The latest strike action to hit the mines of South Africa has been taken by around 24,000 workers from the AngloGold Ashanti Mining Company.
Their action has been spurred by what they say are poor wages and living conditions. The strikers marched to the company’s headquarters and are demanding a monthly wage of 1400 euros. Currently the average is around 367.
“I can’t afford to pay for university right now or technical college, because I am earning a little money – four thousand rand per month. It’s a joke. It’s peanuts,” explained one striker, Ntseki Mqabe.
Workers at a Goldfields mine 50 kilometres west of Johannesburg are on strike and now homeless. The company evicted them from their hostels saying they will seek a court order to move anyone who has not already left.
They have refused to move until their demands for a wage increase are met and claim the police have used force.
“The mine has its own police, they shoot at us and now they have expelled us from the hostels all because we are fighting for our rights,” said
striking miner, Tembe Faniyedwa.
To add to the political and economic pressure on the government caused by the miners strikes there has been a mass nationwide walk-out by truckers putting a squeeze on fuel supplies.
The action comes on a day a judge postponed a commission of enquiry hearing into the deaths of 34 miners in August at the Marikana mine.