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Rustenburg - Numerous police officers have been deployed at Cosatu's May Day rally in Rustenburg on Thursday to prevent a repeat of last year's violence.
Public Order Police in Nyala vehicles were stationed outside the Olympia Park Stadium.
Last year police used rubber bullets to disperse members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) after they clashed with members of the Congress of SA Trade Unions at the stadium. Amcu members were already at the venue when Cosatu supporters arrived and a fight ensued.
On Thursday morning hundreds of jubilant members of Cosatu and its allies filed into the stadium singing struggle songs.
Cosatu's North West provincial secretary Solly Phetoe said the rally would focus on problems in the mining, farming, and retail sectors.
“Our Workers' Day will be focusing among other things on the challenges facing the workers in the mining sector, in particular in the platinum belt, the challenges still being faced by workers in the farms, and retailers who are still being trapped in racial discrimination at the work place, and their rights as workers still being undermined by racist employers,” he said.
National Union of Mineworkers' deputy president Piet Matosa was expected to speak at the rally. The union lost many of its members at the Rustenburg mines to Amcu in 2012.
Amcu members have been on a strike at the country's platinum mines since January 23 demanding a basic salary of R12 500 per month. The strike has seen people murdered and houses set alight in informal settlements around the mines. - Sapa