Three days of violent protests have brought the Richards Bay CBD to a standstill. On Wednesday, several routes into the northern KwaZulu-Natal town were blocked by trucks, burning tyres and debris. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA).

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers on Wednesday expressed concern at what it called the snail's pace in finding a long-lasting resolution to the violence at titanium dioxide producer Richards Bay Minerals, which has been put under care and maintenance for an indefinite period. 

KwaZulu-Natal based Richards Bay Minerals, a subsidiary of international mining corporation Rio Tinto, halted operations last week in the wake of mounting violence in surrounding communitites which saw one worker shot and injured.

On Wednesday, NUM said  its members had over the past three weeks encountered road blockages and "ambush shootings" while on their way to work.

"Our member was shot at while travelling on the bus to work and till now no arrest has been made. We call upon law enforcement agency to do their job. NUM further calls for a speedy resolution to this ongoing problem to save the lives and jobs of our members," the union's KwaZulu-Natal regional secretary Muzikayise Zakwe said in a statement.

"We plead with all stakeholders to play their roles in ensuring that the environment is conducive for our members to go to work safely and the mining processes continue without any problems."

NUM expressed concern in finding a long-lasting resolution to the violence at titanium dioxide producer Richards Bay Minerals. Richards Bay Minerals

He urged KwaZulu-Natal residents to participate in a march on Friday planned by NUM to protest potential job losses at Richards Bay Minerals that it said could affect some 5,000 permanent workers and contractors.

- African News Agency (ANA)