AFRICA/SOUTH AFRICA - Agreement reached for the Marikana mine, but more unrest in other mines is feared: Bishop Dowling’s opinion

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) - "We have to wait and see what the workers’ reaction will be from other mines in the area to understand if the agreement reached yesterday will bring peace," said to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Kevin Dowling, Bishop of Rustenburg (South Africa), following the agreement reached yesterday, 18 September, between the Lonmin company that operates the platinum mine in Marikana (the scene of the massacre on 16 August when the police killed 34 demonstrators) and union representatives. The agreement, which marks the end a-6-week strike, provides wage increases between 11 and 22% and a prize of two thousand rand (190 euro) for the miners who will go back to work tomorrow,
"We really hope that the situation will calm down after so much suffering. These weeks have been terrible, "said Mgr. Dowling. "Nevertheless this agreement sets a precedent for the other mines, we must see if the companies operating them will be willing to make concessions on this scale," notes the Bishop.
There is a risk that other miners move ahead similar requirements to those of the miners in the Marikana mine. And now there is no news in this regard, as reported by Mgr. Dowling: "I just heard on the radio that the police arrested the participants in an illegal protest in the mine of the Anglo American Platinum, near Rustenburg. It is therefore to be expected that new tensions will happen." (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 19/09/2012)