JOHANNESBURG - About 2,300 South African mineworkers staged an underground sit-in at Anglo American Platinum's (Amplats) Dishaba mine, saying they will not leave until a suspended union leader is reinstated, the company said on Sunday.
“The sit-in is calm and no injuries have been reported,” Amplats, the world's top platinum producer said in a statement.
The company added the sit-in started early on Saturday morning following the suspension of an Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) shopsteward who Amplats said had breached safety regulations.
Earlier police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi had incorrectly told Reuters the workers were employed by Northam , the world's fifth largest platinum producer.
Amplats said it was in negotiation with the protesters to resolve the matter.
South Africa's platinum producers are bracing for more work stoppages as the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and its rival AMCU have threatened top producers Amplats, Impala Platinum and Lonmin with strikes which could affect at least half of global output.
The country was hit by wildcat strikes last year which dented economic growth, led to a credit downgrade and saw dozens being killed in the turf war between AMCU and the NUM.