National

Amcu talks with platinum sector postponed

Meggan Saville

Talks aimed at resolving an Amcu strike on the platinum belt will resume on Monday and contine for three days.

Strikes on the platinum belt entered it second day, as negotiations have been postponed until Monday. (Gallo)

Talks to solve the Amcu march in the platinum sector would resume on Monday, the department of labour said.

Spokesperson Musa Zondi said: "[The parties] agreed to continue talking from Monday, for three days. Hopefully they will come to some kind of agreement."

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration would then facilitate talks between employers Impala Platinum, Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum, and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

Zondi said Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant and Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu, who were present at the start of the talks on Friday, would not attend on Monday.

The strike by the union at Impala, Lonmin and Anglo American Platinum entered its second day on Friday.

Amcu is pushing for an entry-level monthly salary of R12 500.

'Shared agreement'
Zondi said that at the CCMA talks on Friday an agenda for the way forward was reached by "shared agreement". Asked to elaborate on the agenda, he said: "R12 500, that's the first issue, obviously".

Security was tight at the CCMA offices and the media were kept in a holding room from 9am. Shortly before 11.30am, there was a photo opportunity as all parties sat down for the first time all together on Friday. No questions were allowed and no briefing was given in the few moments that the media were allowed into the negotiation room.

The media in the holding room were later informed that Amcu was holding a mini-caucus to decide whether they would talk to the employers as well as the ministers. The outcome of the mini-caucus was not communicated to the media.

Amplats chief executive Chris Griffith, Implats chief executve Terence Goodlace and Lonmin chief executive Ben Magara recently said a prolonged strike would probably further damage South Africa's reputation as an attractive business and investment destination.

Business Day on Friday reported analysts as saying that the platinum strike was one of the factors that weakened the rand against the US dollar.

On Thursday, the exchange rate was R11 to the US dollar, its weakest in over five years. – Sapa

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