Gold Fields miners continue strike action

There is still no end in sight wildcat strikes that have gripped SA’s mining industry.

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

JOHANNESBURG - There is still no end in sight for a series of wildcat strikes that have gripped South Africa's mining industry for more than a month.

At least seven of the country's major mines have halted operations, with an estimated 100,000 miners believed to be on strike.

On Monday, Gold Fields' KDC East Mine in Carletonville revealed that 8,500 miners had embarked on strike action again, despite intervention from unions that ended a previous strike two months ago.

Gold Fields' spokesperson Willie Jacobsz said both of their gold mining operations on Gauteng's West Rand had come to a standstill, due to illegal strikes.

He said about 19,500 workers were on strike, out of the mine's 26,500-strong workforce.

"The entire KDC mine is now down, there is no production coming from it."

Meanwhile, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka denied that miners had chosen to represent themselves because they had lost faith in the union.

"Strike leaders are basically people that are not unionised, they have never been unionised."

Mineworkers have been demanding a basic monthly salary of R12,500.

Talks between NUM and the South African Chamber of Mines broke down on Monday, after the parties failed to reach common ground on a wage hike proposal.

It is now unclear what step will be taken next, in an attempt to end the wildcat strike.