Amplats warns Amcu on strike costs

Amplats says if violence persists, the R591m it wants from Amcu will increase.

An Amplats mine in Rustenburg. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) says the estimated R591 million it wants from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) for losses incurred during the current wage strike could increase if violence continues.

The South Gauteng High Court issued a summons to Amcu on behalf of Amplats on Friday.

Thousands of Amcu members have been on strike at Amplats for nearly a month demanding a basic salary of R12,500.

The company wants Amcu to pay for losses it has suffered due to what it says is the intimidation of non-striking employees.

Amplats says it has lost more than 60,000 ounces of platinum production since the strike started and several incidents of assault have been reported.

Amplats spokesperson Mpumi Sithole says the figure of nearly R600 million is only provisional.

"This is a provisional amount because wrongful conduct is continuing and we anticipate the damages will continue to accrue. On a daily basis, we are losing 4,000 platinum ounces which amounts to R100 million."

Meanwhile, Amplats also says it has evidence that Amcu members are responsible for the intimidation of non-striking workers at its North West and Limpopo operations.

Amcu members have clashed with police and mine security on several occasions, with rubber bullets, water cannons and tear gas being fired at picketing sites.

Amcu says it is uncertain when the legal claim will be heard as it has not yet been informed and is yet to receive a court summons.

Talks between Amcu and the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to end the strike were postponed on Friday as the union prepared to bury one of its members who was killed during a strike in Limpopo.

Shadow Ncedani was shot dead near Amplats's Swartklip mine last week allegedly by a policeman with an R5 rifle.