South Africa: Five-Month Strike At Sibanye-Stillwater Gold Mines Has Ended After AMCU Decided to Cut Its Losses


The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union's strike at Sibanye-Stillwater gold mines, the biggest remaining mines in the country, was meant to solidify its place in the industry in opposition to the National Union of Mineworkers. In fact, it has weakened the union, and handed its competitors a peculiar kind of victory.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has agreed to end its five-month strike at Sibanye-Stillwater gold mines, accepting essentially the same agreement as members of the National Union of Mineworkers accepted months ago.

Amcu members will get a token R4,000 cash payment for each of its 14,000 striking members, and a soft R5,000 loan to be repaid over 12 months.

This face-saving device will fool no one, however. The strike was meant to be Amcu's thrust into the gold industry after wrapping up the platinum sector. But instead, the duration of the strike, the split nature of the workforce's union affiliations, some fancy legal footwork by management, and the state of the industry all worked against the union.

Amcu President Joseph Mathunjwa said at a press conference on Wednesday there was no political pressure for the union to sign an agreement with Sibanye.

"The decision was...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.