An estimated 12 000 mineworkers, affiliated to the Association of Mine Workers and Construction Union (AMCU) will go on a secondary strike at Sibanye Stilwater‘s platinum operations in Rustenburg next week.  This, in solidarity with fellow members currently on a nine-week strike  at the company’s gold operations in the West Rand and Free State.

The planned strike action was announced by AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa during a mass meeting in Rustenburg on Wednesday.

Hundreds of mineworkers gathered for the announcement that they will be going on a sympathy strike. The strike is said to commence on Tuesday with the entire Sibanye-Stilwater Platinum operations expected to grind to a halt.

It is expected that mine workers will be transported to the Chamber of Commerce offices where they will be camping until their demands are met.

AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa says that Niel Foneman is not feeling the pinch of the stirike.

“This secondary strike is what we normally call sympathy strike; it’s to support our comrades on strike at the gold sector, which I think they are about nine weeks on strike. The arrogance of Niel Fonemaan is what has provoked our members to take this decision, reason being he is not feeling the pinch of the strike at the gold mine.”

Masutha says the union planned shutdown will send a strong message to mine management.

“That’s a power game; if we distract production, they asked for it so we are going to give them what they want. We have not decided yet, but after the 22nd, we meet the chamber of mines. We will decide as to how long will we be pushing the sympathy strike, but the ball is in their court.”

AMCU says they will continue with negotiations with the hope that the impasse at their gold operations will be resolved.