Listen to music while browsing

S.African platinum strikers meet to discuss wages


Johannesburg (AFP) - A South African union on Thursday was to hold talks with more than 70,000 members at platinum mines to decide how to proceed after the latest round of talks failed to resolve the country's longest-ever mining strike, its leader and media said on Thursday.

Mass meetings with members of the radical AMCU union would "start at Impala, Anglo Plats (Anglo American Platinum) and Lonmin", AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa confirmed to AFP in a text message.

The mass talks come after the third round of negotiations aimed at breaking stoppages at the world's top three platinum producers broke down earlier in the week.

Local media reported around 17,000 workers had gathered mid-morning at Impala Platinum near Rustenburg northwest of Johannesburg, where Mathunjwa was expected to consult members on the next steps in the strike that has crippled the vital sector.

The workers downed tools on January 23, demanding that their basic salary be more than doubled to 12,500 rand ($1,160, 860 euro). Employers have offered the figure as a basic wage package including travelling and other cash extras, to be reached by 2017.

But the strikers rejected the deal, insisting on the amount that has become a rallying cry on South Africa's platinum belt, and which propelled to prominence the non-government-aligned Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).

This week Mining Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi abandoned the latest mediation talks after he failed to break the deadlock.

The minister warned that mines could close if the stoppages continued, leaving thousands of people without income and cutting off a vital export in the mining-dependent country.

South Africa holds around 80 percent of the world's known platinum reserves.

Mining firms estimate the strike has already affected 45 percent of the global supply of platinum.

Meanwhile charities have been handing out food packages to struggling families of striking workers who have gone months without pay.

Comments found to contain email addresses and web links will be rejected

A Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) picture shows captured Lord's Resistance Army rebel chief Dominic Ongwen (C).  By - (Uganda People's Defense Force/AFP/File)

Uganda rebel leader appears before war crimes court

Monday, January 26, 2015 The Hague (AFP) - Notorious former Lord's Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen made his first ap ...
Tunisia's nominated Prime Minister Habib Essid (L) presents his cabinet to Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi on January 23, 2015 in Carthage Palace in Tunis.  By Fethi Belaid (AFP/File)

Tunisia lawmakers delay tight confidence vote on new govt

Monday, January 26, 2015 Tunis (AFP) - The Tunisian parliament on Monday delayed what was expected to be a tight vote of conf ...
Zambia's newly elected President Edgar Lungu (L) receives the instruments of power from acting president Guy Scott (R) after being sworn in as Zambia's president, at the Heroes National Stadium in Lusaka on January 25, 2015.  By Salim Dawood (AFP)

Zambia's new leader drops white vice president

Monday, January 26, 2015 Lusaka (AFP) - Zambia s newly-elected President Edgar Lungu dropped vice president Guy Scott -- who ...
Tunisia's nominated Prime Minister Habib Essid (L) presents his cabinet to Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi on January 23, 2015 in Carthage Palace in Tunis.  By Fethi Belaid (AFP/File)

New Tunisia cabinet faces tight confidence vote Tuesday

Monday, January 26, 2015 Tunis (AFP) - Tunisia's prime minister designate is to put his cabinet line-up to parliament Tuesday ...
Members of the South African police service guard a foreigner owned shop to prevent looting in Kagiso, a township west of Johannesburg on January 23, 2015.  By Stefan Heunis (AFP/File)

Two more killed in violent S.Africa looting

Monday, January 26, 2015 Johannesburg (AFP) - Two more people have died as the week-long looting of foreign-owned shops conti ...
show more stories