Picture: Timothy Bernard.

Johannesburg - Ongoing intimidation and violence in the North West platinum belt is unacceptable, the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Thursday.

“This is absolutely unacceptable and a high priority should be placed on protecting all workers by the SA Police Service,” Sacci chief executive Neren Rau said in a statement.

The National Union of Mineworkers said two houses belonging to NUM members were petrol-bombed in Sefikile on Tuesday night. The houses apparently belonged to non-striking workers.

North West police spokesman Brigadier Thulani Ngubane could not be reached for comment.

Sacci on Thursday also commended newly appointed Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi for setting up an inter-ministerial technical team to bring an end to the over four-month-old strike.

“Government has an important role to play in facilitating social dialogue and resolving disputes between social partners and Sacci is thankful for this initiative taken by Minister Ramatlhodi,” said Rau.

“South Africa needs creative and practical approaches to solve our deep-seated problems.”

Rau said although Sacci was wary of government interventions in principle, the minister's action was “an exercise in providing voluntary dispute resolution as opposed to intervening in business decisions”.

The team, announced this week, is made up of officials from the departments of mineral resources, labour, and the Treasury, who would be supported by representatives from the mining companies and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

Amcu members at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum downed tools on January 23, demanding a basic monthly salary of R12,500.

They rejected an offer by the companies that would bring their pay to R12,500 by 2017.

The team was due to meet Amcu and mining bosses at an undisclosed location in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Ayanda Shezi, spokeswoman for the mineral resources department, could not be reached for comment. - Sapa