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S African miners continue underground sit-in

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-11-11 11:36

JOHANNESBURG - Thousands of miners continued their sit-in underground at South Africa's Anglo-American Platinum (Amplats) in Limpopo Province on Sunday.

The miners are demanding that the company lift the suspension of a shop steward of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction.

The steward was suspended for breaching safety regulations, according to Amplats, the world's largest producer to platinum.

Police are at the scene investigating unconfirmed reports that some non-AMCU miners are being held hostages, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) said.

Families of the miners have travelled to the mine.

AMCU leaders are in talks with the miners underground at the Dishaba mine.

Some miners say those underground are starving and that security agents do not allow them to take food or water to the miners underground.

The media are barred from entering the mine.

This came after the Mining Forum called for greater efforts to stabilize the mining sector.

At a meeting in Pretoria earlier this week, the government, business and organized labor belonging to the forum assessed progress in the implementation of the Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry (FASMI), which was signed in July this year.

The agreement identifies short-term, medium-term and long-term measures required to stabilize South Africa's mining sector and place it on a sustainable footing.

The industrial action is the latest in a series battering the South African mining sector, particularly the Rustenburg platinum belt near Johannesburg.

Strike-related violence culminated in August last year when 44 people were killed, among them 34 shot dead by police.

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