JOHANNESBURG, June 10 — Wage negotiations in South Africa’s gold mining sector will begin in two weeks’ time at a venue yet to be decided.
The parties involved met on Tuesday to finalize processes for the talks and agreed to also put forward names of a facilitator who will chair the negotiations.
When the negotiations begin on June 22, the Chamber of mines will represent AngloGold Ashanti, Evander Gold, Harmony, Sibanye Gold and Village Main Reef. Four unions will represent 93,000 workers in the sector.
The trade union Solidarity is demanding a 12 per cent wage hike while the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) wants at least a 50 per cent increase for entry-level employees and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is demanding a 12,500-Rand (about 991 US dollars) minimum monthly wage for entry-level workers.
Solidarity’s Deon Reyneke said: “One of the challenges is that we have to get a settlement that can benefit all our members and prevent retrenchments from going forward.”
NUM’s David Sipunzi said: “We are anticipating that the employers will plead poverty, and we are going to be steadfast. We are not going to go back on our demands this time.”
It does not look like it will be an easy round of talks.
Chamber of Mines spokesperson Elize Strydom said: “No, it’s not doable but what we are saying to the unions is viability, sustainability and job security.”
The current wage agreement expires at the end of this month.