ANCYL angered at Amplats firings
The ANC Youth League says the decision to fire 12,000 striking Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) workers is irrational and illogical.
"The ANCYL is deeply disturbed and angered by the irrational and illogical firing of 12,000 workers by Amplats," spokeswoman Khusela Sangoni-Khawe said in a statement.
"This action demonstrates the insensibility and insensitivity of the company, which has made astronomical profits on the blood, sweat and tears of the very same workers that today the company can just fire with impunity."
On Friday afternoon, Amplats announced the dismissals to shareholders, on completion of the disciplinary hearings for striking workers.
Affected employees would be informed of the outcome on Friday, and would have three working days to lodge appeals.
"Despite the company’s repeated calls for employees to return to work, we have continued to experience attendance levels of less than 20 percent," the company said in a statement distributed via the Stock Exchange News Service.
"Approximately 12,000 striking employees chose not to make representations, nor attend the hearings, and have therefore been dismissed in their absence."
Work stopped three weeks ago in the Rustenburg area, and the company had so far not been able to resolve the illegal strike.
Four mines in the Rustenburg area did not have enough staff to operate, although the Rustenburg concentrators, smelters, refineries and the Bathopele Mine continued to operate normally, Amplats said.
The African National Congress Youth League said Amplats was a disgrace and a disappointment to the country at large.
The representation of "white monopoly capital" was out of touch with the poor, it said.
"Their action shows the highest level of disdain and spits on the graves of those who have lost their lives in the current mining climate," said Sangoni-Khawe.
"No doubt today's ill-fated and unfortunate decision will undoubtedly and justifiably heighten the tensions in the country at large and the mining industry in particular."
Strikes have spread to Amplats' Union and Amandebult operations, where workers have presented similar demands for salary increases.
These mines were not operating because of the strikes.
Amplats said it had lost around R700 million in revenue as a result of the reduced platinum production. Total lost platinum production amounted to 39,000 ounces.