More violence in Implats strike

2012-02-29 15:26

Johannesburg - More violence involving Impala Platinum Rustenburg workers took place on Wednesday, North West police said.

"In the first incident, an RDP house belonging to a 41-year-old man was attacked in Freedom Park by an unknown group of people," said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

The assailants threw stones at the man's Opel Corsa vehicle which was parked in the yard, damaging its windows. They also threw stones at the windows of the house. Ngubane said the victim appeared to work for Implats.

Four Implats workers on their way to work were attacked allegedly by a group of striking miners in Freedom Park Phase Two on Wednesday morning.

"The victims were attacked with knobkerries and sustained injuries to the head, legs and body," Ngubane said.

Case of malicious damage to property

They were taken to the Impala hospital for treatment.

Police were investigating a case of malicious damage to property and three cases of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Implats fired 17 200 workers after they refused to return to work earlier this month, despite a court interdict declaring a strike they embarked on in January, illegal.

Since then, three people have been killed in incidents linked to intimidation and violence involving dismissed workers.

Scores of people had been injured in violent intimidation, while over 100 people had been arrested for public violence.

Implats and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) - which represents over 70% of the workforce - agreed on Friday that dismissed workers have until 3pm on Wednesday to return to work with their previous benefits intact.

Impact on operational ability

The wildcat strike was now in its sixth week and Implats had lost 100 000 platinum ounces, which was equivalent to lost revenue of around R2bn, the company said on Tuesday.

"This will impact our operational ability to restart all the previous work areas, and clearly, the longer it takes to resolve this illegal work stoppage, the more jobs will be impacted," Implats said.

The company was working with the mineral resources department to resume production as soon as possible, but this would depend on the number of staff who returned.

By Tuesday afternoon, around 9 800 employees had returned to work.

"The 15 800 employees who did not join the illegal work stoppage and most of the 9 800 employees who have re-applied for their positions are involved with mining activities such as cleaning, establishment, critical end development and making-safe in anticipation of resumption of production."

  • J-Man - 2012-02-29 15:32

    Ignorance at work here...and thats the only thing 'at work'... we want more...but they lost the company R2bn..oh the irony.

      kgomotso.radise - 2012-02-29 15:56

      It shows that when you let an alien meddle in your affairs with the hidden agenda it yield no desired result instead it worsen the situation.

  • Kevin - 2012-02-29 15:36

    Break/Maim/Destroy...the African way!!!

  • npretorius2 - 2012-02-29 15:37

    When will the lower-income individuals learnt that the unions are only lining their own pockets and actually doing squat for them! If I don't go to work for 6 weeks, I will definitely be fired, and rightly so! Why should they be treated any different?

      dirk.smit1 - 2012-02-29 15:54

      Exactly. I am not saying they shouldn't be paid more, but ask, don't demand. Striking means you don't have any pride. You don't care about the circumstances. It just shows you are a self absorbing person who doesn't care about anyone but yourself. Remember striking minors, the knock-on effect means there are other people down the line that might also loose their work because of your selfishness.

      npretorius2 - 2012-02-29 16:12

      I think a big problem is that the unions organize a strike. Sometimes the strike will be deemed illegal and the workers will not get paid for that that period(In this case 6 weeks) After that the unions settle for much less than was demanded and once again the workers are the ones who suffer. I also believe they should get an increase. R4000 a month is barely enough to live on, never mind raise a family. But they should be realistic as being a miner is unskilled and they are actually very lucky to earn anything at all

      NrGx - 2012-02-29 16:25

      I do agree that they should get paid a bit more, perhaps additional benefits, but "DEMANDING" more than a 100% increase on your current salary is ludicrous! But as usual, its the unions that placed the R9000pm seed in their head, and as mentioned above, they will settle for less. Which leaves the workers out of pocket and possibly in a worse situation for the few years till the miners recover the lost funds. Even though I agree to a certain point, this type of behavior is unacceptable. Freaking morons strike because they "want to feed their families", and then attack the fellow miners who just want to work to feed their own. THE MIND BOGGLES!

  • Angus - 2012-02-29 15:58

    So the job creation drive by the government is actually in reverse gear here. We are losing many more jobs than are being created. The mindset is that we will "DEMUND" more maanie, but when the mine goes belly-up, tens of thousand of jobs are lost forever. No amount of posturing, threatening, ideology etc will make any difference. Politicians and unionists must be among the most pathetic creatures in this country!

  • Peter-Peter - 2012-02-29 16:03

    Do you see a pattern here? Things got out of hand...then seemed to calm down for a few days...THEN ashlof Malemma visits...then it gets violent again. Anything involving that f***, gets upset in the end. He actually instructed the workers to fight...can you believe it??

  • Den - 2012-02-29 16:03

    not even animals behave like this

  • Den - 2012-02-29 16:04

    our ancestors are to blame for the problems we have today! they didnt finnish the job

      Robert - 2012-02-29 16:55


  • Johnathon - 2012-02-29 16:45

    My thought on the fact that all the countries mineral wealth only belong to all black south Africans, no white south Africans mind you, is that I would love to hear how many black entrepreneurs in all 58 African states, have 100 years back, prospected for the minerals, found suitable deposits, proved through extensive drilling that the deposits were worth mining, raised capital, sank shafts, started mining, planned the mine development, found export markets, transported the ore to coast, had it loaded and shipped to various destinations in the world. I am waiting patiently for Africans to prove to me that the bulk of the mining development in Africa was completely African generated. My suspicion is that if the West had not become involved, not even one ounce of minerals would even today, have reached surface. The mineral rocks that belong to all black south Africans, would undoubtedly have formed a very solid foundation for the grass huts,mielie fields and grazing goats, hundreds to thousands of meters above.

      Willie - 2012-02-29 16:58

      Who said the minerals belong to Black South Africans exclusively.Try to minimise your ignorance you blog such nonsensical notion.

  • Johnathon - 2012-02-29 17:15

    Hi Willie, you seem to forget that all white South Africans are actually only settlers from other countries, who ruthlessly displaced the indigenous population. If we have no true rights to the farm land we occupy, why then do you think the true indigenous people of this country will grant settlers equal mineral rights. I could obviously be wrong, as you profess to be the South African expert on such things. I certainly have not heard the toy toying crowds mention that all the white mine managers are actually mining a resource that in some way also belongs to them. It is usually that the white foreign capitalist is raping the true owners of the countries mineral wealth. Really look forward to some very incite full and knowledgeable comments from you, to put me straight.

      roger.pacey - 2012-02-29 18:58

      Since the democratically-elected government granted the settlers the new-order rights to exploit this country's minerals, I can only conclude that you think the government does not consist of true indigenous people or does not represent their interests. The rights to exploit South Africa's mineral resources reside with the State, in other words all South African citizens, "true indigenous" (sic) and settler alike. They do not belong to a single group. If you don't like this arrangement, you are free to take it up with the Minister responsible for Mineral Resources.

  • Wesley - 2012-02-29 17:23

    And who should we thanks once again, Julius, hopefully by tomorrow he will be history

  • roger.pacey - 2012-02-29 17:27

    R 2-billion in lost revenue to the company means the loss of a few hundred million Rands in tax revenue. That's a lot of RDP houses, schools and luxury cars. You'd think the government would show more concern, at least about the cars.

  • Johnathon - 2012-02-29 21:47

    "Willie - February 29, 2012 at 16:58 Report comment Who said the minerals belong to Black South Africans exclusively. Try to minimise your ignorance you blog such nonsensical notion" Hi Willie, Your reference to "my ignorance" "blog such nonsensical notion" somehow leads me to think that you may be one of those feeble minded men, who froth at the mouth, and spray spittle over everyone when they get emotional. An intelligent, well thought out, logical, astute reply to my comment, will however change my mind. Please Willie, do not disappoint me any further.

  • Ava - 2012-03-01 14:51

    Has anyone here seen the rise in the price of platinum and how little this has affected pay for one of the world's worst occupations? Has anyone cared to see how NUM is just part of the fat rats together with owners and government? When hundreds, thousands, of workers choose to strike against the few bosses that rule their lives they have chosen freedom against tyranny. It is by itself justice. When the fascists ruling this action as illegal it is time to break the law to find justice. Justice is never handed to us by the rulers, it is not even a demand. It is hard fought and won at the barricades. A las barricadas!

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