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AMCU March: Motorists Have Been Asked to Stay Out of Joburg CBD

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) president, Joseph Mathunjwa, addresses thousands of Lonmin mine striking workers on May 15, 2013, at the Wonderkop stadium in Marikana during an illegal strike. Miners failed to report for a morning shift extending the strike into its second day and paralysing 13 shafts belonging to the world's third largest platinum producer. The informal strike has been fuelled by rivalty between the upstart Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and its once might rival the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). The two unions are locked in a vicious power struggle over who represents the majority of miners at Marikana, where 34 miners were shot dead by police last year. AMCU regional leader Mawethu Steven and two brothers, said to be members of NUM, were killed in separate incidents over the weekend. AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

Due to a march by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), Motorists have been warned to avoid certain areas of the Johannesburg CBD on Tuesday morning.

According to JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar, the march was planned to commence at 11:00 at the Westgate Transport Hub and move through Marshall Street and Simmons Street in Johannesburg, ending at the offices of the Mineral Council of SA, formerly known as the Chamber of Mines, where a memorandum would be handed over.

According to AMCU, the march was taking place under the “mandate of a R12 500 living wage”.

“[AMCU] president Joseph Mathunjwa and his national leadership will march to @Mine_RSA previously known as the Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg as part of the gold-sector strike at Sibanye Stillwater,” AMCU tweeted on Monday.

On Friday, Sibanye reportedly applied for an interdict to prevent the secondary strike from taking place. AMCU members in Sibanye’s gold operations in Beatrix, Kloof and Driefontein downed tools in November over wage demands.

Late last year, Sibanye signed a wage deal with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the United Association of SA (UASA) and Solidarity that offered increases of R700 per month in the first and second years, and R825 per month in the third year to some categories of employees.

AMCU wants a R1 000 annual hikes over three years.

Mathunjwa said current strike at Sibanye’s gold operations would continue, with a secondary strike scheduled to begin in the platinum sector on Tuesday.

Mining and labor analyst Mamokgethi Molopyane said the strike had the potential to spill over onto Sibanye’s platinum operations.

“The clash between Sibanye and AMCU is not new, but AMCU is the biggest union in platinum, so it may want to use its muscle in that sector. The company must take care when dealing with the current strike because the gold strike could spill over to its platinum operations and become more than a secondary strike, and Sibanye will have its operation in both sectors coming to a standstill,” he said.

The clash between AMCU and Sibanye is unlikely to end soon as the company’s bid to buy Lonmin in the platinum sector recently got the green light, despite heavy opposition from AMCU – signaling more clashes ahead between the two.


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