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Cosatu, Num rally behind striking miners

Cosatu and Num have vowed to support the striking miners until they get their demands.

Goldfields miners gather at a stadium in Driefontein, demanding a wage hike. Picture: Theo Nkonki/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Saturday it will support the strike by mineworkers, saying their living conditions should be improved.

On Saturday, Cosatu Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi addressed hundreds of workers at Gold Fields KDC West mine in Carletonville and pledged that his organisation will fight for the workers' rights.

He said the workers' demands for a minimum wage of R12,500 are legitimate.

Vavi said it is shocking that workers live in inhuman condition even after apartheid.

"They are exposed to terrible conditions in the hostels"

Cosatu and the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) said it will get lawyers to represent the workers who have been fired from their jobs for participating in unprotected strikes in the sector.

"Num will ensure that every worker who is dismissed gets representation from the union."

Vavi said both the federation union and Num, which had lost favour during the strike, will do everything they can to get workers what they want.

"We will take this matter with every ounce of our energy," Vavi said.

He called on the miners to unite under Num and take the battle to mine owners.

"We will redirect their anger and energy, not against one another, but against the employer," he said.

Vavi said Cosatu will meet with union leaders on Monday.