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Platinum strike: Lonmin halts SMS campaign

Lonmin noted that its SMS campaign among striking Amcu members caused anguish.

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 Platinum says it has halted an SMS campaign conducted among striking Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members due to some anguish caused by the texts.

The mine confirmed some of the people reporting for duty at their Marikana shafts are Amcu members but said their identities needed to be protected.

Mineworkers report for work at a Lonmin shaft in Marikana. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin employees have been on strike since the end of January, demanding a basic salary of R12,500 per month.

Picture: EWN.

Lonmin said they would have to return to the negotiating table with the union to find a settlement to avoid restructuring that could lead to job cuts.

The company said an overwhelming majority of its employees indicated they wanted to return to work and it had appealed to them to communicate this to Amcu.

The mine added that employees started reporting for duty yesterday afternoon, but it could not disclose exactly how many people were at work.

Furthermore, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said there was no tension between its members and Amcu and called for peace on the platinum belt.

NUM's Frans Baleni said, "If we can eliminate violence and people can exercise their right we'll see a different picture. 80 percent of workers want to return to work but can't do so because of the violence."

Video: Police crack down on Marikana violence.

The union said it wanted those who were keen to return to work to do so without fear of intimidation.

Army and police are deployed in Marikana as more workers return to work after months of strike. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

A total of three miners were recently killed in Marikana in what was believed to be strike-related violence.