Workers at three South Africa gold, chrome and coal mines have embarked on illegal industrial actions, the latest to spread across the strike-torn sector in the country in recent weeks, the companies said Friday.
Tens of thousands of workers -- the majority of them miners -- have gone on strike or failed to report for duty due to the labour unrest to hit the vital mining sector in South Africa since the Lonmin Marikana strike last month.
Violence at the Lonmin strikes left 46 dead, including 34 shot dead by police.
Gold producer Village Main Reef said in a statement that 1,700 of its employees had failed to report for duty on since Thursday night at its Blyvooruitzicht operations near Johannesburg.
Samancor Chrome said around 400 employees at its Western Chrome Mines operation "embarked on an illegal sit-in underground" on Thursday with fresh demands beyond the wage deal secured by unions.
The group emerged from the mine on Friday after the company agreed to talks.
A workers' committee spokesman at the chrome mine, Mametlwe Sebei, said that the company had turned off ventilation and water supplies to force the workers out.
The workers demanded a basic monthly salary of 12,500 rands ($1,500, 1,200 euros) he said, a figure that has become a rallying point for striking miners in the country.
Multi-commodity miner Petmin on Friday said 345 mining contractors had downed tools at its Tendele Coal Mining firm.
The striking group, employed by open cast contractor Sandton Plant Hire, operate from the Somkhele mine in eastern KwaZulu-Natal province.