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Mine bosses using "scare tactics"

A labour analyst has labelled the dismal of 12,000 miners as a “scare tactic” by management.

Anglo Platinum workers gather at the Bleskop Stadium in Rustenburg on 6 October 2012. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - A labour analyst on Sunday said the dismissal of 12,000 miners at Anglo Platinum's Rustenburg mine will help deal with the anarchy and lawlessness at mines across the country.

Labour expert Tony Healey said the mass dismissal proves that Amplats will not be held to ransom by workers.

"It is important because it is evidence of employers beginning to confront the lawlessness and to some extent the violence and to some extent the mayhem that has been adopted by strikers presently."

But analyst Loan Sharp said the dismissals are simply symbolic and a scare tactic and the company will have to rehire their workers if they want to continue operating at full capacity.

"This is a very usual tactic for employers who are faced with unprotected strikes. I think the reason that dismissals have been brought to the foreground is that we don't usually have as many illegal strikes."

The strikers say they plan to meet the mine's management again on Monday to try and resolve the impasse over a demand for a wage increase.

The miners have been on strike for three weeks.

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

Meanwhile, talks between the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), National Union of Mineworkers (Num) and the Chamber of Mines are set to resume on Monday.

Num said its hopeful an agreement on current mining strikes can be reached soon.

Some of the matters that are expected to be discussed include the establishment of a commission of inquiry which is independent to the one in Marikana in order to investigate the living conditions of miners in general.

President Jacob Zuma has praised the talks, saying he will support whatever outcome is decided upon to restore normality to the mining sector.

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said, "We urge the parties to work towards a speedy solution in order to return the situation to normalcy. President Zuma has once more promised that government will continue to provide support until a solution is found."

Num's Lesiba Seshoka said the union is very positive that the talks will yield results.

"We're hopeful that it will help us to resolve the current impasse in the gold and coal sector."

At the same time, three Num leaders have been killed in Rustenburg recently.

The latest victim was killed on Friday evening.

No arrests have been made.

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