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South Africa: Families anxiously wait outside underground mine protest

Colleagues of mineworkers taking part in an underground protest sit near the north shaft of Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine near Rustenburg on December 19, 2023.   -  
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PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP or licensors

South Africa

Anxious families wait outside the Bafokeng Rasimone platinum mine near Rustenberg as an underground protest by more than 2,200 miners enters its second day.

Desperate families waited on the surface on Tuesday for news of the platinum miners occupying two shafts in one of South Africa's biggest mining protests in years.

The protest started on Monday about 500 meters below the surface, but Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats) said 63 miners came up during the night in the difficult conditions.

Ambulances were seen taking some of the workers away.

The company has suspended all work at the mine because of what it said was an illegal underground protest. Implats warned it would take firm action against employees who behave illegally and commit criminal acts.

The miners are demanding promised bonuses and pension payments, and some said they had already been suspended before the protests began for holding unauthorized work meetings.

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