The first day of the 100 000-strong strike by members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) went off without major incidents of violence, Police said.
“No serious incidents have been reported and we want to urge and request everybody to remain calm, disciplined and avoid any action that may lead to criminal prosecution,” SAPS’s Lieutenant Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said.
The strike, which stalled production at the three largest platinum producers – Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin yesterday, has showed early gains, as the CEOs agreed to meet with AMCU leadership for talks to be mediated by the government today.
The union is demanding a R12 500 entry level salary per month.
A Joint Operational Centre (JOC), which has been established in Rustenburg, will ensure that the protected strike is conducted in a peaceful manner and within the ambit of the law.
Parties to the strike and the mining companies that are affected are continuously engaging in the JOC in order to ensure that the strike is peaceful, says Mokgwabone.
He urged everybody, especially those who are part of the strike and AMCU leadership, to make sure that all exercise restraint and that the provisions of the law are observed at all times.
Mokgwabone said the deployed public order police and establishment of the JOC are done with a view to prevent crime, protect lives and properties as well as maintain public order.
“AMCU leadership must assist the police by talking to their members and by ensuring that acts of intimidation, assaults or damage to the property are not only avoided but that they are strongly sanctioned by the Union.”
He said police will act decisively against those who want to break the law, including those who may want to take this opportunity to commit crime.