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'We want stability in mining sector'

Minister Susan Shabangu said wage discussions in the industry should bring about normality.

Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu. Picture: Regan Thaw/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu on Tuesday said she will support the reopening of wage negotiations if it will bring stability to the mining sector.

Shabangu said she would similarly support an inquiry into the mining industry as called for by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) if it would result in a positive outcome.

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said it would fire all striking employees who do not attend disciplinary hearings following a wildcat wage strike.

Meanwhile, Anglogold Ashanti warned illegal demonstrations could lead to job cuts.

The mining sector has been hit by a spate of wildcat strikes across Rustenburg in the North West, including six weeks of violent and fatal industrial action at Lonmin's Marikana mine.

Shabangu said she is concerned about the impact the industrial action is having.

"If reopening negotiations is a part of normalising the situation then we will support every effort."

Earlier, striking Amplats miners in Rustenburg were ordered to attend a disciplinary hearing or face dismissal.

Miners have been on an illegal wage strike for over three weeks to demand wages of up to R16,000.

Meanwhile, miners at the Gold Fields KDC and Beatrix mines on the West Rand have still not returned to their posts.

The increase in wildcat strikes in the country follows the police shooting in Marikana that killed 34 miners, with another 12 people killed during the strike.