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MARIKANA - No mineworker will earn less than R10 000 in the platinum mines, the Association of Mineworkers and  Construction Union (Amcu) said on Wednesday.

"No new entry will earn less than R10 000 on basic salary when employed in these multi-national corporations," Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said.

He was addressing the fifth anniversary of the Marikana tragedy commemoration at Nkaneng informal settlement, where 34 Lonmin mineworkers were killed when the police opened fire on August 16, 2012.

Mathunjwa said when his union led a five-month long strike in the platinum mines in Rustenburg, it was said they were going to ruin the economy.

"What Amcu can report without fear of any contradictions is that we managed to dismantle solid apartheid foundations of which the salary of mineworkers were built upon." 

"To change the situation they (mineworkers) had to think outside the box..." 

Lonmin mineworkers went on a wildcat strike, led by rock drill operators, and downed tools in August 2012, demanding to be paid not less that R12 500 per month. They went to a koppie (hill) in Nkaneng informal settlement, demanding that Lonmin must negotiate with them at the koppie.

The strike turned violent and left at least 44 people dead.

The workers rejected the National Union of Mineworkers and elected to be represented by a workers committee. On August 16, 2012, 34 mineworkers were gunned down by police. Ten people, including two policemen and two Lonmin security guards, were killed a week earlier.

Mathunjwa said a study conducted by Wits University found that the R12,500 wage demand could have been achieved as far back as 2006.