3 April 2014

South Africa: Platinum Strike - Miners Share Their Ordeal

As South Africa's platinum strike drags on for almost three months, miners and their family are battling to survive without pay. ( Resource: Hunger, Anxiety as South African Mining Strike Wears on )


The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) marched to the Lonmin Platinum Johannesburg offices on Thursday. Ten weeks after the march started, the stalemate continues: the company's CEO Ben Magara said it couldn't meet the demand for R12,500 over three years. AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa said it wasn't even worth discussing the current offer of up to 9%. The one new development: AMCU is planning a strike fund to support workers. BHEKI C. SIMELANE asked the mineworkers how they were coping.

Joseph Mathunjwa spoke for almost two hours on Thursday, reiterating the union's commitment to its demands and vilifying mining's system of employment. "We want what's ours. We were not invited by some man to be here, but by our circumstances. The people who sacrificed their lives on that mountain [in Marikana] set us a trend and we must carry that on," he told the crowd of thousands. "The government is in partnership with all these people who are oppressing us. We've got to ascertain whether we are free or 'dom', but we'd certainly be 'dom' if we allowed ourselves to be oppressed any longer."

The mineworkers chanted "yes, yes, yes" on their demands and "no, no, no" on...

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