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Nov 6, 2013

South African ex-union official gunned down on volatile platinum belt

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Attackers gunned down a former senior union official at platinum producer Lonmin, stoking political and industrial tensions on South Africa’s volatile platinum belt.

Police said the former National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) shop steward was ambushed outside his home in the mining town of Mooinooi on Sunday night and died of his injuries on Tuesday.

Nov 6, 2013

AngloGold surges back to profit as output rises

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – AngloGold Ashanti (ANGJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Africa’s top bullion producer, surged back to profit in the third quarter due to lower costs and higher production which sent its share price soaring on Wednesday.

Adjusted headline earnings were $576 million compared with a loss of $135 million in the previous three months and bringing its earnings to 148 U.S. cents per share, far ahead of a Reuters consensus from five analysts of 8.2 cents.

Nov 5, 2013

South African police fire rubber bullets at protest by new party

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African police fired rubber bullets on Tuesday to disperse a protest march organized by a firebrand new political party and arrested four people, highlighting tensions building ahead of general elections next year.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), headed by Julius Malema, the expelled “bad boy” of the ruling African National Congress, said in a statement an unspecified number of its members were injured in the march near the main government buildings in the capital Pretoria.

Oct 31, 2013

Lonmin pay dispute tees up sector-wide South African platinum strike

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The hardline AMCU union declared a wage dispute with mining company Lonmin on Thursday, raising the possibility of a strike across South Africa’s platinum industry that could hit half of global output.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) would stay in talks with the world’s third largest platinum producer, but if no progress was made a government mediator would try to resolve the deadlock, AMCU spokesman Jimmy Gama said.

Oct 31, 2013

S.Africa’s NUM union gives Northam Platinum strike notice

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 31 (Reuters) – South Africa’s National
Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has given junior producer Northam
Platinum 48-hour notice of its intention to strike
after wage talks broke down, a union negotiator said on

A government mediator on Monday granted NUM permission to
call for a strike at Northam.

Oct 28, 2013

South Africa’s AMCU union says members vote for Implats strike

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 28 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Association
of Mineworkers and Construction Union said on Monday its members
voted to strike at Impala Platinum, but it would not
immediately give the company a 48-hour notice, suggesting a
stoppage might still be averted.

“Yes, we got the mandate, they voted for the strike. But we
are not in a rush to serve them notice, we want to clear up and
discuss some issues first,” AMCU spokesman Jimmy Gama told
Reuters. AMCU’s wage talks with the world’s second-largest
platinum producer broke down last week.

Oct 25, 2013

South African strikes could hit top platinum producers

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 25 (Reuters) – South Africa’s hardline
AMCU mining union on Friday threatened more strikes at the
world’s top platinum producers, just weeks after a deal to end
an 11-day stoppage over job cuts.

The union declared a wage dispute with Anglo American
Platinum (Amplats) and said it would consult its
members at Impala Platinum (Implats) on whether to
strike over wages.

Oct 24, 2013

New trap design lands African fishermen bigger returns

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Conservationists have been
casting around for ways to protect Africa’s heavily exploited
fish stocks without depriving coastal communities on the world’s
poorest continent of revenue.

With a new trap design, they may have landed the big one,
and it could prove a game-changer for some aspects of Africa’s
multi-billion dollar fishing industry.

Oct 18, 2013

South African union official at Lonmin mine shot dead

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A senior member of South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was shot dead overnight in the restive platinum belt town of Marikana, a union spokesman said on Friday.

No motive was yet known for the killing of the NUM official near a mine owned by Lonmin, whose Marikana operations lay at the center of a union turf war last year and where police shot dead 34 striking miners.

Oct 17, 2013

South Africa’s migrant mine labour conundrum

LUSIKISIKI, South Africa, Oct 17 (Reuters) – South Africa’s
system of migrant mine labour has come under renewed scrutiny,
with government and company officials blaming it for a host ills
bedeviling the industry and the country, including last year’s
wave of violent wildcat strikes.

But there is no easy fix for such an entrenched feature of
the social fabric and the cure is proving as bad as the disease
as it means job losses on a grand scale with devastating
consequences for what are now called the “labour-sending areas.”

    • About Ed

      "I cover commodities in southerrn Africa, a region that I have returned to after spending over four years covering religion, politics and the Great Recession in America. I am a Canadian citizen and grew up in Nova Scotia."
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