Rustenburg - The newly formed Workers Association Union (WAU) is providing transport and security for mineworkers to go to work in the Rustenburg platinum mines, general secretary Elifas Ngoepe said on Thursday.

“Our members are not on strike, but are compelled to remain at home, suffering grave loss of salaries and other earnings and contributions.”

He said the union was providing transport and security to their members and non-striking workers to return to work.

“We are doing this in small scale because we do not have enough resources. We are concerned that when the workers have left for work their families are exposed to danger. For this reason we call on the police to be visible around the affected areas.”

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) downed tools at Impala, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and Lonmin on January 23 demanding a minimum salary of R12,500.

They rejected the companies' salary increase of nine percent.

Ngoepe said the union was also arranging food parcels.

“It came to our attention that most of the workers working for the three platinum producers can no longer afford to provide food for their families and are thus faced with starvation.”

He said the union together with the business sector and NGOs, was in the process of providing food packs for the affected families irrespective of their trade union affiliation.

“The idea is to ultimately reach all of the families affected including those who, as a result of the prolonged strike action, had gone back to their places of origin in rural areas.”

The union, launched in February, would conduct a protest march in Rustenburg on April 24, to present a memorandum to Police Minister Nathi Mthetwa, calling for peace and stability. - Sapa