Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

23 June 2014

South Africa: Platinum Strike No More - After Losing R10.6 Billion in Wages, Miners Claim Victory

analysis

AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa says the platinum strike is officially over. During the five-month strike at Lonmin, Impala and Amplats, the economy suffered, workers and their families went hungry and SA's credit rating dipped. Union members say it was worth it.

Amplats miner Andy Matwa received a call from his family on Monday night. They heard he was going back to work and couldn't contain their excitement. "No more starving for us and our families," said Matwa, elated. After five months without a salary, the AMCU member will now start paying off what he has borrowed to survive. But for Matwa, it was worth it.

"Man, for me it was no longer about me and my colleagues, but also about all the mineworkers before and those that will come long after we are gone. We have levelled the pitch for everyone and I'm excited to have been part of such a historic struggle for better pay and that not even once had I betrayed my colleagues, not even under extreme financial strain. I can't wait to return to work on Wednesday after so long," said Matwa on Monday night.

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