SACP calls for end to platinum sector strike

Party expresses grave concern at intimidation, torture, violence and killings that continue to take place

SACP calls for immediate resolution and an end to the strike in the platinum belt

The South African Communist Party is gravely concerned with, and also strongly condemns, the intimidation, torture, violence and killings that continue to take place in the Rustenburg platinum belt. This violence is perpetrated by groupings from or implanted amongst the striking workers against other workers. Unfortunately, there is deafening silence by those who had pretended to be concerned about killing of workers before.

The SACP calls for an end to the strike: the mining bosses must engage genuinely with all the affected parties, and ensure that a collective bargaining agreement is reached with immediate effect. Instead of being intransigent, the mining corporations, which have previously made billions of Rands, must appreciate the plight of the workers by improving their working and living conditions through decent work, including better wages and benefits. But the SACP also calls upon the trade unions involved to stop gambling with the lives and jobs of the workers. Such unguided militancy has the potential to lead to job losses and roll back the many gains made by mine workers especially since 1994. 

The SACP further calls upon workers not to be used in turning against other workers. On the 16th August 2012, 34 workers were killed and 78 wounded when police opened fire in a violent strike. Prior to this tragic incident, between 10-12 August, 10 workers including 2 police officers had been brutally killed by groupings from or implanted among striking workers. However, others were unprincipled in their condemnations; they ignored the 10 workers who were killed on 10-12 August coupled with the violence that was being unleashed to forge the emergence and growth of new union in the area. Similarly these opportunists are silent at the continuing intimidation, violence and killings of workers by other workers. With some few exceptions, unfortunately the media has also turned a blind eye on this violence.

The Communist Party supports the struggles of the workers against exploiters in every encounter, but cautions against the conversion of tactical instruments in collective bargaining engagements into a strategic goal. The Party calls on workers to take heed of demagogic forces who seek to entrench themselves by inflating expectations about the potential of collective bargaining, polarising workers against workers, and thereby weakening working class unity in our national democratic revolution and the struggle for socialism - the real solution to the problem of exploitation.

Statement issued by the SACP, May 25 2014

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