180912. COSATU Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi at the COSATU 11th National Congress held at Gallagher Estate in Midrand. Day two 299 Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Johannesburg - Employers are fully to blame for the wildcat strikes rocking the mining industry, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Tuesday.

“The people who must shoulder all the blame for these wildcat strikes are the mine bosses,” he told media in Johannesburg.

He blamed Impala Platinum bosses in particular for the strikes.

“Impala committed a grave error in offering an 18 percent increase to one category to the exclusion of the rest of workers.”

He said this had raised expectations among workers.

“The collective bargaining system is currently under threat not because of the NUM, but because the employers miscalculated,” Vavi said.

Workers have been involved in wildcat strikes at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Anglogold Ashanti and Samancor Chrome Western Mine, among others.

National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) general secretary Frans Baleni said five people had been killed on Sunday in the Rustenburg area.

“Two of those five were Impala employees,” he said.

Baleni said the killings came after Angloplats threatened to dismiss workers who did not return to work on Tuesday to face a disciplinary hearing.

“In our evaluation, this is linked to industrial action,” he said.

Police were not immediately available to confirm the killings. - Sapa