South Africa faces wave of strikes

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Gold workers on strike in South Africa as a spate of wildcat miners’ strikes spreads to other sectors. The walk outs are now escalating the labor unrest that has become a major headache for South African President Jacob Zuma.

Now mineworkers in the platinum, gold and coal sectors are demanding more money.

(SOUNDBITE) (Isizulu) STRIKING MINE WORKER, SIBUSISO NTJIMA, SAYING:

“All we want is money. We have been waiting for that money since 2003. We want it and there is no turning back.”

The spreading labor unrest has raised fears the country could see a repeat of the stand-off with police at Lonmin’s platinum mine in August that led to the shooting of 34 miners.

That was South Africa’s bloodiest security incident since the end of apartheid in 1994. An official commission has started a probe into the killings this week.

As many as 75,000 miners, or 15 percent of the South African mining sector’s total workforce, are already out on strikes.

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