South Africa’s mining strike could end this week: mines minister

admin   •   June 5, 2014   •   2180

Miners on strike chant slogans as they march in Nkaneng township outside the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg May 14, 2014.
CREDIT: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO

(Reuters) – South Africa’s new mining minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said he hoped to resolve the strike in the platinum sector this week, and union AMCU was also optimistic the five-month stoppage that has crippled mine output could be nearing an end.

About 70,000 AMCU members downed tools in January at Impala Platinum, Anglo American Platinum and Lonmin, cutting 40 percent of global production of the precious metal used for emissions-capping catalytic converters in automobiles.

Ramatlhodi’s task team, charged with resolving the longest strike in South African mining history, was due to sit down with the management of the three platinum firms on Wednesday, a day after meeting Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) leaders.

“We are hoping to have it (strike) end by the end of this week,” Ramatlhodi told Reuters. “Its a work in progress, but so far so good.”

Earlier, AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa said the latest round of talks “went well”, while a newspaper reported the union had agreed to a government wage proposal.

Business Report newspaper, citing an unnamed source close to the government negotiating team, said AMCU had accepted a wage hike slightly less than its current “living wage” demand.

The union wants 12,500 rand ($1,163) a month as a basic minimum wage to be achieved in four years.

The companies have offered pay increases of up to 10 percent, which would raise the overall minimum pay package to 12,500 rand by July 2017, although this includes cash allowances for necessities such as housing.

Impala Platinum spokesman Johan Theron said the companies were ready to respond to the government recommendations, but did not provide any details.

Ramatlhodi said he was hoping to get the union and the companies around the negotiation table by the end of Thursday after meeting with them separately.

Ramatlhodi has been praised by the hardline union for his readiness to resolve the strike in his first week in office after numerous rounds of talks fell apart. “Attitudes have hardened because of the length of the strike but slowly we are moving forward,” Ramatlhodi said.

($1 = 10.74 rand)

(Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa and Susan Thomas)

Philippines turns over Miss Universe crown to South Africa

Marje Pelayo   •   December 9, 2019

Newly crowned Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi

MANILA, Philippines – Two years after winning the Miss Universe crown, South Africa has it again as the Philippines’ Catriona Gray returned the title to Zozibini Tunzi during the coronation night on Sunday (December 8) at Atlanta, Georgia in the United States.

The 26-year old model and beauty queen has been vocal about her struggles for education during her childhood before realizing her potential in modelling until finally graduating from college.

Tunzi eloquently answered the common question asked among the three finalists: “What is the most important thing you’d be teaching young girls today?”

Here is Tunzi’s winning answer:

“I think the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership. It is something that had been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time not because we don’t want to but because of what society has labeled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings on the world and that we should be given every opportunity and that is what we should be teaching these young girls – to take up space. Nothing is as important as taking up space in the society and cementing yourself.”

Madison Anderson of Puerto Rico came 1st Runner Up while Sofía Aragón of Mexico was hailed the 2nd Runner up.

Tunzi is the third woman from South Africa to win the title with Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in 2017 and Margaret Hardiner in 1978.

In 2018, Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green landed 1st Runner up to Catriona Gray in the pageant finals.

#KFCProposal: This couple got mocked by a journalist, then social media came to their rescue

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 9, 2019

A video of a couple getting engaged at a KFC branch in South Africa has gone viral on social media. One journalist mocked them on Twitter, calling the guy “broke” for proposing in a fast food restaurant.

However, the internet will not have any of that negativity.

via GIPHY

When the fast food restaurant stumbled upon the post, they immediately took action and offered to sponsor their wedding.

Netizens helped track down the couple. Eventually other big brands such as Coke and SA Audi among others joined the buzz offering free services for the couple’s wedding. Even the bands that will be performing on their special day are by famous artists.

Kateka Malobola, who filmed and posted the original clip expressed his delight in a follow up video at how things turned out for the couple.

#KFCProposal became one of the top trending topics on Twitter and everyone is sending good vibes and best wishes to the couple.—AAC

Iraqis defy tear gas, upcoming curfew as protests stretch on

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

 Iraqi protesters react after police fired tear gas at them during a protest at al-Tahrir square, central Baghdad, Iraq, 28 October 2019. EPA-EFE/MURTAJA LATEEF

Thousands of people in Baghdad continued their protests at Tahrir Square in central Baghdad on Monday (October 28), defying a curfew scheduled to be imposed from midnight until 6am (2100GMT to 0300 GMT).

Protesters took to the streets for a fourth day, despite having endured bloody clashes over the weekend and an overnight raid by security forces seeking to disperse them.

At least 74 Iraqis were killed and hundreds wounded across the country on Friday (October 25) and Saturday (October 26) as demonstrators clashed with security forces and militia groups in the second wave of this month’s protests against Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government.

More than 200 people have been killed in October so far.

Iraqi security forces on Monday fired tear gas at school and university students who defied a warning from the prime minister and joined anti-government protests.

A spokesman for Abdul Mahdi, whose position is increasingly precarious as he faces the largest challenge since he came to power a year ago, said on Sunday (October 27) that anyone disrupting work or school days would be severely punished.

Mass street protests in Baghdad and other cities in the southern Shi’te heartland against economic hardship began at the start of the month and resumed on Friday after a pause of about two weeks. (Reuters)

READ: DFA cautions Filipinos against travel to Iraq

(Production: Haider Kadhim, Mohammed Al-Ramahi, Mohammed Katfan, Hannah Ellison)

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