Steven Tau
1 minute read
26 Jun 2014
6:00 am

Marikana families elated strike is over

Steven Tau

Residents of Marikana outside Rustenburg were all smiles yesterday, as their husbands and relatives were returning to work for the first time following the almost five-month-long strike in the platinum sector.

FILE PICTURE: Mineworkers walk to a bus. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Nosiphiwe Mehlawa could not hide her excitement, saying she was beyond happy that the strike officially ended on Tuesday following the signing of a three-year wage agreement between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and platinum producers.

“I really don’t know what to say or do because of the excitement,” said Mehlawa.

“I am glad that our lives will now return to normal, as our children were unable to even go to school, especially when it was very cold, because their school shoes were worn out.”

She said her husband will also be able to buy food for her and the kids who were battling to concentrate at school as a result of the strike, adding that they will be able to make payment plans with furniture stores where they bought goods on credit.

Another resident, Mmabatho Foulo, said she was happy that a solution had been found.

“The past five months have been very tough, because at times one had to go to bed without food and it was really sad to see the children hungry,” Foulo added.

Meanwhile, mineworkers were seen undergoing medical tests for their eyes and hearts at Lonmin’s Andrew Saffy Memorial Hospital.

Nurses at the hospital were also there to check on whether some workers were taking their HIV/Aids and TB treatments, as many of them went home during the strike.

Food parcels were also handed out to mineworkers.

Small business owners had already started setting up their stalls.