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South Africa to crack down on striking miners

Striking South African miners.

PRETORIA — South Africa’s government has announced a raft of measures to clamp down on continuing unrest in the mining sector.

It warned it would crack down “very swiftly” on anyone involved in an illegal gathering or carrying weapons.

However, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said that this did not amount to a state of emergency.

The move came as striking workers at the Marikana platinum mine rejected a pay offer from the management and some unions threatened a general strike.

The mining unrest has been marked by violent clashes, including the shooting dead of 34 striking miners by police at Marikana in August. The unrest has since spread to other gold and platinum mines in South Africa – a major exporter of precious minerals.

Production has been severely hit with several mines closed. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan today warned that the continuing unrest could hurt economic growth, jobs and investor confidence in Africa’s biggest economy.

The new measures were announced following a meeting of ministers representing the security cluster in President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet. (BBC)

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