Africa

Thousands of miners mark South Africa shooting anniversary

  • Mine workers sit on a hill during the commemoration near Marikana in Rustenburg, South Africa, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. On August 16, 2012 police shot and killed 34 striking Lonmin miners, apparently while trying to disperse them and end their strike. Ten people, including two police officers and two Lonmin security guards, were killed in the preceding week. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    Mine workers sit on a hill during the commemoration near Marikana in Rustenburg, South Africa, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. On August 16, 2012 police shot and killed 34 striking Lonmin miners, apparently while trying to disperse them and end their strike. Ten people, including two police officers and two Lonmin security guards, were killed in the preceding week. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)  (The Associated Press)

  • A mine worker stands on a hill waiting for the commemoration to get under way in Marikana in Rustenburg, South Africa, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. On Aug. 16, 2012 police shot and killed 34 striking Lonmin miners, apparently while trying to disperse them and end their strike. Ten people, including two police officers and two Lonmin security guards, were killed in the preceding week. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    A mine worker stands on a hill waiting for the commemoration to get under way in Marikana in Rustenburg, South Africa, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. On Aug. 16, 2012 police shot and killed 34 striking Lonmin miners, apparently while trying to disperse them and end their strike. Ten people, including two police officers and two Lonmin security guards, were killed in the preceding week. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mine workers sing as they wait for the commemoration to get under way near Marikana in Rustenburg, South Africa, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. On August 16, 2012 police shot and killed 34 Lonmin striking miners, apparently while trying to disperse them and end their strike. Ten people, including two police officers and two Lonmin security guards, were killed in the preceding week. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    Mine workers sing as they wait for the commemoration to get under way near Marikana in Rustenburg, South Africa, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. On August 16, 2012 police shot and killed 34 Lonmin striking miners, apparently while trying to disperse them and end their strike. Ten people, including two police officers and two Lonmin security guards, were killed in the preceding week. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of mine workers have gathered around a rocky hill to mark the anniversary of the deadliest protest in South Africa in decades.

Four years ago, police shot dead 34 miners at Marikana who were striking over low pay and poor living conditions.

Miners say those conditions have not improved since the shooting shocked South Africa and again exposed the tensions between mining companies and black workers who are often migrants.

Tuesday's ceremony of remembrance was peaceful. Miners sang, danced and carried sticks.

Squalid living conditions without sewer systems or other basic services are a problem for mine workers across South Africa, whose economy was built on the mining industry.

Leaders of the country's most prominent opposition parties used the commemoration to appeal for justice.