Post # 1
Shocked to see the violence that resulted in South Africa against the platinum miners which resulted in 32 dead. I know a lot of Bees are ethically opposed to “blood diamonds” so I am wondering if platinum will go the same way. I didn’t really know where platinum came from or the conditions that the miners worked in, looks like this is less than ideal too. Different stats on different sites but it looks like the majority of platinum (between 41-80%, depending on which website) indeed comes from South Africa. Can’t they just mine something without taking advantage of the employees? Will this influence your use of platinum? I’m not judging anyone, just curious what other Bees think.
Post # 3
Googling so I can be educated before responding.
Post # 4
Anything that is dug from the earth hurts someone or something, whether it be humans or the environment. I’m a recycled metal/moissy gal through and through!
Post # 5
@axeyourmakeupkit: I had no idea about platinum until I saw the news reports on this tragedy. So sad. I just don’t understand why they can’t profitably mine something WHILE providing their employees with decent working conditions.
Post # 6
I understand trying to be as ethical as possible, but I find the obsession rather strange considering there are so many other products we use on a daily basis that are created in part with products from unethical mining. Cell phones are a key example.
I’m just against platinum because it costs too much darn money.
Post # 7
I think it’s really hard to buy ethically. Who thinks twice about buying something that was made in China? Things have improved there a lot in the past fifteen years, but people still didn’t think to check back then. What about your clothing? Where does it come from? Who made your shoes?
For that matter, there may be platinum in your computer. It’s used in car parts (specifically a catalytic converter), fiber optic cables, etc. How do you avoid it?
Then again, I generally don’t believe boycotts work. I may not buy platinum, but someone else will, whether it’s to make a ring or a electronic device. Palladium has the same problems that platinum does, and as long as there are ethical sources, there’s no rush to find another metal to do the job so there’s always the risk that the wrong sources will get through.
Post # 8
I’m saddened to hear…..however I’m also saddened that there really is no such thing as “Ethical” these days!
Post # 9
I am from South Africa. The truth about this is that the strikers gathered with pangas (South African spear-like weapons). The police tried to disperse them with teargas but they started opening fire on the police. They butchered 2 security guards to death. The police were protecting themselves. The papers have leapt on the sensationalism. It’s insane. The strikers were protesting because they wanted a salary of R12 000, which is the equivalent of a highly skilled job in this country. Teachers and policemen don’t get nearly as much. They are earning half this, and they have decided they want double and will be violent and hurt people to get it. They have no idea how the world works.
It is a very sensitive polictical issue and should not be dumbed down to police brutality. This strike has been going on for over a week and during the weekas well “two police officers [were] battered to death by strikers and two mine security guards burned alive when strikers set their vehicle ablaze”.
We have no sympathy for them here, their level of disrespect for human life is astounding. Why the papers choose the police brutality route I have no idea. Makes me wonder how many other ‘atrocities’ are misreported from Africa.
Post # 10
I was curious to look into the matter more, and it seems like mass media has completely distorted the story to make it seem like a ruthless attack on platinum miners.
In my opinion, this event shouldn’t prevent anyone from buying platinum. If you worried about miner’s working conditions, you probably wouldn’t ever buy a precious stone/metal in the first place!
Post # 11
@JellyFeet: Thank you for sharing this insight and point of view.
Post # 12
@JellyFeet: wow. Bad situation.
Post # 13
I’m sorry if I sounded a bit harsh – so many people were hurt and killed so that YES the level of brutality does seem high (and I guess it is). However when people strike in this country, they don’t do it legally. They burn rubbish bins, they break people’s car windows, throw bricks at drivers by, steal from harmless vendors who are selling products they make on the side of the road… The criminal element is large.
This was just an excessive form of that. They were THERE for violence. They were armed. They opened fire, and the police were unprepared and probably panicked.
I’m sure mining bosses don’t give their employees free lunch and silk cushions but they are not oppressed. They earn a fair salary. Demanding DOUBLE that salary and then acting like a petulant child with a WEAPON in tow when you can’t have it is just bullshit.
Post # 14
Is R12000 the salary per year? Because I would defiantely protest about that as it is only $1300 in Australian dollars where as miners here get an average of $60K at the lowest level but most are on more than $100K with much better working conditions and health and safety.
So whilst they are pulling out one of the worlds most expensive metals out of the ground for a pittance in bad conditions the companies are reaping in mega bucks. Sounds really fair to me- no wonder they are frustrated and pissed off. Not saying violence is the answer but you have to see where they are coming from!
And lets be fair but the South African police do not have a great history of non-violence especially against protesters so is it really suprising that protesters might be armed?
Post # 15
@j_jaye: Per month. R12000 per year is illegal.
You cannot compare the SA police now vs apartheid SA, they are 2 kettles of fish.
Post # 16
@jellyfeet – I’m also south african – thank you for putting my thoughts into words so well…
Yes, the loss of life is tragic but the culture of protest in this country is ridiculous!
They wanted a 100% salary increase! Where in the world does that ever happen?!