an excuse... and you didn't even respond to my statement properly. but anyway b'cos the gov will 'steal' the money this should stop the worker from receiving some kind of decent salary, they should (until they die) live from month to month??? I doubt seriously you would go to bed smiling, even less if you were sleeping in crap conditions!!

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-08-22 18:23

      Jean, I agree that they are paid feable salaries, but no company in the world can handle an instant 200% increase in salaries. It is just not possible - this will have to happen over a period of time. And that will have to happen with round table negotiations.

      longile.bongani - 2012-08-22 18:27

      jean you are not making sense, at R5000 rand a month, these guys pay next to no tax (as a percentage) CEO's are on max tax rate of 40% plus. So more goes to tax, if the ceo's are on big salaries. I can survive quite comfortable on R3000 a month in SA thankyou. In fact tens of thousands of farm workers I know earn R1200 per month and are quite happy. The average in Africa is a US dollar a day. In South Africa the minimum wage is about 500% higher than that. And these guys are getting 1000% more than the agricultural minimum wage. On top of this to ask for 300% wage hike is lunacy. They should be glad for the strong unions that have forced mines in SA to pay such high salaries already. You obviously not from around here??

      harry.dewet.5 - 2012-08-22 18:42

      Jean you need to go and live in a communist country where a doctor or a sweeper gets nearly the same salary. By the way, in the Ukraine (former Soviet country)the average salary is between R3000 and R4000 per month and no one complains or strikes (petrol and food cost exactly the same as in SA,and very few people own cars). Abraham Lincoln (born 1807) said you can only help the poor by helping the rich (only the rich man knows how to create wealth, jobs and economic growth).

      stephen.redford.16 - 2012-08-22 18:42

      Jean, lets extend your arguement further. I think everyone in the country should get R25 000 per month. Domestics, truck drivers, everyone. Do you think we will have many businesses ? Lets make it R50 000. The end result is that there are no CEO's and no businesses. In your world everyone is a highly paid street sweeper because there is no incentive to do anything else. If you WANT the CEO salary go and study and work hard. Oh and start your OWN business, put all your money into it and pay everyone ridiculous salaries and see if you get your R50/R100 million a year.

      jean.tredoux.5 - 2012-08-22 18:46

      Yes Christelle I agree with you but I don't think a 8-12% increase will cut it either... And Bongani your comment makes sense? The problem is they pay no tax, rather increase their salary so that there is more money for SA by letting them pay tax so that some of the burden is taking away from the minority is paying the majority of tax and let the money be used in SA rather then let one person consume all this money and even though the CEO is paying a lot of tax he is still insanely rich and one person doesn't need all that money. and just b'cos you know of this person who is living on R1200 and he doesn't strike and moan about it DOES NOT MEAN HE IS HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!! It will only be beneficial towards all of us if more money is being spent in SA rather then a big business tycoon making all his money in SA but spending it overseas!?!

      Michael Diholo - 2012-08-22 19:30

      You are a true South African! I wouldn't mind engaing in discussions about matters of the country with you if I were the president because I can see you have the interest of the country at heart...

      Michael Diholo - 2012-08-22 19:33

      That being said, ofcourse the miners shouldn't be unrealistic on the other hand! All we need to do is to ensure fair sharing of revenues based on how much contribution each party puts in the process.

      jean.tredoux.5 - 2012-08-22 19:38

      of course Harry b'cos it's happening overseas we should follow the same trend and also Ukraine doesn't have the same wealth as SA so I think we can upgrade our people's lifestyle a bit more... and a person doesn't need Billions of Rands to help the poor. and Stephen you can't really take my comment further cos I doubt that the average house hold is earning the same amount as mine or huge business owners so that they can pay their domestic R25000... hence your are missing the point cos my comment is aimed at the super rich. but i guess your mentality is let this generation die out now and hope that the more educated generation is better off.

      Michael Diholo - 2012-08-22 19:42

      Stephen don't be ridiculous! All we're saying is, don't milk people and pay them pathetic salaries...this lady has been doing the same job since 2007 and still earns R4000???

      Michael Diholo - 2012-08-22 19:49

      All these imbalances are caused by one thing, when people like Stephen are selfishly happy to be collecting money alone. I wonder if you never demand salary increase where ever you work???

      stephen.redford.16 - 2012-08-22 20:22

      You've avoided the point completely. There are plenty of people who can afford to pay domestics R25 000. Why should you decide who is rich enough to and who isn't and who should pay high salaries and who shouldn't. I can tell you that no household who employs domestics ever had to put up 10 billion to start with though. Lets put that aside now because I can see it is confusing you, what about the street sweepers, truck drivers, staff in pick and pay. Governement has MORE money than any of us, why can't garbage collectors get R50 k per month ? The REAL point is that this discussion forum and government has no concept of macro-economics mostly, doesn't understand supply and demand and has no concept of wealth creation. Frankly I am tired of wealth re-distribution - it gets us nowhere. Start your company, employ people and you can pay them whatever you deem fair.

      stephen.redford.16 - 2012-08-22 20:45

      @ Michael, Milking the poor ????? If we had an educated, productive workforce we would have high levels of employment and wages would go UP relative to inflation because employing someone would mean competing with a wage they ALREADY have instead of zero. If we had a million candidates who could DO the job of CEO we would pay less for CEO's. We just don't have them - are you surprised they are expensive and that people with little to no skills are cheap ?????? Instead we have a poorly educated workforce that continually demands more for doing less because their leadership says this is how you get ahead in life - who needs education. Productivity - whats that ? Stop blaming the "evil companies" and start fixing the ROOT cause of the problems.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-08-22 17:47

    Just look at their weapons so what does that tell the world. This is what people in business have to face. These are what our protestors are like. Give it or else. This as you can see is supposed to be a peaceful protest. Sorry, this is not on.

      robi.thenga - 2012-08-22 20:54

      the picture is from last week baba...

  • bobo.jane.1 - 2012-08-22 17:48

    Please check out this link : The Truth : It is clear that Malema started a well ogistrated problem in SA and it is going to get worse...Malema and Winnie is to dumb to relise that they are only being used by the communists... I hope this post doesn`t get moderated/deleted like the others

      eben.adlem - 2012-08-22 18:47

      all you need is to put one idiot in there with a gun that will shoot and voila.

  • eben.adlem - 2012-08-22 18:08

    1. What do you expect from SAPS when they recruit gangsters (see article "Student cops taught about guns - witness"). 2. What do you expect when SAPS send (untrained) members with weapons to defend your country and its citizens from amok? 3. What do you expect of Pres. Zuma when there has been a fall out between two powerful forces a) mineworkers – they have numbers b) SAPS - they have authority (up to the time of the incident) and GREATLY need to be respected i.e. shooting dead of SAPS members should be condemned and punished in the highest regard! 4. Let justice take its course, then mourn and pay respect to the innocent, however if you still need to then do it both parties the mineworkers and fallen SAPS members 5. The protest was not peaceful, the mineworkers where armed and SAPS protected themselves (and should have done so even if a gun was so much as raised without shooting) and secondly protected our laws and your right as law abiding citizen 6. Please realize what message is being sent now that SAPS is in question? Our country is telling the uneducated and foreigners that SAPS cannot be trusted. How would a criminal now respond to the SAPS when facing conviction? 7. Should peaceful protesters (UNION) apologize for the killing (accidental/self defense) of a member of SAPS over a wage dispute? 7. Lastly my countrymen - If SAPS cannot be trusted to enforce our fragile laws then our beloved country South Africa is in much much deeper trouble than any of you may think

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-22 18:20

    well there is 10 to 15 years of viable mining in SA, this might just shorten that to 5 to 8 years, the 500 000 mine owrkers + 500 000 employed in related businesses, better use the time well to up-skill to do something else, otherwise they will be earning ZERO. & the ANC Govt had better start thinking about where they will earn the R 18 Billion in directly lost taxes (+ another R 20 Billion lost from other affected industries) when mining is no longer.

  • alaina.nel.12 - 2012-08-22 18:32

    Zuma is now between a big rock and somthing very hard.Malemma put him there.Zuma wants votes and so does malema.

  • mantsho.tlali - 2012-08-22 18:35

    The wage for the Miners in SA should be increased, at least give them R8000 per Month, This resources we have mast take care of our people, not be milked by the British and Americans, What is this? People are working but they are suffering, while foreigners get rich from our wealth. Not everybody can go to School, Not everybody can be a Doctor,Teacher, a Nurse. Lets be honest this is not Good.

      Michael Diholo - 2012-08-22 19:21

      You are so right!

  • Lauren - 2012-08-22 18:47

    Lebogang Mosito got round about 17% increase on her salary a year with inflation being on an average of 7%. I would say that is pretty good. I only got 10% a year. Maybe I should go into the mining industry.

  • devon.riley.52 - 2012-08-22 18:48

    Eish and if I go and demand a 340% increase I think my boss will arrange to go have my brain checked. I have 20 years work experience with diplomas and I was earning R12 500 not even 2 years ago, with a family to support, and the school fees and the rent aren't R800 pm. Now somebody chopping rocks for a living will be earning the same. Why bother with an education then?

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-08-22 19:11

      Well devon.riley52, by the same (ahem) logic, you are supposed to pick up a panga or a rock or a stick, and take it to work and demand that you get that increase. After all if the rest of the country is getting 340% increases then you must too. Hell let's put an end to all the strikes and violence and let the govt just mandate a 340% increase for all.

      Michael Diholo - 2012-08-22 19:23

      hypocrite! you earn way more than R12 500 and you probably didn't even study much.

      shaylene.stenger - 2012-08-22 19:30

      @ Michael I got my National Diploma in Management communication and my Fellowship in short term insurance, plus a bridging coarse in Special Needs education and I don't even get R12500 a month.

      robi.thenga - 2012-08-22 21:07

      @shaylene.stenger, the difference between you and the miners is that you are content with what you earn, they are not...rock drilling is probably much worse than what you do with your diplomas and bridging courses...its very hard labour, educated or not and even much riskier than driving in your car and go and stop on the level crossing; those people are like men on a suicide mission every day they go under ground, they should be paid R20,000...

  • antionette.oberholzer - 2012-08-22 21:27

    R12500??? i know of people with degrees that don't even receive that amount. what qualifications do these workers have? in the normal world if you're not happy with your work or your circumstances, you find another job.

  • Witty Dot - 2012-08-23 07:14

    the workers are been unreasonable. they earn that money cause they skilled workers. more money comes with high education/qualifications. ppl witj Degree/honors. some of them they dn't have matric /Grade 12 .

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