Pretoria: North West Premier Thandi Modise has expressed concern about incidents of violence in that province, and has called on striking miners to respect the call for non-violent industrial action.
This comes after a bus transporting an Impala Platinum mine soccer team from Olympia Park stadium was allegedly stoned by a group of people at Freedom Park in Mmantsere near Mogwase, on the route between Zinniaville and Khuseleka mine on Saturday.
“We wish to express our disappointment that acts of violence have emerged amid allegations of intimidation of non-striking workers, the barricading of some routes and pelting of motorists with stones.
“We wish to appeal to striking Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) members to respect the rights of other citizens, their freedom of movement and their properties,” said Modise.
Modise stressed that while workers’ right to strike is protected by the Constitution, the rule of law has to be upheld and peace maintained to ensure the protection of life, property and the advancement of the rights of all.
“Incidents that might lead to violent confrontation have to be avoided at all costs and efforts intensified by parties for a settlement to be arrived at before the situation gets out of hand,” she said.
Police spokesperson in the province Brigadier Thulane Ngubane said that no injuries were reported and no arrests were made.
AMCU rejected a new wage offer tabled by Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum on Wednesday, as it was not close to the workers’ demand of a R12 500 monthly salary.
AMCU’s national coordinator Evans Ramokga said workers earned R5 000, and the union suggested that the R7 500 gap be closed over three years, after which workers would ultimately earn the proposed R12 500.
The trade union had proposed to table a new proposal to the platinum companies on Friday after receiving a mandate from its members.
The strike in the North West platinum belt is in its second week. The platinum companies said hundreds of millions of rands have already been lost as a result of the strike.