The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) says an attempt to avoid a strike at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has failed and workers will not be reporting for duty until the company halts the retrenchments of 4800 workers.
Union leaders are meeting with mine bosses in Johannesburg this morning as thousands of Amplats employees gather at the Thembelani and Khuseleka shafts in the North West.
Amcu President Joseph Mathunjwa says talks will continue with Amplats while the strike continues.
"We differ over a few issues. The employer so far remains adamant. We are available to meet with them tomorrow again. The strike has already started."
On Thursday, North West police met with Amcu to set out picketing rules.
The Mine Crime Combating Forum will keep an eye on the protesters to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Meanwhile, Amplats has warned the miners that the strike will cause more damage than good.
The mine has already started serving thousands of workers with retrenchment notices.