Jean-Jacques Cornish

SA platinum miners’ strike ends

The five month strike crippling production in the world’s biggest platinum producer has ended.

The miners, who’ve been out since January, could be back at work by tomorrow (Wednesday).

South Africa’s labour court’s ruled that the union making this announcement is not permitted to extend its industrial action to the gold sector.

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President of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Joseph Matunjwa made the much-awaited announcement that his syndicate has dropped its demands blocking signature on a wage agreement reached in principle ten days ago.

Matunjwa received an enthusiastic response from assembled members, representing some 70 000 workers from three of the world’s largest platinum mines, when he asked if he should ink this agreement today.

It binds the union for three years and falls short of the 840 euro monthly wage they were demanding.

Matunjwa describes is a good start in the miners’ battle to end slave wages and poor working conditions.

He hailed as a victory the reinstatement of 236 emergency service workers sacked during the strike.

He maintains that his union has changed the face of the mining industry for all time and that it has achieved in five months what other unions have failed to do in 20 years.

Minerals minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi has welcome the end of the strike.



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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.