SACP calls for calm at Implats

2012-02-21 15:52

Johannesburg - The SACP called for "calm" at Impala Platinum (Implats) in Rustenburg on Tuesday as a labour dispute which has left at least two workers dead continued.

"We appeal for calm and that the union is allowed to play its role at Impala mines," SA Communist Party spokesperson Malesela Maleka said.

The SACP was concerned by events at the mine and was "particularly disturbed" by the violence that has characterised the strike.

Maleka offered condolences to the families of the two men killed.

One of them was found stripped naked outside a hostel on Thursday and another died when a group, believed to be disgruntled miners, tried to torch a shaft at the North West mine.

The SACP said violence was being used to drive a wedge between workers.

It felt that the mining company had fuelled the situation by implementing salary adjustments outside of collective agreements.


Rock drillers at the mine embarked on an illegal strike in January after the company paid a retention bonus to miners, but excluded them. About 5 000 of them were dismissed.

According to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), a small element began preventing other miners from going to work so about 17 000 were fired by January 30.

Implats' plan to hire a new workforce created further hostility and eventually on Friday evening, Implats and the NUM agreed that the fired workers would be reinstated.

However, on Sunday evening, the night shift had to be cancelled when a group tried to burn down a shaft and by Monday morning one person was dead and at least seven were injured.

Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi would address the group gathered near the mine later on Tuesday.

NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka denied that the violence was being caused by a rival union trying to muscle in on NUM membership.

The reinstatement process continued and it was expected that 10 000 former employees would be back on the books by the end of the week.

  • Sharon - 2012-02-21 16:10

    Enter the so-called "third force" - this time in the form of a rival union. Face it, NUM, it is YOUR members who are burning, looting and murdering. The buck stops with you.

      Willie - 2012-02-21 16:51


  • Shirley - 2012-02-21 16:34

    Everytime these hooligans throw their toys out the cot they get their way,nomatter how much damage and destruction they cause! Fire the lot,employ people who realy want to work and make unions liable for all damages-no excuses. They always blame a "third force" but know they are guilty! Show them their tantrums will not be tolerated!

  • Juan - 2012-02-21 16:39

    The police should be using live ammo on the hooligans. And yes, "shoot to kill"

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