A member of the South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) holds placards as he attends a rally in Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg January 19, 2014.

Johannesburg - Low attendance has been recorded at Anglo American Platinum mines in Rustenburg where a strike by Amcu started on Thursday, the company said.

“The company has recorded low attendance at its Rustenburg, Union and Amandelbult mines following the initiation of industrial action this morning and expects production to be impacted by the strike action,” spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said in a statement.

“Safe shutdown procedures have been implemented throughout all impacted operations.”

Amplats said operations at its Mogalakwena mine were normal.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union at Amplats, Lonmin in Marikana, and Impala Platinum mines wanted an entry-level monthly salary of R12,500.

On Tuesday, the companies said Amcu's wage demands were unaffordable and unrealistic.

Impala Platinum cancelled its Wednesday night shift at its Rustenburg operations and would continue to do so for the duration of Amcu's planned strike, the company said. This was to mitigate the risk of violence and ensure the safety of employees.

Amplats warned on Thursday that the strike was only legal for Amcu members.

Sithole said Amplats had ensured, through the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, that Amcu was aware of the picketing rules and that its members had to use designated areas.

The no-work no-pay principle would apply for employees who did not turn up for work.

The company urged strikers to respect their colleagues' right to work.

Amplats chief executive Chris Griffith said: “We are adamant that we will continue to engage with Amcu and have accepted the offer by the deputy president (Kgalema Motlanthe) for a government facilitated mediation process in order to find a resolution.

“Striking is not a constructive solution if we are to return the company to a sustainable financial footing and secure existing jobs.”

Sithole said Amplats had put additional safety measures in place to ensure the strike was peaceful. - Sapa