Johannesburg, South Africa — 04 June 2013 – The government of South Africa is considering the deployment of a special peacekeeping force in the mining sector to contain the violence that continues to plague the country’s mining industry.
Speaking to reporters at O.R. Tambo International Airport, labour minister Mildred Oliphant said: “We will discuss that with the deputy president. If there is a need to deploy such a peacekeeping force we have to do so in the mining sector as a whole,” she added.
Oliphant said government needed to be pro-active in dealing with the violence that had marred strikes in the mining sector, reports Fin24.
She was speaking after meeting the Congress of South African Trade Unions, its affiliate the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the National Council of Trade Unions (NACTU), and its affiliate the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).
Oliphant said that she had received reports from the NUM that two of its members had been shot in Marikana in the country’s North West province.
Police spokesperson Sabata Mokgwabone said earlier that a man believed to be a NUM member was killed and another person was injured in a shooting at Lonmin’s Wonderkop hostel. “One died at the scene and the other has been taken to the hospital,” Mokgwabone said. The police’s initial information was that the shots had been fired before lunch.
Police could not immediately confirm a report that one of the men shot at was a NUM shop steward. They had been told he was a member of the union.
Labour relations in the mining sector have taken centre stage since the killing of 44 people at Lonmin’s Marikana mine last August. Tensions between rival unions the NUM and AMCU have intensified in the platinum sector, leading to more strikes.
Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.