280 Bakubung Platinum Miners Stage Sit-In Underground, Mzansi Questions Location: “Is Not Make Sure”

280 Bakubung Platinum Miners Stage Sit-In Underground, Mzansi Questions Location: “Is Not Make Sure”

  • 280 Bakubung Platinum Mine workers refused to resurface after their shift on 6 December
  • The miners went on a sit-in to address the various labour-related issues they were facing, like retrenchments and discrimination
  • South Africans believed that they could have chosen a safer location to do their sit-in

Tebogo Mokwena, Briefly News's current affairs journalist, offered coverage of current affairs and societal issues during his seven years at Daily Sun and Vutivi Business News.

Miners at the Bakubung Platinum mine in Rustenburg staged a sit-in underground, confusing South Africans
South Africans questioned why Bakubung Mineworkers chose to do a sit-in underground, which perplexed them. Image: andresr and Sean Anthony Eddy
Source: Getty Images

Almost 300 workers at the Bakubung Platinum Mine in Rustenburg in the North West protested by staging a sit-in underground. The workers, 280 in total, refused to surface after they completed their shift on 6 December. They are said to be protesting because the mine reportedly wants to fire 500 workers, and the mine has allegedly terminated pregnant workers' contracts. While in agreement with the sit-in, South Africans questioned why they had to conduct a sit-in underground.

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Miners stage sit-in

According to SABC News, the sit-in came after the employees went on an unprotected strike for one month to protest against Bakubung's alleged policy that pregnant workers' contracts would be terminated. The National Union of Mineworkers' regional chairperson, Joel Sefali, said the union attempted to communicate with the mine about the issues they raised. In response, the mine's management allegedly said they would engage the miners on 12 December next week, a date they feel is too far.

Mzansi asked questions about the sit-in's location

South Africans on Facebook questioned the logic of staging a sit-in underground.

Kayakazi Dasi wrote:

“I don’t mind the sit-in. It’s the location I’m worried about.”

Comeon Thabang SenatleSeepamere exclaimed:

“Ai, the location of the sit-in protest is not make sure.”

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Eunice Jabulile Matsepe was disappointed:

“People lose their lives in Impala, and then here are Bakubung miners who choose to stage a sit-in underground.”

Cedric Racochi opined:

“They will regret this stupid idea. I’ve seen a couple of mines closing down because of stupid decisions like this.”

Zhapelo Mkhonto responded to him:

“Mines can’t close because of strikes.”

Yase Malalana Vangomfazi suggested:

“Couldn’t you maybe stage a sit-in on top rather than underground?”

Naas Le Roux was worried.

“In an unsafe mine environment? It’s not a clever idea.”

11 miners died after Implats Mine shaft accident

Similarly, Briefly News reported that more than 11 workers died and 100 were trapped underground after a conveyor belt transporting Implats Mineworkers to and from the shaft snapped and broke.

The miners were on their way out of the shaft when the belt broke, trapping scores of people underground and killing more than 11 South Africans. They mourned the loss and exclaimed that mining is a dangerous occupation.

Source: Briefly News

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