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By Brian Sokutu

Senior Print Journalist

Gold mining wage talks continue as NUM foresees agreement

NUM this week declared a dispute with the minerals council and referred the wage deadlock to the CCMA for facilitation.

Despite being the only union to pull out of the gold mining sector wage talks with the Minerals Council South Africa (MCSA), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is confident about eventually reaching “an amicable agreement” with the MCSA, according to spokesperson Luvhuwani Mammburu.

NUM this week declared a dispute with the council and referred the wage deadlock to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for facilitation – leaving the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), Solidarity and the United Association of South Africa (UASA) at the negotiating table.

The three unions yesterday continued discussions with gold producers AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony, Sibanye-Stillwater and Village Main Reef, without a tangible outcome being reached.

Chief negotiator for gold producers Motsamai Motlhamme said parties “engaged in bilateral meetings with each union to discuss the process going forward following which the parties reconvened in a plenary session”.

NUM’s Mammburu described the talks as “tough”.

“But we hope to reach an amicable solution through the CCMA facilitation,” he said.

The union is demanding R9 450 for surface workers, R10 450 for underground employees and 14.5% for artisans and officials.

Amcu, the majority union in the gold sector, is demanding a minimum entry level salary for all jobs to be pegged at R12 500.

The month-long dispute follows gold producers having tabled offers ranging from 6.2% and 8.2% for surface and underground, with artisans and officials being offered 5%.

The key benefits on which concessions have been made on non-wage demands include:

  • Extension of the medical contribution for categories four and eight employees to 60% for companies and 40% for employees.
  • Increase of the minimum medical incapacity benefit to R60 000 over a three-year period.
  • Increase of the minimum severance pay to R36 000 over a three-year period.
  • Agreement to engage at company level with the Igula Provident Fund, or any other fund, as an additional retirement fund option.
  • Agreement to introduce a 0.5% service increment per year for officials from 1 July 2019 at some companies.

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