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Johannesburg - Nearly 500 members of the National Union of Mineworkers have gone on strike at building firm Group Five for higher wages and reduced hours, the union said on Tuesday, the latest labour unrest to hit the local economy.

South Africa economy has been battered by a five-month platinum strike, the longest and costliest in the history of its mining industry, and economists say it can ill afford further unrest.

More than 450 workers at a Group Five project in Durban went on strike on May 26 for a 10,000 rand bonus and a three-hour reduction in their working day on Saturdays, the union said.

The union said it also wanted representation by a full-time shop steward.

Separately, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, the main union in the platinum industry, said it was considering a government proposal to resolve the walk-out and would offer it to its members this week.

Shares of Group Five were little changed, down 0.6 percent at 42.96 rand at 15:56 SA time, compared to a flat All-Share index . - Reuters