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South Africa strikes hit farms

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 01:34

Nov.14 - Workers at South Africa's platinum mines are expected to go back to work after Amplats offered a better deal but in the wine region, a man was reported dead as farmers clashed with police. Joanne Nicholson reports

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Five people have been injured and one is reportedly dead after farm workers clashed with police in Western Cape province. It's the latest in a wave of violent unrest among South African workers. Teargas and rubber bullets were used on the farmers who've been on strike for a week in the wine making region. They're demanding a wage increase from 10 dollars a day to 18. It was in South Africa's gold and platinum mines where the, now nationwide, problems began. 50 died during wildcat strikes and the problems continue. Anglo American Platinum has given strikers a deadline to return to work after increasing their wages. But despite the deal miners remain frustrated. (SOUNDBITE) (Zulu) MINERS REPRESENTATIVE, SPHAMANDLA MAKHANYA, SAYING: "Next year we are going to mobilise strikes across all the mines. The miners are angry: they say they will take the offer but they will be negotiating for a better offer next year." Over 30,000 workers have been striking and Amplats says it expects company earnings to fall by at least 20 percent this year. Economist, Nalla Mohammed, says the platinum sector needs to adjust. .(SOUNDBITE) (English) ECONOMIC ANALYST, NALLA MOHAMMED, SAYING: "The fact of the matter is that structurally if you look at that sector the mix is going have to change, and this labour unrest really means that either we have to start working towards a mechanised approach to the platinum sector or to the mining sector which doesn't bode well for jobs." Global supply is expected to hit an 11-year low. And if the slump continues, workers may end up losing the jobs they're trying to improve.

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South Africa strikes hit farms

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 01:34

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