South Africa strikers accept Amplats offer


The last of a crippling wave of illegal strikes that have swept South Africa's mining sector ended on Thursday after workers accepted an offer from Anglo American Platinum, the world's top producer of the precious metal.

South Africa's platinum and gold sectors have been rocked for months by often violent wildcat action spawned by glaring income disparities and a union turf war for members, rattling investors in the continent's largest economy, and looming job cuts and wage talks next year could spark more unrest.

The labour unrest has claimed the lives of over 50 people including 34 shot dead by police in one incident in mid-August near a mine operated by platinum producer Lonmin.

All the workers are returning to work, Evans Ramokga, a strike leader at Amplats, told Reuters.

Amplats, a unit of troubled global mining giant Anglo American, has struggled for two months to get over 30,000 workers back on the job at several of its South African mines.

Amplats has said the strikes would cut annual profit by more than a fifth and tensions in the sector remain, with 37 workers arrested for public violence for protests near a chrome mine run by Xstrata scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

South Africa's boardrooms and politicians may breathe a sigh of relief as the worst labour unrest since the end of apartheid in 1994 winds down in the world's top platinum producer, but the future is riven with uncertainty.

The dominant National Union of Mineworkers, which has delivered above-inflation wage hikes but contained

Anglo, which this week raised cost estimates for its Minas-Rio project in Brazil and warned of lower profit from its South African iron ore unit Kumba, is scrutinising Amplats in a review widely expected to lead to shaft closures and job cuts that could stoke social tensions further.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views, opinions and comments posted are your, and are not endorsed by this website. You shall be solely responsible for the comment posted here. The website reserves the right to delete, reject, or otherwise remove any views, opinions and comments posted or part thereof. You shall ensure that the comment is not inflammatory, abusive, derogatory, defamatory &/or obscene, or contain pornographic matter and/or does not constitute hate mail, or violate privacy of any person (s) or breach confidentiality or otherwise is illegal, immoral or contrary to public policy. Nor should it contain anything infringing copyright &/or intellectual property rights of any person(s).
comments powered by Disqus