Wage talks intend to avert strike at Implats

A mine workers union and negotiators at Impala Platinum were in talks to head off a strike over wages that could affect global prices of the precious metal.

The negotiations with the world’s second largest platinum producer take place after unionised gold and coal workers reached deals this week for 7.5% to 10% wage hikes to end strikes that dented output in the global mining power.

Results from the talks are not expected until later on Thursday, said Eddie Majadibodu, chief negotiator at the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

“The negotiations are getting very tough now, so it is difficult to say where the talks will go,” he said on Wednesday.

The NUM — seeking a 14% raise for its 26 000 workers at Implats — has rejected the latest offer from the company of between 7.5% and 8%. Unions say employers should pass along the benefits of high precious metal prices to workers facing increasing food and fuel bills.

Implats and its bigger rival Anglo American Platinum together account for two-thirds of global platinum supply and any prolonged strike could push prices higher.

Economists have cautioned that wage settlements well above the current 5% inflation rate erode South Africa’s global competitiveness by driving up the cost for a labour force already more expensive and less efficient than those in rival emerging economies.

The African National Congress — in a governing alliance with labour — does not want to antagonise a group that has supplied it with millions of votes by putting pressure on unions to seek more modest deals.

Gold miners started returning to work late on Tuesday after a two-year deal was reached with the country’s top three gold miners. The companies said it would take a day or two before mines are back to full production.

The NUM said it is also in wage talks with state-owned utility Eskom, which supplies more than 95% of South Africa’s power. They were also expected to last into Thursday. — Reuters

Staff Reporter
Guest Author

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

What the law could clarify this year

Lawfare: Major developments are on the cards where law and politics meet, including the first amendment to South Africa’s Bill of Rights

The secret ‘Warmonger’ at the SSA

A listening device acquired by the agency is at the centre of an alleged R600-million fraud operation

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.