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Is the platinum sector strike drawing to a close?

by , 04 June 2014

Finally it's looking hopeful that the strike in the platinum sector could be nearing an end. The new mining minister, who took his position last week, made it his number one priority to try and resolve the strike. The stoppage is now in its fifth month. And it's not just the mining minister who is hopeful, the striking union is also positive about recent talks. Let's take a closer look at what's going on…

The wage talks are slowly making progress

There are glints of hope that the “crippling platinum mine strike will come to an end,” says Fin24. This as the top three platinum companies, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and a government taskforce “make progress on secret negotiations”.

Ngoako Ramatlhodi, the new mining minister, says he hopes the strike will be over by the end of the week, adds Fin24. He said “it’s a work in progress, but so far so good”.

The president of the AMCU, Joseph Mathunjwa, told Bloomberg that the union believes “there will be some breakthrough”. Mr Mathunjwa added that the mining minister is “taking the matters on the table very seriously”.

The new mining minister intervened with wage talks last week

Towards the end of last week, the mining minister began talks with the platinum producers and the AMCU in a bid to end the lengthy strike.

The AMCU is demanding “R12,500 a month as a basic minimum wage” in four years’ time, says Mining Weekly. The platinum producers have offered R12,500 a month in three years’ time, but this also includes allowances.

As talks continue to progress, let’s hopes they can indeed bring an end to a strike which is 19 weeks long tomorrow. The South African economy certainly needs the platinum mines working.

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