Strike not over yet for some NUM members

"We are still in consultation with members as some had gone away for the weekend, the majority have accepted the offer … we would be finalising everything with employers on Monday," said general secretary Frans Baleni.

Mine workers at Harmony Gold in the Northern Cape and Free State have rejected the 8%. However; mine workers at Harmony Gold's Klerksdorp mine have accepted the offer and are expected to be back at work on Sunday.

"Harmony would like to urge all its employees who had embarked on a strike to start reporting for work as from tonight [Sunday]," the company said in a statement.

However the two branches that are unhappy will carry on striking. "We will be engaging with the members to find out why they are rejecting the offer. If they want more, we will have to go back to the Chamber of Mines and re-negotiate," said NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka.

Seshoka also disputed the fact that they have folded for a lesser figure than originally demanded. He explained that the 8% for basic wage is added to the 2% that has been offered for leaving out allowance.

The Chamber of Mines South Africa which represents gold producers, presented unions with a revised offer on Wednesday. Most mines accepted the offer and they include: AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Rand Uranium, Harmony Gold, Evander Gold, Sibanye Gold, and Village Main Reef.

Under the two-year offer, category four and five employees, and rock drill operators would receive increases of 8% and other employees 7.5%, with effect from July 1 2013.

Employees would also receive inflation-linked increases with effect from July 1 next year. The current monthly living out allowance of R1 640 would increase to R2 000 in two R180 steps, on September 1 this year, and again next year.

Evander Gold and Village Main Reef reached an agreement with the NUM and the United Association of SA on Wednesday.

Anglo Gold Ashanti had said that the NUM, Solidarity and Uasa had indicated that their members would accept the improved offer.

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Khuthala Nandipha
Khuthala Nandipha is a journalist for the Mail & Guardian. This involves writing about various social issues that develop and change on an hourly basis. Her interests are, in a nutshell, how South Africa and the world’s revolution affect the person on the street: “the forgotten voting citizens”, as she calls them. She loves writing, and taking photos as a way to complement her stories. She grew up on the south-east coast of East London in the Eastern Cape. She studied journalism at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. She is not new to Jo’burg, having spent the first eight years of her journalism career working for various newspapers and magazines there.

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