Employees hold unprotected sit-in at Sibanye's Kroondal mine

4th June 2024

By: Creamer Media Reporter


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Multinational mining and metals processing group Sibanye-Stillwater reported on June 4 that more than 200 employees remained underground in an illegal sit-in at its Kroondal mine.

The group said the sit-in started on the morning of June 3, with morning shift employees, including contractors, at the Kwezi shaft.

Later, the night shift at the K6 shaft was also disrupted, with more than 250 people gathering in a central waiting place on surface.

"This unfortunate turn of events transpired following the annual payments made to beneficiaries of the Rustenburg and Marikana employee share option schemes (ESOPs) on Friday.

"The striking Kroondal employees are reportedly aggrieved to not have received ESOP payments, despite Kroondal employees not yet qualifying for any ESOP payments," Sibanye pointed out.

A provision of the 2023 Kroondal wage agreement signed between the company and union representatives from the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union was for management and the unions to engage on the feasibility of introducing the Rustenburg ESOP for Kroondal employees once the acquisition of the Kroondal pool and share agreement (PSA) by Sibanye Rustenburg Platinum Mines (SRPM) was finalised.

Sibanye said several engagements have taken place between the company, organised labour and employees regarding the proposed ESOP as per the provision, with the parties agreeing that Kroondal employees would be included as beneficiaries of the Rustenburg ESOP, following the conclusion of the PSA transaction, which is expected before the 2024 year-end.

"The striking employees and their union representatives were well informed about the future date of inclusion into the Rustenburg ESOP," the group noted.

“We fully respect employees’ rights to raise their grievances as set out in agreed policies and procedures. The current illegal and unprotected strike, however, is disappointing and we appeal to all stakeholders, including employees, to follow the established grievance procedures and to refrain from illegal acts.

"At this time, the safety of our employees and contractors remains our top priority and we will undertake all necessary action to ensure their health and safety while underground. We are currently engaging with all relevant stakeholders to end this illegal action and wish to thank Kroondal employees who continue to contribute to safe production,” Sibanye Southern Africa chief regional officer Richard Stewart commented.


Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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