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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.”

Oct 11, 2013

Fruit farming offers escape from South Africa’s mining gloom

NOQHEKWANA, South Africa, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Peter
Somakhephu’s life has followed a pattern familiar to many black
South African miners: he exchanged a marginal existence of
peasant farming in his home village for low-paid labour
underground before being forced back onto the land.

His life has come full circle but he has broken the cycle of
grinding subsistence by moving from staple crops for family
consumption to small-scale fruit production for commercial sale,
a business that was, until recently, far out of reach.

Oct 10, 2013

South Africa proposes rules for fracking shale gas

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 10 (Reuters) – South Africa’s cabinet on
Thursday proposed new regulations to govern exploration for
shale gas, an important step in opening up an industry that
could provide new energy supplies for Africa’s largest economy.

South Africa last year lifted a moratorium on shale gas
exploration in its Karoo region, where fracking might tap what
is believed to be some of the world’s biggest reserves of the
energy source.

    • 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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