Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 23 July 2008 – South African unions are staging a one- day strike in four provinces today, possibly cutting production at mines owned by the two largest platinum producers, Anglo Platinum Limited and Impala Platinum Limited.
Bloomberg News reports that the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) – the biggest labour federation – called the strike in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo and North West provinces to protest against rising energy and food prices.
Regulators last month allowed state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings Ltd. to raise electricity prices by 27.5% to help fund a US$44 billion (RR350 billion) expansion programme, a decision the unions say will fuel poverty and unemployment. One-day strikes were staged in five other provinces earlier this month, and a national strike is planned for 6 August 2008.
“We believe the disruption and inconvenience caused by this action is minimal, compared with that caused by the electricity crisis,” said Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven. “It’s necessary to take to the streets to get these issues addressed. If people stay at home and grumble, nothing will happen,” he claimed.
The labour action may also affect gold mines owned by Harmony Gold Mining Company and Gold Fields Limited, coal mines owned by Exxaro Resources Limited and vehicle manufacturing plants operated by Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG.