Lonmin: Workers should stay at home

The mining giant told employees that it is not worth risking their lives to return to their posts.

Lonmin corporate affairs vice president Lerato Molebatsi and head of stakeholder relations and public affairs Happy Nkhoma at a press conference on 15 May 2014. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

MARIKANA - Lonmin on Thursday advised employees who fear for their safety to rather stay at home.

The mining giant told workers that it is not worth risking their lives to return to their posts.

Lonmin says some of its employees, including striking Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union ( Amcu) members, started returning to work on Thursday.

This after the company called on workers to end their over three-month long crippling wage strike and accept a pay rise of nine percent.

Lonmin spokesperson Lerato Molebatsi says employee safety should be considered before companies decide to restart operations.

"This is an issue that we have raised with civil authorities."

The company wouldn't say how many workers had returned to their posts but said an "overwhelming majority" had indicated they wanted to end the strike.

The National Union of Mineworkers ( NUM) also told its members to stay away from shafts where Amcu members are on strike, out of fear of intimidation.

There is a heavy police presence in the area.

This as private security guards at mines continue to escort buses carrying workers to and from the shafts.

Meanwhile, Impala Platinum has confirmed three cars belonging to essential services staff have been torched at a Rustenburg mine.

The company says its officials weren't able to arrest three men who managed to get through a security gate shortly after the morning shift started on Wednesday.

Implats spokesperson Alice Lourens says, "We had an incident at our mineshaft where three cars were burnt and two were vandalised. There were no injuries."