Striking workers at Implats' Rustenburg mine refuse to work until demands met

Scores of workers affiliated with Numsa met in Freedom Park near Rustenburg on Tuesday where they called for increased wages and additional benefits such as medical aid while accusing three companies that they're contracted to to provide services to Implats of exploiting them.

Hundreds of workers affiliated with Numsa gathered near shaft 8 of the Impala Platinum Mine in Freedom Park near Rustenburg on 21 June 2022 for a strike. Picture: Masechaba Sefularo/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Striking workers at Impala Platinum’s Rustenburg operations in the North West say they will not return to work until their demands are met.

Scores of workers affiliated with metalworkers’ union, Numsa, met in Freedom Park near Rustenburg on Tuesday where they called for increased wages and additional benefits such as medical aid while accusing three companies that they are contracted to to provide services to Implats of exploiting them.

Workers say they want no less than R12,500. Meanwhile, Impala said that the strike was a clear tussle for representation rights between unions at the expense of vulnerable workers.

Mojalefa Mayoyo (42) from Taung works for Reagetswe Mining and said he’s been earning R5,000 a month since he began working at the company, seven years ago.

“With just R5,000 there’s rent to pay, you have a wife and children and back home they are looking to you, who is employed, for support.”

Mayoyo claims the majority union at the mine, Amcu, has failed to advance the grievances of contract workers.

“Amcu has abused us contract workers, but it took our monies every month, saying it will speak on our behalf but even today, I still earn little money,” he said.

Numsa has accused Reagetswe, Newrak and Triple M Mining of refusing to recognise them as a bargaining agent.

Meanwhile, Implats’ Johan Theron said this was a contentious time for unions who are battling for dominance and the strike was a power play by Numsa, with Amcu on the verge of signing an extended new wage agreement at its Rustenburg operation.