Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

14 May 2014

South Africa: Platinum Strikes - the Marikana Standoff Continues

analysis

The world's top three platinum producers and South Africa's AMCU union agreed on Tuesday to resume wage talks aimed at ending a 17-week strike and to ... ( Resource: South Africa Platinum Firms, Striking Union Return To Mediated Talks

In Marikana, the symbolic source of the R12,500 demand for mineworkers, Lonmin Platinum looked set to potentially break the industry strike on Wednesday. But violence has broken out in the area and few employees appear to have heeded the call to return to work. The latest chapter of the platinum strike is much like the last, but with more police. By GREG NICOLSON & THAPELO LEKGOWA.

Little has changed in the strike-depressed town of Marikana. Getting breakfast proves difficult, with many stores closed or opening late. Finding decent coffee has always been impossible. Now, it's hard to find any coffee at all. Men, women and children stand around chatting, idly walking or playing. With the platinum strike having continued for almost four months, people asking for money, a drink or cigarettes are ubiquitous.

As in recent weeks, there was another gathering on Wednesday to discuss the strike. But unlike most meetings since the 2012 massacre, miners marching to Wonderkop Stadium carry traditional weapons like knobkerries, sticks and sjamboks, or whatever is closest, like a dragon-handled walking stick.

Photo: Workers marching from the direction of the Koppie toward the Wonderkop Stadium to attend general meeting to be addressed by AMCU president...

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InFocus

S. Africa: Platinum Firms, Union Return to Wage Talks

Tensions over a protracted strike by platinum miners remain high despite legal attempts by parties to broker a wage agreement. Read more »