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Mining company Impala Platinum says all its mines in Rustenburg, North West, are fully operational except for the two Shafts that were affected by a sit in December.

Workers were supposed to report back for duty last night and this morning at the Impala Bafokeng Platinum mine in Rustenburg. However, Implats spokesperson Johan Theron says only 60 percent of workers turned up for work.

“We have got normal turnout across the operation. Except for the two shafts where we had a sit-in last year. The turnout today is around 60 percent. There are clearly unresolved issues from the sit-in. We have not received any formal complaint from the NUM or anything like that. But clearly, that process of the sit-in is still unresolved.”

Before the mine closed for the December holidays, over 2 000 workers embarked on an underground sit-in for three days at the mine. They were protesting over issues relating to workers’ pension funds and the employee share scheme.

Over the weekend, they held a protest action calling on mine management to withdraw the suspension notice given to some miners for allegedly taking part in the December underground sit-in.

The workers are accusing the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) of selling them out. This worker says, “We cannot go back to work before we can get our money for shares. That’s why we are staying here now. NUM and management are both one thing. We tried to stay underground but we failed. Now we are doing the strike, far from the shaft. From 2017, when we got a problem, NUM can’t stand with you it stands with management.”

Some workers have vowed never to return to work until their concerns are addressed. “Our money is going to NUM and its leaders, our children are going to bed hungry because of this union. We want our share’s money only. We are not going back until we get it…..We want money, give is out money, we are not going back to work until you give us our money,” the worker further explains.