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Sipho Hlongwane Discusses the Possibility of More Strikes at Lonmin

Get Me StartedSipho Hlongwane, author of Get Me Started, has written a column for Business Day in which he discusses The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union’s (Amcu) plans for another strike at Lonmin mine.

Hlongwane offers reasons as to why this is happening again, despite the tragic results of the previous strike in 2012. “Were the violent, wildcat strikes of 2012 and the meetings and pacts and peace referendums signed afterwards not enough?” He notes: “It is worth remembering that Amcu committed to peace but didn’t sign the agreement.”

It says something about the atmosphere in the platinum mining sector that the news of rising stock prices, and an anticipated hike in the price of the commodity can actually signal bad news. But that is where we are at the moment.

We may see a new spate of strikes — this time, sanctioned by law — in the North West in the coming week if talks between various mining houses and unions fail. The market has reacted to the possibility of a supply squeeze as a result and has adjusted accordingly.

The Sunday Times Business Times reported that Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum, Lonmin and Northam all gained between 1.6% and 2.8% on Friday. This came after Northam apparently reached a wage deal to end a 77-day strike that had cost it R500m.

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