Over the past few weeks South Africa's mining sector has been hit heavily by protest action notably the recent violence at Lonmin's Marikana mine. The wage increase strike at the mine saw at least 45 lives being lost and many of the miners arrested.
The protest action came to a halt yesterday, this after mine management and workers' unions managed to strike a deal that would end the violence. However the result of Lonmin's Marikana strike spread throughout the country almost urging other disgruntled mine workers to act towards protest action as a method of negotiating for a wage increase.
Strike action then followed at mines like Gold Fields' Kloof Driefontein Complex (KDC) gold mine, in Cartonville south of Johannesburg, where a reported 15 000 miners downed tools. This has sparked fears that the labour disruptions and violence seen at Lonmin, Marikana seem to be spreading to South Africa's other mines.
Aquarius Platinum in Rustenburg was another mine to be hit by a strike
The incident at Gold Fields however was not the last to be seen in South Africa as Anglo American Platinum's (Amplats) Thembelani mine in Rustenburg was forced to suspend operations, this after the mine said it wanted to protect its workers from intimidation by striking miners in the region.
However, Amplats workers themselves soon joined the protest action. Police arrested 22 people near Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) in Rustenburg today after using rubber bullets and teargas to disperse a gathering.
Aquarius Platinum in Rustenburg was another mine to be hit a by strike and this saw it became the fourth mine to stop operations in a protracted labour dispute.
Below is a map with the affected mines with further details: