Talks to end a two weeks strike by Anglo Platinum Mine workers in Rustenburg in North West are scheduled for this morning. The workers are demanding a R16 000 monthly salary. The talks will be attended by mine management, workers' representatives and the Department of Labour.
The workers have in the meantime defied a call by the mine management to return to work or face legal action. Last night, only a few workers reported for work. The majority have vowed to continue with the strike, while others say they do not feel safe due to intimidation.
A mineworker who doesn't want to be named says he's afraid to go to work. He says: "The only thing you can do is just to come to work because the management will say come to work its safe, if not they will say you are on an illegal strike. I've just come from Joburg because the management said I'm safe. Believe me, I don't want to risk my life because even where we are staying we are being intimidated."
Last week residents of Sondela informal settlement, located near Anglo Platinum mine's Jabula shaft joined striking mineworkers in protest against police presence in the area. They accused the police of harassing the community as well as the striking workers.
Angry residents destroyed business containers near the mine and the settlement. Most learners did not go to school due to violence. Roads were barricaded with burning tyres, objects and rocks.
Several people believed to be mineworkers were arrested.