The world largest suppliers of platinum suppliers in South Africa (Amplats, Impala Platinum and Lonmin) are seriously considering to shut their some plants in their mines in Rustenburg following the ongoing three months strike.
Minewhile Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union members (AMCU) came out guns blazing attacking the mine owners after yet another wage settlement breakdown in Platinum industry.
In a press statement released by AMCU. The union said it has “made several different proposals based on increases to the basic pay of the lowest paid workers…In spite of all our efforts we were faced with complete intransigence and games of smoke and mirrors.”
AMCU threatened that if the employer doesn’t take them seriously, they will look for more support from other mineworkers from all over the globe. “This will include solidarity actions and efforts with our brothers and sisters all over the world where these companies operate and market their metals.”
In response to AMCU utterances Implats Relations Group executive officer Johan Theron told African Voices the employers really want th long ongoing strike to come to an end sooner and as result of th they have invented different ways to resolve the issue. “We are communicating directly with our employees and encouraging them to mandate AMCU to accept our offer so that they can return to work“
Theron dismissed AMCU’s claims that the employer isn’t negotiating in good faith are not true. “We have done all we can to secure a resolution as soon as possible, but cannot agree to pay wages that are not affordable and will result in job losses and shaft closures.”
While addressing the question about rumors that mine bosses are intended to shut down some mine, Theron said this is indeed the plan if the strike go. He also said “Impala has already closed our mine in February as a result of the strike, and will only open it again when a resolution is found.”
A young political and economical analyst Senzo Hlophe told African Voices that as much as mutual agreement is seemed to be impossible right now, a possible change to any side will also won’t be easy because few legislation considerations and amendments have to be done and that might take lot of time. Hlophe referred to Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002 and Minerals and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act of 2008 and NEDLAC Act as either major impediments or solution stepping stones solution of this problem. Those legislations deal with taxation of the industry and the industry being responsible for local development. Hlopbe said maybe also “politically, Zuma need to intervene strongly to this…with EFF in parliament they might wanna push this agenda (workers agenda) since it is in their manifesto“
For now it is not yet clear how is the strike is going to be solved as both parties are adamant that their demands and offers are justifiable and they’re not willing to move an inch from their resolutions.
Round about 70,000 Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members have down tools since 23 January 2014. One of the mineworkers demands is to get. The workers are R12,500 a month basic wage for entry-level workers. On another hand the employer is still believe that AMCU affiliated workers aren’t realistic. Already in 2013 two mines were shut down while round about 7,500 workers lost their jobs in the process.
Lwazi Nyanakancesh Nongauza
African Voice, Johannesburg, South Africa