We are like dogs, say Amplats workers

2012-09-13 19:17

Rustenburg - Striking Anglo Platinum (Amplats) workers likened their jobs to that of hunting dogs on Thursday.

"You send a dog to hunt for an animal, and when it comes back with it, you eat alone and give it bones. Now we dig for platinum but our bosses are getting more money," said 30-year-old Sibusiso Zozi.

Zozi said the R5 000 he was getting was not enough to support his three children.

Workers were on strike because they believed the platinum they were digging up was valuable.

"We know there is money there."

Another worker, Nora Nape, 34, said much of the money she received was used to pay off loans.

"I have to travel every day, I have to support my family. So, I make loans in trying to balance my finances," she said.

Mineworkers demanded pay of R16 070 a month at a meeting at the Bleskop stadium in Rustenburg.

This was according to Gaddafi Ndoda, who described himself as a member of a newly-formed workers' committee.

"To us, R12 500 is just a basic salary," he said, referring to the amount mentioned as a demand among many mineworkers over the past weeks.

"Anglo is the most-paying (sic) mine in the country, so our demand is different from other mineworkers," said Ndoda.

He said they wanted "nothing to do" with AngloPlats' Mageu beverage, and wanted their refreshment allowance to be R30 a day.

On Wednesday, they complained about the quality of the Mageu, an energy drink made from fermented grain.

He said workers were currently not entitled to a safety and transport allowance.

"We want our transport allowance to be R60 daily and [our] safety allowance to be R1 500."

They also wanted the increase in their living-out allowance to be R2 000 - up from R1 700.

An "executive committee" of six members representing workers outside formal union forums had been formed and they took a memorandum to the mine's management in Klipfontein near the stadium.

Ndoda said workers would converge again on Friday as their strike continued.

"Tomorrow [Friday] we will go back to the stadium, and we are expecting to be addressed by Mr [Julius] Malema, he was supposed to come today [Thursday], but he apologised for not being able to come."

Amplats suspended operations on Wednesday out of concern for the safety of its employees, and said there was no strike at the mine.

CEO Chris Griffith said the situation in the Rustenburg area was volatile, and that people who wanted to go to work could not because of threats of violence.

"Anglo American Platinum has decided to suspend its operations in the Rustenburg area with immediate effect," he said in a statement.

"The suspension will continue until such time as operations can be safely resumed."

Amplats' chairperson Cynthia Carroll said the company was in touch with authorities "at the highest level" to identify ways of working with government and the recognised labour unions to achieve a swift and peaceful resolution.

She said the company's Rustenburg platinum operations were already under financial pressure, and the suspension of operations risked their long-term viability.

  • herbert.plessis - 2012-09-13 19:28

    No you're not. Dogs don't kill each other with knives or steal from their employers.

  • lacrimosewolf - 2012-09-13 19:33

    OK this is oh so very typical of unions, govt and many people in general. Trying to solve the wrong problem. We've already seen that throwing money at Edu and Health has had zero effect and it will be no different with gargantuan pay hikes. Just practically, what ever loan you're entitled to on a nett income of FOR EXAMPLE R4000 a month will then triple - so it is very likely that bigger loans will be taken out or more credit will be extended. 12 months later you're in the same situation. Then what? The whole mining model needs an overhaul - from the concept of migrant labour, to all the amenities (housing, edu, health care, transport) and the salary structure (danger pay, o/time pay bonuses etc). The MODEL is over 100yrs old and all attempts to remedy with allowances etc are just papering over the cracks.

  • alan.yates.18007 - 2012-09-13 19:37

    No, you aren't dogs! Not at all! You are dedicated musicians, that's why you always take your oboes to demonstrations. You brandish, sorry carry them, them in such an intimidating, sorry proud, manner.

  • sekwati.robinson - 2012-09-13 19:41

    if this guys demand R16 000(labourer)....I'm just imagining how much some of us with mining engineering degrees are going to demand if this guys get thier own way...say R150 000, is dat too much guys?

      Erna - 2012-09-13 20:45

      If this works for them I'm definitely getting myself some weapons and a koppie to sit on. And maybe a rabbit!

      Johnson - 2012-09-13 21:06 - read this and see if you still have the same comment. In fact after you have read this you will actually see who gets the most out of mining in this country today.

  • JackTrend - 2012-09-13 19:47

    ah shame. Why did you murder those people?

  • asdhasgd - 2012-09-13 20:02

    Well gee...when you behave like ANIMALS you deserve to be treated like dogs!! IDIOTS!!!

  • asdhasgd - 2012-09-13 20:05


  • deicide - 2012-09-13 20:09

    if they get R16000 then imagine how many more babies they gonna make.then they gonna cry for more money cause they gotta support 40 is the solution to everything---}USE CONDOM!!!

      riaan.mostert.58 - 2012-09-13 20:35

      S'True. @bmtthwala Truth hurts, hey sweat heart? Nice comeback by the way :-D

      Johnson - 2012-09-13 21:07 - read this and see if you still have the same comment. In fact after you have read this you will actually see who gets the most out of mining in this country today.

  • grant.montgomery.5074 - 2012-09-13 20:09

    The future of SA doesn't look bright. If the minors were to get anywhere what they are demanding there would be a knock onn effect and workers throughout SA will demanding similar increases. Inflation would go through the roof and the Rand will plmumet and in a couple of years time the workers will be on strike again. BTW you don't send dogs out hunt, you hunt with them. A dog would not bring the kill home as it can't drive a bakkie it would just eat the animal were it was killed. I wonder how many jobs are going to be lossed due to all these strikes?

      riaan.mostert.58 - 2012-09-13 20:39

      Take a chill pill sweet heart. You gonna heel over if you don't watch out and we don't want that. The guy spelled miner wrong. So what? It's not like you can spell. Again with the kettle calling the pot black. Or is that racist. LMAO

      jaco.krige.9 - 2012-09-13 20:44

      He ment miners,the people who work in the mines!!!

      alansmartSnr - 2012-09-13 22:55

      ..Perhaps "Minors" is very appropriate as these miners seem to have the mentality of minors.. could also be a very sharp punn LOL

  • Zahir - 2012-09-13 20:13

    The miners are not forced to work at amplats if they don't want jobs then leave and start your owne mines

      SharonE - 2012-09-13 23:29

      Thats what I was thinking! If they are so miserable and taken advantage of they can resign and find better jobs. Maybe a management position with a fat salary AND a company car!!!! Go for it, unhappy workers, write that little resignation letter!

  • Zahir - 2012-09-13 20:14

    The miners are not forced to work at amplats if they don't want those jobs then leave and start your owne mines

  • henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-09-13 20:23

    Hunting dogs are disciplined and listen to their masters.....

  • sekwati.robinson - 2012-09-13 20:44

    the message is's useless to go to school,imagine 6 years at tertiary to earn the very same R16 000 primary drop outs demand...lets all carry sticks,iron bars,pangas and assegais,hit the street while singing war songs and forget about education...

      keith.ngobeni - 2012-09-13 20:55

      It's what I don't understand aswel that how can a primary school drop-outs would earn such a good salary because they're doing a difficult manual job, and most of them are still in their early or mid 30's but they have got 3 kids upwards.

      Johnson - 2012-09-13 21:05 - read this and see if you still have the same comment. In fact after you have read this you will actually see who gets the most out of mining in this country today.

      jay.ramodiana - 2012-09-14 03:54

      Interesting not everyone at the mine he/she is a drop out get your facts straight I'm a mine work myself for Implats I got diploma in Human Resource Management I'm busy with my degree now

      lorain.maseko - 2012-09-14 07:47

      Actually all i wan to know is ,how did they come up with these figures? 12 grand and 16 grand. If they get the 16 grand i'm stopping with my studies and I'm going to be a miner.

      madodapetro.vilakazi - 2012-09-14 09:14

      these people must leave us alone, why dont they go somewhere, i dont know where in the world, but they wil figure it out. they are genuis

  • deon.meiring - 2012-09-13 20:46

    People, I am a whitey and I disagree with this way of striking at the mines. I also disagree with the way they allow someo like Malema to turn this country in a dump!The minimum wage they are asking is way too high for the mines to afford....BUT who of you ever went down a mine shaft and experienced the working conditions of those people. It is extreamly unpleasant to work in those conditions. It is dangerous, no it is Extr dangerous! Who of you ever worked for one day with a mine drill for a day? They do deserve more than their current minimum wage.

      george.pito - 2012-09-13 21:46

      Deon you havent been to a mine. Its not that bad working conditions neither I worked there as student more than 30 years ago and with all this OHASA etc. Then current minimum wage is another thing. By the way do you know how mining in a platinum mine works.? Then more people dies in taxis than in mines. Must say last week they blew up an autoteller close to my house and for about two hours machine gun fire and you think a mine is dangerous, but what is so dangerous in a mine please explain.

      ronald.stilianou - 2012-09-13 23:04

      yes, deon, please explain, I have worked in many different mines and I tell you it is NOT as dangerous as you try to make it sound.

      lorain.maseko - 2012-09-14 07:50

      Deon it's good that you can see the other side's point of view, I'm actually glad to see a white person whose comments are not fuelled by only racism and hate,which is usually the case on this forum but lets just be honest 12 500 and 16 000? Whre did these guys pull that one out?

      yolande.boshoff - 2012-09-14 09:51

      I do agree, mines are dangerous, but so are industrial areas, manufacturing and recycling plants. Mines are the strickest on their safety. They are also leading in the industry with safety, you will not get a more safety conscious environment than a mine. Point is they do not want money because of safety issues, they want it to look after their children. For some reasons employees think that it is the employers responsibility to look after their families. You get more money by becoming educated and working hard, not by demanding. Yes, we can call up apartheid and say that is the fault that majority are not educated. They have had eighteen years to turn the country around and those who worked hard are reaping the benefits. Those who sat back and waited to receive are not reaping any benefits. I have met numerous african people that have more degrees than I have that are extremely educated. I have also met numerous white people that are not educated. The difference is that the whites are in the minority and are not seen as being uneducated. The whites stopped making a lot of children in the eighties as it had become unaffordable.

  • Johnson - 2012-09-13 21:02 - read this and see if you still have the same comment. In fact after you have read this you will actually see who gets the most out of mining in this country today.

      henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-09-13 21:10

      Jip those Black boere my friend!

  • rara.sitofu - 2012-09-13 21:05

    Where is Zwelinzima Vavi in these strikes coz he usually has something to say,or he z quiet bcoz of the upcoming Cosatu elections!

  • nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-09-13 21:05

    If that is the way you treat your hunting dogs then you do not deserve anything beter.

  • yrhonour.honour - 2012-09-13 21:43

    "like dogs" - i dont know about that - i like dogs

  • Watkykj - 2012-09-13 21:48

    If u wanna act like them......well wat we meant 2 think?

  • Watkykj - 2012-09-13 21:56

    If u wanna act like them......well wat we meant 2 think?

  • DARRELL.J.H.GRAY - 2012-09-13 22:27

    Dogs are far better than you. Dont insult animals by comparing yourselves to them.

  • brandon.gillbee - 2012-09-14 06:06

    30-year-old Sibusiso Zozi has 3 kids that he can't afford, costs taxpayers R4500 per month to educate 3 kids, and then blames the mine for treating them like dogs. He doesn't seem to think any of this is his fault, he doesn't think he is responsible for bettering himself so he earns more money to give his children a better life. He doesn't think it was his responsibility to stop having children if he couldn't afford them. This is why it is like it is, the poor are waiting for the free house, expecting freedom comes with a high salary and a home and doesn't require hard work and investment in yourself.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-09-14 07:22

    Better tell them to queue up fast think there has been an outbreak of rabies. They must have caught it from the strange dog that came in and lifted his leg the highest. A message to the miners, you wont get any sympathy this way by acting like rabid dogs, go back to work and negotiate through the correct channels may be you will get a surprise. Then again if you dont want your job there are many out there waiting or go back or get out.

  • paul.vanvuuren.927 - 2012-09-14 08:28

    Please dont insult dogs

  • ken.koen - 2012-09-14 10:18

    No you're not. Dogs are very intelligent, highly efficient, extremely loyal, NON DESTRUCTIVE creatures. Everything you are not!

      jpanagidis - 2012-09-14 18:52

      Wonderfully said....

  • klasie.kitshoff - 2012-09-14 12:09

    Give it to them. It's just a hole, or soon will be one.

  • irma.white.9 - 2012-09-14 12:15

    We want... we want... we want. Well, there are South Africans who WANT a decent roof over their heads. There are South Africans who WANT to be able to have a meal before dinner. There are South Africans who WANT to be able to buy an extra jacket for winter. Moral of the wtory- there are people out there, CHILDREN even, that are living under much worse conditions and these people should be grateful for anything they get.

  • jpanagidis - 2012-09-14 18:51

    My dog doesn't demand R16 500 per month...

  • padurai.manjengwa - 2012-09-14 21:58

    So this silly little bugger wants to go from 5 k to 16 k because he can't support his three kids - why didn't the idiot think of that when he started breeding like a rabbit - or when he signed the offer of employment? The mines should simply close their doors - fire the strikers and automate - machines don't behave like nincompoops!

  • ken.rowe.509 - 2012-09-19 11:02

    Yes, dogs.

  • riaan.harmsen.7 - 2012-09-19 17:29

    WTF!!?? Thats typical africa, do as little as possible for as much as possible. I'm also working in the mines and these people are only striking because they can!! They should be gratefull to have a job, and get 5 times more money than any other person working in the private sector! F*ck#ng ungratefull b*sta*ds!!

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