South African miners seek higher pay against ongoing strike


Striking South African miners have threatened to bring the country's platinum belt to a standstill if they don't see an increase in pay.

Over 54,000 platinum miners have now downed tools as part of an ongoing strike, which started as an industrial dispute at Lonmin's Marikana mine.

A strike on 16 August led to the shooting of 34 miners by the police.

Since then, mines have been closed by other leading companies, including Anglo American, resulting in production suspensions at four of its Rustenburg mines.

Strikers at Lonmin have demanded that their salaries be increased to R12,5000 (£930), and were waiting on Thursday to hear if the company would put an offer on the table in mediation talks, reports the Telegraph.

In a statement, Lonmin responded, "Lonmin has presented an offer to the employee delegate. The offer will be communicated to employees at the hill where they have been waiting for feedback."

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma has said he strongly opposes the violent strikes, adding that the situation will adversely affect both the miners and the country.

The Afican National Congress said in a statement, "It is the NEC`s view that the socio-economic conditions of the mine workers at Marikana and other areas are part of what led to the human tragedy that continues to haunt our nation. Mining remains the bedrock of the South African economy, and yet the abject poverty and squalor surrounding mining areas remains a matter of deep concern."

"The ANC therefore calls on the platinum sector to join the centralised bargaining system because this will go a long way towards finding lasting solutions in the sector and contribute towards more peaceful resolution of wage and other disputes."