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Kumba latest mine to suspend operations

Kumba Iron Ore uspended production at its Sishen Mine after workers embarked on an illegal strike.

A mine. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Kumba Iron Ore on Thursday suspended production at its Sishen Mine after workers embarked on an illegal strike.

Around 300 employees blocked access to the pit, resulting in the suspension of production.

According to reports, workers at the mine downed tools on Wednesday.

Over the last few weeks, South African miners at various operations have embarked on illegal strikes over poor wages.

The trouble in the sector started when workers at Lonmin's Marikana Mine downed tools in early August.

At least 34 striking workers were killed during a confrontation with police on August 16.

A total of 46 people died during the six-week long illegal strike at the North West mine.

AMPLATS WORKERS STAGE WALKOUT

Striking Anglo Platinum (Amplats) workers on Thursday walked out of a meeting with the mine management, police, government and union leaders.

The gathering was planned to discuss the escalating violence at the company's mines in Rustenburg.

Earlier, leaders from the strike committee met with the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) and mine management to apply for permission to hold a mass meeting at the Bleskop Stadium.

Thousands of Amplats workers have been on strike for three weeks, with several incidents of violence and intimidation being reported.

Workers are demanding a basic wage of R16,000 a month.

The committee's Mametlwe Sebei said they walked out when management started interrogating them about the nature of the strike.

"We didn't get to the point of discussing the violence. They were not clear on what the meeting was about, so we walked out."

Meanwhile, Amplats was forced to close its Thobela smelter after more than 1,000 miners marched to Amandelbult in Limpopo.

The workers gathered at a nearby stadium to finalise their demands.

More than 8,000 Anglo workers are now on strike.

Miners from the smelter said their demands are in line with that of their colleagues at the Amplats operation in Rustenburg.

WILDCAT STRIKES CONTINUE

Striking Samancor miners in Kroondal are still calling for a R12,500 basic salary.

Last week, workers staged an underground sit-in at Samancor's Mooinooi mine.

Meanwhile, all six of Anglogold Ashanti's mines in Gauteng remain closed due to mass action by disgruntled workers.

In Carletonville, miners at Gold Fields' KDC West gathered again on Thursday.

Many said were determined to stay away from work.

They agreed to hand in their weapons after a meeting with Cosatu Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi on Wednesday.

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