Impala lifts suspensions of workers involved in wildcat strike

The management of Impala Bafokeng Mine in Rustenburg has lifted the suspensions of 38 workers.

The workers were accused of instigating an underground sit-in at the company based in the North West’s platinum belt.

This was confirmed by the National Union of Mineworkers on Monday evening.

“The NUM is pleased to announce that Impala Bafokeng Platinum management has agreed to withdraw the suspensions that were issued to the 38 employees who were seen to have been the face of workers who staged a sit-in underground last year at the mine,” said the union’s Rustenburg regional sectary, Geoffrey Moatshe.

Immediate payment of pensions

In December, the company’s 2 205 workers went on a wildcat strike. They were up in arms against tax deductions on bonus payment. They also wanted the company to immediately pay out their retirement funds as the company’s ownership recently changed hands.

“It was through the engagements and efforts of the NUM that the company acceded to our demand to withdraw the suspensions.

The employer has agreed to revisit and re-engage the union on all issues that were covered in the demands raised by the workers once the situation has stabilised. In the meantime, the NUM calls on all its members to go back to work.

“All other issues would be further communicated once the employer has put them in writing tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.”

Gold reef workers in limbo

Though this could be seen as big victory for Num and the workers at the company, it will serve as cold comfort for union member in Gauteng’s gold reef who were fired being involved in another mine sit-in.

This after Gold One Modder East Mine in Springs, Ekurhuleni, dismissed four hundred mineworkers after they were involved in two hostage situations that took place at the mine in 2023.

This was confirmed by the mine’s head of legal Ziyaad Hassam confirmed this to Sunday World on Monday.

Hassam said 140 employees are currently on suspension for their participation in the October and December hostage situations.

“At this point in time, around 401 employees have been dismissed. A further 140 employees are on suspension and their disciplinary hearings are likely to take place within the next week.

“The dismissals are related to both the October and December hostage situations. So that is a combined figure,” he said.

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