Johannesburg, South Africa — 20 February 2013 – South African mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu has met trade unions, the chamber of mines and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) in the wake of disturbances in which 13 people were injured at Amplats’ Siphumelele mine in Rustenburg. The parties are due to meet again today.
“The meeting sought to canvas immediate action to be taken by organised labour, business and government in dealing with the recurrent violence within the platinum sector,” the department said in a statement quoted by Fin24.
All stakeholders condemned the violence and further committed to the promotion of the right to associate and disassociate with any union by workers.
On Monday, 13 people were injured at the Siphumelele shaft in a clash between security guards and workers. The department urged workers to refrain from intimidation and violence.
Unions present at the meeting were the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), UASA and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (NUMSA).
The department said it would continue talking to concerned parties “in the interest of ensuring that the South African mining industry remains productive.”
Officials from the NUM, UASA, NUMSA, AMCU, Solidarity, the departments of labour mineral resources, as well as the chamber of mines were expected to meet today. This was to “discuss areas of co-operation between labour and mining companies for a long-term industry solution.”
Amplats spokesperson Mpumi Sithole said the workers’ committee members were contesting the NUM’s legitimacy at the mine and had demanded that NUM vacate its offices.
“The company is currently in the process of validating union membership at Rustenburg and the mines north of the Pilanesberg,” she added in a statement.
NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said there had been no union membership verification, and that the NUM still held its status as the dominant union.
Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.