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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: Over 250 Bakubung Platinum Mine workers stage illegal sit-in underground

Wesizwe has not stated the number of employees but said they refused to surface at the end of their shift on Wednesday.

A group of Wesizwe Platinum workers believed to be more than 250 miners have staged an illegal sit-in underground over wages at the company’s Bakubung Platinum Mine outside Rustenburg.

Wesizwe has not stated the number of employees but said they refused to surface at the end of their shift on Wednesday.

“Demands have been made by the participating employees. Management together with local union representatives are engaging with the purpose of returning all employees to surface.”

Watch July Radibe speak about the sit-in at the Bakubung Mine

Speaking to The Citizen, July Radibe, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Rustenburg Regional Chairperson said they want to engage with mine management over their demands.


The miners are demanding salary increases and a review of the mine’s pregnancy policy.

“We stepped in and assisted members when they were embarking on an unprotected strike based on the wage demand and the other issues that are of bargaining.

“So, what provoked our members to stage underground is that we have a peace accord that we got a month or two months ago that the CCMA says the Bakubung management and NUM go and sit around the table and entertain issues or the demand [by the ] employees. Since then till now we’ve been trying to get hold of the management and with no luck,” Radibe said.

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Radibe said its members want the basic salary of miners to start at R16,000.

“That is the demand of our members and, and based on the market. They have not put an offer on the table. We’ve been struggling to get them on the table so they’ve not put the offer on the table, they don’t even want to start with these negotiations.”


At the end of November, Wesizwe’s share price fell by more than 13% after the company announced that its subsidiary Bakubung Minerals would start consultations with organised labour and other stakeholders on the possible restructuring of the mine operations, according to Mining Weekly.

Wesizwe said up to 571 employees could potentially be retrenched, since continuing with the current headcount of 761 employees would not be reasonable if Bakubung is to be placed on a path of profitability and growth.

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