Anglo American Platinum has announced the suspension of all operations at its Rustenberg mines with immediate effect.
It made this decision to protect the company and its staff from intimidation and violence from striking workers from other mines in the area.
Chris Griffith, CEO of Anglo American Platinum, said: “Our employees are not on strike. However, in light of the current volatile situation in the Rustenburg area, where our employees who want to go to work are being prevented from doing so and are being intimidated by the threat of violence, Anglo American Platinum has decided to suspend its operations in the Rustenburg area with immediate effect. The suspension will continue until such time as operations can be safely resumed.”
Cynthia Carroll, chairman of Anglo American Platinum, said: “We have taken this decision to suspend our operations in order to help ensure the safety of our employees – our absolute priority. Our people want to work and it is unacceptable that they are not able to go to work safely and instead are facing considerable intimidation. We are in touch with the authorities at the highest level to identify how we can work together with our tripartite partners – government and the recognised labour unions – to achieve a swift and peaceful resolution to these illegal actions.”
Protesting miners dismissed claims from the company that its miners were not on strike and that the company suspended operations for safety reasons.
Protesting Anglo American Platinum miners said one of their demands they wanted was a monthly salary of R12 500 after deductions.
National Union of Mineworkers spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said most staff members had been prevented from going to work due to intimidation by those who were now protesting outside the mine.