Mineworkers take part in a march outside Anglo American

Protest march at Anglo American, North West Province
Threats of violence and intimidation of its workers has forced Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) to stop work at all of its five  Rustenburg operations - Khuseseleka, Bathopele, Thembelani, Khomanani and Siphumelele. The five shafts employ about 26,000 workers and account for around 2,100 ounces in daily production, according to Anglo American spokesperson Pranill Ramchander
Explaining the decision, Chris Griffith, CEO of Amplats, said “Our employees are not on strike. However, in light of the current volatile situation in the Rustenburg area, where our employees, who want to go to work, are being prevented from doing so and are being intimidated by the threat of violence, Anglo American Platinum has decided to suspend its operations in the Rustenburg area with immediate effect. The suspension will continue until such time as operations can be safely resumed.” 

Cynthia Carroll, chairman of Amplats, said: “We have taken this decision to suspend our operations in order to help ensure the safety of our employees – our absolute priority. Our people want to work and it is unacceptable that they are not able to go to work safely and instead are facing considerable intimidation. We are in touch with the authorities at the highest level to identify how we can work together with our tripartite partners - government and the recognised labour unions - to achieve a swift and peaceful resolution to these illegal actions.” 

“Our objective is to safely return to production as soon as possible. Our Rustenburg operations are already under considerable economic pressure and the longer it is necessary to continue this suspension, the greater the risk to their long-term viability.
News agency Sapa reported yesterday (Wednesday) that a large group of protesters, carrying traditional weapons, gathered at Amplats’ Thembelani mine with police keeping watch. Five police nyalas and a water cannon were also at the scene.
The agency quoted some protesters, who said that they were indeed Amplats employees.
“If it were not for this industrial action, most of us would be deep inside shafts, sweating for Anglo Platinum. Do not be tricked by them,” said protester Themba Ngaba.
“I am a rock driller for them. Among other things, workers are angered by the sub- standard mageu (fermented mealie-meal energy drink) provided by the company.”
Another employee, Johannes Molefe, said he earned R5,900 per month and that workers were demanding an increase to R12,500.
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