Lonmin miners desperate to reconcile

Wage talks between Lonmin and striking miners continued into the early hours of Tuesday.

Striking Lonmin workers discuss a wage increase offer in Marikana, North West, on 14 September 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

MOOINOOI - Wage talks between Lonmin management and representatives of striking miners continued into the early hours of Tuesday, in a desperate attempt to end the six-week illegal strike.

The striking North West miners have given their representatives a new mandate, which is currently being discussed.

Dozens of miners gathered at the Wonderkop Stadium on Monday and decided on a new wage demand that is less that the R12,500 they had been asking for.

They have however refused to disclose the figure at this stage of talks.

The striking workers hoped to reach an agreement last night, in a bid to get all staff back to their posts on Tuesday.

They do however remain optimistic the issue will be resolved soon.

The Western Platinum mine is desperate to resume operations, after it had to give notice to end its contract with Murray & Roberts, to be in effect on 17 October.

The company supplies 1,200 staff at Lonmin's K4 shaft in Marikana.

The platinum sector is grappling with labour disputes, rising costs and a falling demand.

MALEMA GETS BANNED

Meanwhile, expelled ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president Julius Malema is expected to address the media today, after he was denied entry to address mineworkers in Marikana.

On Monday, police stopped the ANC renegade at the gates of Wonderkop Stadium, where workers had gathered to be briefed on developments about their wage demands.

After a lengthy discussion, Malema drove off, escorted by some 10 police vans.

A police helicopter circled above, while police on foot patrol ran to points of entry to prevent him from gaining access to the mining town.

The move came three days after cabinet ministers threatened to disarm all miners in Marikana and no longer tolerate violence that has claimed 45 lives so far.

Government also vowed to deal with people "inciting" miners and encouraging them to continue striking.

They did not however mention Malema's name.