Amadeusz Juskowiak

Black miners support s african mines takeover

Thousands of black mineworkers roared support for a union proposal to seize control of South Africas gold uranium platinum and coal mines if the owners refuse to improve conditions for migrant black workers

About 15000 miners attended a rally here to endorse moves proposed by last weeks annual meeting of the 200000 strong National Union of Mineworkers NUM

They also supported a proposal for a national strike at the end of this month if the owners refused to begin negotiations

Migrant workers from surrounding countries make up more than half of the labour force in the mines

It was not stated how the union would seize control

The miners leaders also demanded an end to the system of single sex hostels for migrant workers to be replaced by housing schemes so that workers could live with their families

The crowd one of the largest to attend a meeting since South Africa declared a state of emergency last June also shouted approval of a proposal to work closely with antiapartheid movements such as the United Democratic Front UDF which claims two mln members They also shouted their support for a demand that jailed black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela be released