South Africa: Labour Unrest - Arrests and Rubber Bullets After Chrome Mine Fails to Pay Wages


The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says nine of its members were arrested on Monday and several shot with rubber bullets by private security during a confrontation at the Horizon Chrome Mine in North West province over unpaid salaries. It is the latest dust-up in a region that is a flashpoint of labour and social unrest, and another sign of chrome's woes.

Another day, another bout of labour violence in South Africa's platinum and chrome mining areas, this time at the Horizon Chrome Mine near Pilanesberg. Workers who spoke by phone with Business Maverick and Geoffrey Moatshe, NUM's Rustenburg regional secretary, said the incident occurred on Monday as members were protesting near the mine about wages that had not been paid in November.

"How do you tell people to work when you have not paid them? This looks to us as a union as a provocation," Moatshe told Business Maverick.

The company could not be reached for comment, but in a memo sent to staff, dated 27 November, and seen by Business Maverick, it said that, "Recent illegal work stoppages, acts of sabotage and poor performance led to insufficient production to cover the Company's costs. The Company therefore has to...

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