South African Police Assault And Arrest Hanging Staff At Ekapa Diamond Mines

Nearly 700 staff employed on the Ekapa diamond mines in South Africa’s Northern Cape province started an indefinite strike on August 7. Organized by the Nationwide Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), staff have put down their instruments in rejection of “hunger wages.” 

On August 10, as staff have been picketing outdoors the mines, previously owned by the De Beers mining firm, police deployed water cannons and fired tear fuel in an try to disperse them. Police then proceeded to arrest 43 staff, NUMSA regional organizer Tshepo Mokhele, who was current on the picket, advised Peoples Dispatch. The employees have been granted bail on August 11. 

NUMSA issued a 48-hour strike discover to Ekapa on August 4. The corporate threatened to lock out staff in the event that they went forward with the motion, the union mentioned in an announcement on August 7. The putting staff, which embody everlasting, contractual, and trainee staff, signify over half of the 1,200 staff employed on the mine. 

Among the many key calls for being raised by the employees is a 17 p.c wage enhance and an entry stage wage of R17,500 ($930.2). Staff have additionally sought a one-off fee of ex gratia funds amounting to R10,000 ($530.1).

Based on NUMSA, the present entry stage wage is R5,700 ($302.9) monthly. For context, the price of a mean family meals basket for the month of July, as calculated by the Pietermaritzburg Financial Justice and Dignity group, stood at R5,082.94 ($270).