Expatica news

Fresh offer in S.Africa platinum strike

South Africa’s mining ministry and a platinum union Tuesday confirmed a government-brokered wage offer to end a four-month strike as talks with producers continue.

“We have taken our proposal to the union and the companies, but I cannot divulge its contents,” said Mineral Resources spokesman Mahlodi Muofhe.

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) treasurer Jimmy Gama confirmed “there is an offer which has been put forward by the Department of Mineral Resources.

“We are currently discussing it with them,” he told AFP, declining to elaborate on the details.

Local media reported that a mediation team assembled by new mines minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi had suggested a 7.5 percent or 800 rand ($75, 55 euros) hike in monthly wages, backdated to 2013.

The figure is in line with that proposed by the world’s three biggest platinum firms, Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum.

Industry spokespeople were unavailable immediately for comment.

But workers instead are demanding that the minimum monthly basic wage be more than doubled to 12,500 rand ($1,160, 855 euro) by 2017.

The government stepped in last week after several rounds of mediation talks broke down since over 80,000 AMCU members downed tools on January 23.

The workers’ 12,500-rand wage demand was at the centre of the 2012 deadly strike at Lonmin, when police shot dead 34 mineworkers in one day.

The firms said last week that the strike — one of the longest in South Africa’s mining history — has cost them almost $2 billion in production revenue while workers have lost almost $840,000 in wages.