Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has blamed the attitudes of the negotiating parties for the failure to resolve the protracted National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) wage strike at the Sibanye-Stillwater mine.
He was addressing the media, following a meeting with union representatives, after Sibanye-Stillwater employees camped outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria, saying that they will stay there until the President intervenes in their two-month-long wage strike.
Nxesi says they’re concerned.
He says, “Whenever a strike goes extraordinary long, we are concerned about its impact on the economy, its impact on the image of the country. Our fear is that this should be addressed before the situation degenerates further, and we don’t want to see the violence that we saw in Marikana. But what is very clear, it’s not about money, it’s not about the affordability, it has to do with the attitudes.”
VIDEO: Minister Thulas Nxesi briefs media following a meeting with unions over the Sibanye-Stillwater strike:
The Sibanye-Stillwater employees affiliated to mining unions NUM and AMCU are demanding a R1 000 salary increase backdated for 3 years.
They have vowed to camp out at the Union Buildings until President Ramaphosa intervenes.
NUM’s Sizwe Mhlaba says, “We do not need an appointment with President Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa is one of us. When he wants votes, it is him who comes to our houses and canvases. So, we are not going anywhere until he comes and addresses us. As you can see here we brought our blankets. We will sleep here until our demands are met.”
Mhlaba says the strike is protected and they will stop at nothing until their demands are met. “It’s a protected strike and we will survive. I do not want to go into details but we will survive.”
Workers say, “Ramaphosa is one of the founding members of NUM. He has a better understanding of the situation in mines. So, we are prepared to camp here until he comes to assist us.”
VIDEO: Striking Sibanye-Stillwater mineworkers unhappy with government’s response: