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May 29, 2014

Mining retains iron grip on South African economy

NYANDENI, South Africa May 29 (Reuters) – Mining accounts
for a fraction of South Africa’s gross domestic product but
still hits well above its weight and is pushing the continent’s
most advanced economy towards recession.

South Africa’s economy shrank 0.6 percent in the first
quarter of this year, data showed this week, the first quarterly
contraction since a recession in 2009 as mining output plummeted
amid a protracted strike in the platinum sector.

May 29, 2014

South Africa’s mines minister: from hunter to strike buster

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – In his spare time, South Africa’s tough new mines minister, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, enjoys stalking game with a rifle in the wild bush of his native Limpopo province.

Hunting season is in full swing but Ramatlhodi has his eye on bigger game: a solution to a crippling platinum strike, the longest in the history of the country’s mines, which threatens to tip Africa’s most advanced economy into recession.

May 28, 2014

South Africa mines minister vows to break strike deadlock

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s new mines minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said on Wednesday that the deadlock in the country’s crippling 18-week platinum strike would soon be broken as movement has been made on both sides.

Ramatlhodi appointed a government team on Wednesday to try and resolve the wage stoppage by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) at the world’s top platinum producers. The team will meet the companies and union on Thursday at an undisclosed location.

May 26, 2014

Untested new South Africa mines minister faces baptism of fire

JOHANNESBURG, May 26 (Reuters) – South African President
Jacob Zuma’s appointment of a new mines minister unfamiliar to
the sector but known for his black empowerment views adds
uncertainty to prospects for ending a crippling four-month-old
platinum strike this is hurting growth.

The stoppage at Anglo American Platinum, Impala
Platinum and Lonmin is already the longest in
the country’s history and has damaged Africa’s most advanced
economy.

May 22, 2014

Workers flee to safe houses on South Africa’s strike-hit platinum belt

RUSTENBURG, South Africa, May 22 (Reuters) – The chanting
began around midnight, a chilling message through the cold of
the early South African winter to those who had dared to cross
the picket lines at platinum producer Lonmin.

“The rats must come out of their holes. We are going to kill
this NUM,” the crowd chanted as it approached the home of
‘Mary’, a member of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) who
had kept working at Lonmin when the rival Association of
Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) was on strike.

May 19, 2014

Platinum firm Lonmin says ‘bleeding’ from South Africa strike

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON (Reuters) – South African platinum miner Lonmin has lost a third of its annual production due to an industry strike over wages which its chief executive described as a “bleeding” that might lead to the company’s death if not stopped in time.

South Africa’s longest and costliest mining strike turned violent this month, with four miners killed as more employees tried to report for work at the world’s top platinum producers.

May 19, 2014

Platinum firm Lonmin says “bleeding” from S.Africa strike

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON, May 19 (Reuters) – South African
platinum miner Lonmin has lost a third of its annual
production due to an industry strike over wages which its chief
executive described as a “bleeding” that might lead to the
company’s death if not stopped in time.

South Africa’s longest and costliest mining strike turned
violent this month, with four miners killed as more employees
tried to report for work at the world’s top platinum producers.

May 16, 2014

South Africa’s strike-hit Implats says violence is ‘devastating’

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Impala Platinum described on Friday as “devastating” the impact on its employees of a 16-week strike at its main South African operation in Rustenburg and said it had lost more than $500 million in revenue.

The company signaled it expects the strike to drag on.

“The human tragedy that is unfolding as a result of our employees not earning any income and the violence and intimidation being experienced on the platinum belt is devastating,” it said in its third-quarter production report.

May 16, 2014

S.Africa’s strike-hit Implats says violence is “devastating”

JOHANNESBURG, May 16 (Reuters) – Impala Platinum
described on Friday as “devastating” the impact on its employees
of a 16-week strike at its main South African operation in
Rustenburg and said it had lost more than $500 million in
revenue.

The company signaled it expects the strike to drag on.

“The human tragedy that is unfolding as a result of our
employees not earning any income and the violence and
intimidation being experienced on the platinum belt is
devastating,” it said in its third-quarter production report.

May 13, 2014

Technology trumps tradition in bid to end South Africa mine strike

MTHATHA, South Africa (Reuters) – When the world’s top three platinum firms opted to tackle South Africa’s worst mining strike by sidestepping the militant AMCU union, they faced a huge logistical challenge: how to contact 70,000 men spread across the country and cowed by violence.

With many workers sitting out the four-month strike at home in rural areas such as the Eastern Cape, the answer was a two-pronged approach combining ancient and modern – a reflection of the split personality of Africa’s most developed economy.

    • 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:
      1995
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