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Tue Sep 02 11:11:53 SAST 2014

It is safe to return to work: Amplats

Sapa | 20 September, 2012 06:46
Striking workers from Anglo American Platinum (Amplats). File photo.
Image by: AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER JOE

It was safe for mine employees to return to work, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said on Wednesday night.

"The increase in police visibility and action has created an environment conducive for our employees to return to work and isolated incidents of intimidation and violence are being dealt with," it said in a statement.

Amplats said those who did not return to work would be in violation of a court order, which last week declared the strike illegal.

"Anglo American Platinum has communicated to its employees the requirement to return to work by night shift on Thursday 20 September, failing which legal avenues will be pursued."

It said its Rustenburg operation was already under considerable economic pressure and any further delays would increase the risk of the long-term viability of the mine.

Earlier, police used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse a crowd gathered near Amplats in Rustenburg. Nineteen people were arrested.

Last week, government ministers in Cabinet's security cluster said government would no longer tolerate violence, threats, and intimidation in the mining sector, as massive strikes sprang up along Rustenburg's platinum belt, with another one near Carletonville.

The measures included a crackdown on illegal gatherings, carrying dangerous weapons, incitement, and threats of violence against anyone in the affected areas.

After suspending operations last week, citing employee safety due to the situation in the region, Amplats resumed operations on Tuesday.

Workers were paid over the suspension period.

Amplats workers wanted a monthly salary of R16,070 and other modifications to their fringe benefits.

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