Johannesburg - Talks aimed at resolving Amcu's strike in the platinum sector got underway at the CCMA's Johannesburg head office around 11.30am on Friday.
Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, senior management of Impala Platinum, Lonmin, and Anglo American Platinum and Amcu representatives were present.
Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union president Joseph Mathunjwa was accompanied by dozens of union members, most of them wearing green Amcu T-shirts.
It was believed that the parties met individually ahead of the negotiations on Friday morning, and that an Amcu branch was late and had slightly delayed the talks.
A strike by the union's members at Impala, Lonmin and Anglo American Platinum entered its second day on Friday.
Amcu wants entry-level monthly salary of R12,500.
The government offered to mediate in the meeting at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.
Security was tight at the CCMA offices and the media were kept in a holding room from 9am.
Shortly before 11.30am, there was a photo opportunity as all parties sat down for the first time together.
The media were given strict instructions not to ask any questions as the delegates greeted one another cordially.
There was no briefing and after a few moments journalists were ushered out again.
Amplats chief executive Chris Griffith, Implats chief executive Terence Goodlace, and Lonmin chief executive Ben Magara said a prolonged strike would probably further damage South Africa's reputation as an attractive business and investment destination.
The Business Day on Friday reported analysts as saying that the platinum strike was one of the factors that weakened the rand against the US dollar.
On Thursday, the exchange rate was R11 to the US dollar, its weakest in over five years. - Sapa