Senior Correspondent
Ed's Feed
Jan 19, 2014

South Africa’s AMCU union to strike at world’s top platinum producers

RUSTENBURG, South Africa (Reuters) – The main trade union for South African platinum miners will strike next week at the world’s top three producers, hitting over half of global output and the margins of companies struggling to make profits.

A simultaneous stoppage at the three producers would hit a key South African export at a time when the rand currency is near five-year lows, and deal a fresh blow to investor confidence in Africa’s biggest economy.

Jan 17, 2014

More than 1,000 rhinos poached in South Africa last year – Government

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – More than 1,000 rhinos were poached for their horns in South Africa in 2013, a record number and an increase of over 50 percent from the previous year, the country’s department of environmental affairs said on Friday.

Rhino hunting is driven by soaring demand in newly affluent Asian countries such as Vietnam and China, where the animal’s horns are prized as a key ingredient in traditional medicine.

Jan 15, 2014

S.Africa’s AMCU union threatens platinum sector strike

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 15 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Association
of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said on Wednesday
it would call a strike in the platinum industry if its members
backed such action.

AMCU members have voted in favour of a stoppage at Impala
Platinum over wages, and the union will canvas its rank
and file this week at Anglo American Platinum and

Jan 13, 2014

S. Africa’s AMCU says members vote to strike at Implats

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 13 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Association
of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said its workers
had voted in favour of a strike over wages at Impala Platinum
(Implats), the world’s second-largest producer of the

“They said to go on strike,” AMCU spokesman Jimmy Gama said
on Monday. He did not provide any other details or say when the
strike was due to start.

Jan 2, 2014

Connect the dots: infant mortality, graft and elephant poaching

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 2 (Reuters) – What do infant mortality and
elephant poaching have in common? Plenty, according to
conservation groups.

Researchers have for the first time made clear connections
between elephant poaching in Africa, which has been surging to
meet soaring ivory demand in Asia, and factors such as poverty,
as shown by high rates of child deaths, and corruption.

Dec 13, 2013

Amplats says AMCU union now represents 60 pct of miners

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Upstart South African
miners’ union AMCU has increased its membership at Anglo
American Platinum , the world’s top producer of
the metal, by 50 percent in the last five months and now
represents 60 percent of shaft workers, the company said on

The new figures, supplied to Reuters from the company’s
human resources department by spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole, come as
the hardline Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union
faces a fresh challenge to deliver after rival unions signed a
wage deal this week with the company.

Dec 12, 2013

S.African NUM union announces pay deal with top platinum firm Amplats

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 12 (Reuters) – South Africa’s National
Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Thursday it had agreed a
two-year wage deal for pay increases of 7.5 to 8.5 percent with
Anglo American Platinum, the world’s top producer of
the precious metal.

NUM’s rival the Association of Mineworkers and Construction
Union (AMCU), which became the majority union at Amplats last
year during a vicious turf war for members, remains deadlocked
in wage talks with the company.

Dec 12, 2013

S. Africa’s Implats says union wage talks to resume in 2014

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 12 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Impala
Platinum, the world’s second largest producer of the
precious metal, said wage talks with the AMCU union remained
deadlocked after the two sides met on Thursday, and negotiations
would resume in 2014.

Company spokesman Johan Theron told Reuters they had not
been “able to finalise and/or agree annual increases (but)
agreed to continue with the process in the New Year.”

Dec 7, 2013

Sports-mad South Africa salutes Mandela “The Captain”

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Sports-mad South Africa saluted Nelson Mandela on Saturday with smiles and moments of silence in honor of the late anti-apartheid leader, who inspired people to pursue the impossible from politics to the playing field.

The tributes stretched across the sporting spectrum, from club cricket and fun runs to top fixtures such as a League Cup final between Platinum Stars and Orlando Pirates, the Soweto giants believed to have been Mandela’s favorite soccer side.

Nov 28, 2013

Oil rush in Africa’s parks drives hunt for eco-friendly methods

CAPE TOWN, Nov 28 (Reuters) – East Africa’s oil rush is
spreading into parks and protected areas, prompting companies to
develop new ways to explore for hydrocarbons without disturbing
wildlife and natural treasures such as rare fossils.

From Uganda, where France’s Total is trying new
and less intrusive methods of seismic testing in a national
park, to Madagascar, where operations are under way next to a
UNESCO site, the industry is working in locations where damage
would trigger public outcries.

    • 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."
      Joined Reuters:
    • Follow Ed