Platinum strike: relief foundations help 10,000

Amcu members have been on strike for 17 weeks, demanding a basic salary of R12,500 per month.

FILE: "Platinum Mineworkers report for work at a Lonmin shaft in Marikana on 15 May 2014. Vumani Mkhize/EWN

MARIKANA - The Gift of the Givers Foundation on Sunday said it has provided relief aid to more than 10,000 mineworkers and their families on the platinum belt.

This is the final day of its intervention.

The foundation was met by thousands of workers waiting at Lonmin Platinum's Wonderkop stadium on Saturday where food and sanitation parcels were handed out.

A 25 member medical team also treated workers suffering from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), diabetes and hypertension.

The group's intervention started at the beginning of the week.

They were assisted by several religious groups, major corporations and ordinary South Africans who made donations at their Johannesburg headquarters.

The Gift of the Givers Foundation's founder Imtiaz Sooliman says at first Lonmin did not want to permit the use of the stadium.

"The people [Lonmin] were very angry and we couldn't understand why they would be. They were going to get supplies coming in. But, if we were not going to get the stadium, we were going to leave."

Around 70,000 members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) have been on strike for 17 weeks, demanding a basic salary of R12,500 per month.


Meanwhile, the South African Council of Churches called for more humanitarian relief on Saturday.

Soup kitchens were used to feed the workers who have been without income for more than four months.

The soup kitchen was run by locals in the township and provided two meals a day to the families of mineworkers.

Lonmin said many of its employees were struggling to survive, and while Amcu set up a trust fund to help their family members, community members in Marikana are doing what they can to supply food