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Amcu gold strike delayed, platinum still on

A Labour Court ruling has halted the gold strike for now, but the massive platinum strike will go on.

A planned Amcu strike in the gold sector has been postponed.

JOHANNESBURG - A planned strike by Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members in the gold sector has been postponed pending a Labour Court ruling.

The mining union was due to down tools on Thursday as part of a massive wage dispute across a number of companies in the gold and platinum sectors.

But the Labour Court ruling will not affect the platinum sector, where as many as 80,000 workers are still expected to strike.

The union is demanding a R12,500 monthly salary for its members in both sectors.

Amcu's Joseph Mathunjwa says despite major efforts this afternoon to also bring an end to the platinum strike, it is definitely going ahead.

"The strike is on, according to our notices," he insists.

His resilience comes in the face of doubts that the union can even handle a fully-fledged strike for more than a week or two.

Commentators say the mines' abilities to withstand a strike will outweigh the union's ability to keep morale up among members.

STRONG POLICE PRESENCE

North West police say a large number of officers will be deployed to the Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum mines in Rustenburg for the strike's launch tomorrow.

The police's Thulani Ngubane says they are well prepared.

"We are ready to deploy all members of our Public Order Policing Unit to ensure that we provide adequate safety and security in the platinum belt."

But Ngubane says the mines' private security firms also have a major role to play.

"What is more important is that it's not just the responsibility of the police. The mine is responsible for the private property and to provide adequate security for those who will be on duty."

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