Amcu buses to go as far as Maputo

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Amcu Independent Newspapers. Association of mineworkers and construction union (AMCU) president Joseph Mathunjwa. Picture: Tiro Ramatlhatse.

Johannesburg - Buses organised to ferry platinum miners home over the Easter long weekend will go as far as Maputo, Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said on Thursday.

“The buses will travel to different provinces and as far as Maputo (in Mozambique),” he said.

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members have been on strike since January 23 at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum mining operations in Rustenburg, North West, and Northam in Limpopo.

They are demanding a minimum monthly salary of R12,500, and have rejected an offer of a nine percent salary increase.

On Thursday, Mathunjwa said the buses would be dispatched to all Amcu branches in Rustenburg.

At least 100 buses had been acquired at a cost of over R4 million.

The buses would transport miners to their homes free of charge, following months of no work resulting in no pay.

A strike fund had also been set up by Amcu to assist miners' families to survive as the strike wore on.

On Wednesday, Mathunjwa told The New Age newspaper the union had donated R1m to the Amcu Strike Fund account, opened on Monday, while a sum of R50,000 was donated by union officials and staff members.

Some of the struggling employees were reportedly selling their livestock and other assets to make ends meet, the newspaper reported.

If the R1,050,000 were to be divided among the 25,000 striking workers, each would get R42, according to the report.

The union had overseas donors willing to “throw in thousands of dollars”, Mathunjwa was quoted as saying.

Mathunjwa said the branches would be tasked with verifying the credentials of those boarding the buses to ensure they were Amcu members.

The miners were expected to return after the Easter long weekend. - Sapa

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