Marikana miners wait for wage offer
Striking Marikana miners are waiting to hear if they will get a wage offer from Lonmin.
MARIKANA - Striking workers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine on Thursday were anxiously waiting for a wage offer from their bosses.
The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) facilitated talks between Lonmin management, representatives of the striking group and unions behind closed doors in a desperate attempt to end the five-week long strike.
Rock drill operators downed tools in August to protest for higher wages.
At least 45 people have been killed in the violence that ensued during the protests, with some 34 miners shot dead when they clashed with police.
It could take hours, if not days before an agreement is reached.
Miners said they were struggling to survive without their salaries.
They promised to return to their posts immediately if they get R12,500.
But negotiations will have to continue if the offer from Lonmin was less than what miners want.
The crowd was determined to shut down operations at the Marikana mine.
Small groups continued to march to the shafts to ensure non-striking employees stayed away from work.
This was attendance levels remaining in the single figures this week, with just over one percent reporting for duty on Thursday.
In Rustenburg, the situation at Anglo Platinum mine appeared to have stabilised, with little activity being reported at the mine shafts and surrounding factories.
About 5,000 miners protested at the Bleskop Stadium on Thursday.
Earlier, the miners had vowed to bring the mining company to its knees if their demands were not met.
The workers also want their working and living conditions to be addressed immediately.
The miners had returned to their hostels and surrounding informal settlements for the night.
They were expected to regroup at the stadium again on Friday.
Many of the striking workers called for President Jacob Zuma to address them on Friday, while others want expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema to visit the mine.
Anglo Platinum bosses admitted that the strike was staged by its employees but the company could not confirm how many of their workers were on strike.
The company said operations were suspended and they were not able to do a roll-call.
The strike committee said miners will gather from 7am on Friday.
(Edited by Zethu Zulu)