Mining unions – National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and Lonmin Platinum Mine management have expressed a willingness to meet to resolve the apparent turf war between all the stakeholders. At least 10 people have been killed in violence at the mine in Marikana near Rustenburg in the last few days. The presence of police, the South African National Defence Force and mine security has been beefed up.
During the Forum at Eight programme on SAfm this morning, all the stakeholders involved reached consensus that the violence must stop.
The violence stems from protests that started on Friday which are believed to be linked to rivalry between the NUM and the AMCU over recognition agreements at the mine.
Workers also wanted higher wages. They claim to be earning R4000 a month, with those living outside the hostel earning an extra R1000. Reported demands have included pay of R12500 a month.
NUM spokesperson, Lesiba Seshoka says: “We call upon our stewards, our members as NUM and all leaders on the mine to do everything possible to get everybody disarmed and those who are responsible for murders arrested.”
Close to 3 000 heavily armed police officers are in attendance as police prepare to meeting with the striking workers.
AMCU president, Joseph Mathunjwa shares the same sentiments. He said people must refrain from violence and requested the president of NUM and the president of AMCU to go to the mine and address the workers and stop shifting the blame to the structures.
Lonmin’s human capital and external affairs vice president, Barnard Mokwena said: “Our position as management, we agree people must be disarmed. We want to release the buses to go collect workers so that they can go to work. We want to meet the structures of the unions to discuss any grievances or concern in the most civilised manner without pangas and without guns.”
Minister of Mineral Resources Susan Shabangu who was on another programme earlier this morning on SAfm called for a speedy end to the violence and resolution of labour issues at Lonmin.
Meanwhile, close to 3 000 heavily armed police officers are in attendance as police prepare to meeting with the striking workers. Police have put up barbed wires at an area where the meeting is expected to be held.
The meeting is part of the strategy by the police to curb the ongoing violence in the area. More police have been deployed in the area, including rescue and medical services. Over 2 000 striking workers, who are armed with spears and pangas, have gathered at a mountain hill near the mine.