Marikana residents 'lose faith' in ANC

Families of miners are suffering financially due to the ongoing strike in the platinum sector.

Crosses on the koppie in Marikana where 34 miners were killed in a standoff with police on 16 August 2012. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

MARIKANA - Marikana residents have told Eyewitness News they have lost faith in the African National Congress (ANC) and won't be voting for the ruling party in the upcoming general elections on 7 May.

Families of miners say they are suffering financially due to the ongoing strike in the platinum sector.

Union rivalry and violence is also still rife in the area almost two years after the August 2012 shooting which left 34 miners dead and turned the world's focus on the North West mining district.

Businesses in the North West town are under strain with many being forced to shut their doors as a result of the industrial action.

The strike has entered its tenth week and the effect is evident in Marikana which used to be a hive of activity.

The streets are bare, the shops are empty and businesses are closing down because hardly anyone is receiving an income.

Around 80,000 thousand mineworkers have been on strike since January at Lonmin, Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum for a basic salary of R12,500 per month.

So far, the strike has seen mining companies lose R11 billion, while workers have lost around R5 billion in wages.

One resident says since the Marikana shooting, the ANC has done nothing to help them.

"I think people have lost hope in the ANC."

Another man says their only hope is the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and says residents feel the party will restore stability in the volatile mining town.

EFF leader Julius Malema has supported the miner's fight for a 'living wage' and posters of his party are seen throughout the town.

Many families here haven't received an income since the strike started in January, and some are even considering seeking employment elsewhere.

Thirty four miners were killed and at least 76 miners were also injured in the shooting.

Ten others, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in strike-related violence in the days leading up to the shooting.