Joy has replaced the intense sorrow of the past couple of weeks for striking South African mineworkers.
After a six-week strike that left 45 people dead they have faced down one of the world’s mightiest multinationals, Lonmin, and the South African government. They did not get all they wanted, but it is a famous victory nonetheless.
“The actual increase is about 22% which is very high. We don’t think that has ever happened in the history of negotiations, and the negotiations by the unions will add more pecentages in October,” said miner’s representative Bishop Seoka.
“I am very happy we got this offer because in the history of the National Union of Mineworkers they have never ever got this percentage. I am happy and we can more forward from this struggle,” said one of the miners, Sithembile Sohati.
This will be of some worry to the government. The mineworkers rejected the lead given by the official union in this dispute because they accused it of being too close to the ANC.