Miners finalise plans for mass march

Miners are ready to march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria next month.

Miners protesting on 5 October 2012. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Strike leaders at Gold Fields KDC West operations in Carletonville, North West, on Thursday said their industrial action would not end until their wage demands had been met.

It also said miners were ready to march to the Union Buildings, in Pretoria, next month.

At least 8,500 workers at the mine have been on strike since Sunday, while their colleagues at the mine's Free State operations returned to work yesterday.

Strike committee leader Mametlwe Sebei spoke to the miners in the Free State and those from the North West's AngloGold Ashanti Mine yesterday, to finalise plans for their march on 7 November.

Sebei said communities from Gauteng and Rustenburg would join their strike in solidarity of their fight to earn more.

Meanwhile, the striking miners' joint coordinating committee says the number of employees reporting for duty over the past three days is a result of weak leadership by strike leaders at their respective mines.

Three mines, including Gold Fields, AngloGold Ashanti and Village Main Reef, have all reported increased attendance figures, following a meeting with managements from the different mines earlier this week.

The return to work by thousands of employees has been largely welcomed by the mines and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Sebei said the committee was aware of miners who suspended their strike at Gold Fields' Free State operations yesterday.

He said although strikes had their "ups and downs", workers reporting for duty was due to poor leadership practice.

The strike committee has vowed to intensify the industrial action, while NUM says it will continue to fight to bring it to an end.

The union has urged miners to go back to work and provide for their families.

Miners across South Africa have been demanding a basic monthly salary of R12,500.