18 February 2013

South Africa: Urgent Intervention Required At Amplats Mines - North West Premier

The battle for union control at the Amplats mine in Rustenburg is heating up. Thirteen people were injured yesterday when the Association of ... ( Resource: Battle for Union Control at Amplats

press release

The resurgence of violence ascribed to rivalry between National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Association for Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) calls for urgent dispute resolution interventions to prevent another bloodbath, North West Premier Thandi Modise said in calling for cessation of hostilities on Monday.

Premier Modise was reacting to a report that 13 people were wounded in gun and panga attacks at an Anglo American Platinum mine in Rustenburg after a crowd of about 1 000 people besieged a union office.

"Though there were no fatalities, we are extremely worried that unions within the mining sector are allegedly involved in a bitter turf war that might open old wounds. The price that we all paid in Marikana was too costly for us not to be concerned about the impact recent developments might have on our economy," emphasised the Premier.

According to police the recent incident was provoked by a dispute between the two unions over access to mine offices that prompted the intervention of mine security which fired rubber bullets, and in the process a total of 13 mine workers, inclusive of four security guards were hurt.

More than 50 people were killed in labour strife at Lonmin's Marikana mine in August last year. Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has proposed a restructuring process that might lead to closure of four shafts and 14 000 job cuts.

Amplats, the world's largest platinum producer, was hit by violent strikes last year, caused in large part by the union battle for membership. The company's shares closed down nearly 5% on Monday in trading at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Issued by: North West Office of the Premier

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