From Reuters UK
Peter Somakhephu’s life has followed a pattern familiar to many black South African miners: he exchanged a marginal existence of peasant farming in his home village for low-paid labor underground before being forced back onto the land.
His life has come full circle but he has broken the cycle of grinding subsistence by moving from staple crops for family consumption to small-scale fruit production for commercial sale, a business that was, until recently, far out of reach.
His example may hold promise for some of the tens of thousands of miners set to lose their jobs in coming years, a new wave of unemployment that will fuel tensions in the countryside and in the grim shanty-towns that ring the mines.
Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats) move to cut 3,300 jobs to restore profits sparked a 13 day-strike by miners desperate for work in a country where four out of ten adults, and more than half of the youth, have none.
It ended on Thursday after Amplats agreed to give the workers voluntary severance packages instead of laying them off.
Read more at uk.reuters.com