JOHANNESBURG - Sibanye-Stillwater said on Friday that apart from isolated incidents at its Beatrix operations in the Free State province, the strike action at its gold operations has been more peaceful over the past 12 hours.

A number of workers affiliated to rival unions, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), were injured and one died at Beatrix and at Kloof mine in Johannesburg following violent clashes on Wednesday night. 

About 15,000 Amcu members embarked on a protected strike at Sibanye from midnight Wednesday after wage negotiations deadlocked. The union has demanded a monthly salary of R12,500 plus R1,000 increment every year for three years. 

Sibanye has temporarily suspended all night shifts to ensure the safety of its employees and day shifts will start a few hours later, so that employees who wish to report for work do not travel after dark, the mine said.

On Thursday, Sibanye was granted an interdict by the Labour Court against NUM and Amcu, preventing the unions and their members from committing acts of violence, harassment or intimidation; stopping any other employees from going to work; and interfering with the company's service providers, suppliers, or its customers.

"We will continue to engage with the unions, in order to ensure their peaceful coexistence and mutual respect of their individual rights," Sibanye said.

Sibanye will share more information in due course about the operational impact of the strike as soon as this has been evaluated and established.

Earlier on Thursday, Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said that he had written to ministers of police and mineral resources, requesting that they intervene urgently in the situation to prevent any escalation of violence.

Last week, Sibanye signed a wage agreement with three other unions, who agreed to lesser packages than Amcu.

- African News Agency (ANA)