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Exxaro coal workers in South Africa end strike

Workers at South Africa’s coal mining firm Exxaro on Saturday ended a nearly three week wildcat strike that threatened the electricity supply, the company said.

Over 3,000 workers at the firm’s five mines downed tools earlier this month demanding incentive bonuses for 2012, which were not paid due to unmet performance targets.

The decision to return to work was reached after they agreed to a short term incentive of 2,800 rand ($301, 232 euros) for the first quarter of 2013.

“In terms of the agreement, striking employees at the Matla, Arnot, Grootegeluk, Leeuwpan, Inyanda and Reductants operations will return to work on Monday, 25 March 2013,” the company said in a statement.

“As the striking employees did not achieve performance targets which would have entitled them to a 2012 incentive payment, the group was not prepared to reward these employees with additional payments.”

The company said it was pleased that a prolonged strike which could have affected the supply of coal to the state-owned energy company Eskom had been averted.

Exxaro is one of the leading suppliers to Eskom’s coal-fired power stations.