Gold Fields protesters disperse

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Gold fieldsStrike

Independent Newspapers

Striking Gold Fields mine workers at a stadium near the company's KDC mine in Carltonville. Photo: Leon Nicholas.

Striking miners at Gold Fields' KDC West mine, near Carletonville, dispersed late on Wednesday afternoon, but vowed to return to disrupt the night-shift.

The workers had congregated outside the mine's time office, but left when they were told that Koos Barnard, the senior vice president of Gold Fields' Kloof/Driefontein complex, was not there to address them.

Some agreed to meet after dark to prevent non-strikers from starting the night-shift at 8pm.

On Thursday at 8am, they intended marching from KDC West to a mine hostel, and to Shafts One, Five, Eight and 10.

A workers' representative told the crowd it would be a big march, with the purpose of stopping others from going to work.

“We are going to strike every day until we get what we want,” miner Johannes Makhale said.

“We want them to suffer, like us. We are fighting for the same thing.”

On Sunday, miners affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) went on strike.

Their demands included the removal of the NUM's branch leadership at the mine, pay equalisation, and a pay increase to R12,500.

The miners held up placards reading: “RIP NUM” and “Equalisationbackpay+R12,500”.

Earlier, mine security guards fired teargas at protesters. Company spokesman Sven Lunsche said this was done to disperse people intimidating and threatening those trying to get to work.

“There was a group of about 100 people trying to prevent contractors and non-strikers from going to work,” he said.

The protesters had tried to cause disruptions among contractors at a training centre, and near a train.

NUM leaders were meant to address workers earlier at a nearby stadium, but the firing of the teargas put a stop to the meeting. - Sapa


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