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Lonmin mine deal sparks more unrest

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 01:42

Sept. 19 - South African police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters near a mine run by the world's biggest platinum producer Anglo American Platinum, as unrest spread after strikers at rival Lonmin won big pay rises. Andrew Potter reports

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A breakthrough in South Africa's mining dispute. Lonmin workers celebrate after their employer agreed to pay them up 22 percent more, following weeks of industrial action. But rather then calming unrest across the country's mining industry, the deal has antagonised other workers who've are waiting for their conditions to be improved. In the hours after the Lonmin decision, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up a crowd of protesters outside Anglo American Platinum, the world's largest producer of the precious metal. SOUNDBITE: STRIKING MINER, DIPOPE MOTLOGELWA, SAYING (English): "We are not going to work until we get our demand or either we can sit here and listen to what's the feedback." The pay deal will add an extra 13 percent to Lonmin's recurrent costs. Goolam Ballim is from Standard Bank. SOUNDBITE: STANDARD BANK GROUP CHIEF ECONOMIST, GOOLAM BALLIM, SAYING (English): "It is not just about month on month or year on year pay increases, but a realisation that the nominal levels matter too. And of course with aspirations for a middle-class lifestyle at the minimum for so many South Africans living on say 500 dollars a month tends to be quite a challenge." With the strike over, Lonmin shares initially shot up nearly ten percent, but slipped back as the reality of extra costs to the company which already has a shaky balance sheet set it. South African president Jacob Zuma expressed relief at the breakthough, which comes after 34 striking miners were shot dead by police at Lonmin's Marikana mine in the bloodiest incident since the end of Apartheid. Andrew Potter, Reuters

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Lonmin mine deal sparks more unrest

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 01:42