Rustenburg — Striking Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) workers have been granted permission to hold a public meeting, their leaders said on Friday.
"We have permission to hold a meeting. The permit allows us to hold a meeting from yesterday [Thursday], and on Wednesday we are going to assemble at the Bleskop Stadium to update workers," said Tebogo Lebeke.
He said the permission was granted by the municipality on Thursday afternoon. A meeting was planned on Monday in Sondela, and no other meetings were planned for the weekend.
"We will meet on Monday, and on Tuesday we will meet with mine management; after the meeting we will march to Bleskop for a public meeting on Wednesday."
Amplats' workers went on strike last Tuesday, in demand of a salary increase.
They demanded R17,000 but said they were prepared to accept R12,500.
The situation was tense at Sondela, near Amplats' Jabula Shaft, in Rustenburg on Friday.
Roads were still barricaded with stones and residents burnt down any remaining hawkers' stalls.
The rest of the stalls were burnt down on Thursday, when residents also blocked the road linking the informal settlement to the mine, and other internal roads with rocks and burning tyres.
They said this was to prevent the police from gaining entry into the informal settlement.
They accused the police of shooting randomly when they dispersed mineworkers gathering illegally at the nearby sports field.
"When mineworkers ran into their shacks, the police followed them and we were affected when they fired teargas and rubber bullets. That is why were have blocked the road," said resident Marry Matladi.
Amplats said on Thursday that the strike was illegal and it had given its workers notice that they were required to return to work that day.
"All the company's Rustenburg Process Operations and the Bathopele mine have resumed full production," spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said in a statement.
"The company continues to be disappointed with the low turnout rate at four of its Rustenburg mines, which are currently reporting less than 20 percent attendance," she said.
Sithole said the increase in police visibility and action had created an environment conducive for workers to return.
"As already stated, our employees have until night-shift today [Thursday], to return to work, failing which legal avenues will be pursued," she said.
She said Amplats' Rustenburg mining operations were already under considerable economic pressure and the illegal strike was making operations even less viable.
Police Captain Dennis Adriao said police would maintain a high visibility and presence to monitor the wildcat strike situation in the platinum belt.
The strike started at Lonmin's Marikana mine on August 10, and has since spread to other mines.