Johannesburg - Most gold mines have been severely affected by the sector strike, the Chamber of Mines said on Wednesday.
Gold producers' representative spokeswoman Charmane Russell said less than 20 percent of the work force arrived for shifts at the affected mines since the strike action started on Tuesday.
This is according to an update posted on goldwagenegotiations.co.za, which is hosted by the Chamber of Mines.
It showed that only six out of 23 listed mines were fully operational.
The companies represented by the chamber are AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Rand Uranium, Harmony Gold, Evander Gold, Sibanye Gold, and Village Main Reef.
According to the site, Sibanye's Driefontein mine, Evander Gold, AngloGold Ashanti's Mponeng, Davuka, TauTona, and Village Main Reef were fully operational.
AngloGold Ashanti mines in the Vaal River operated on “essential services only”.
Russell said the strike action could result in daily losses of millions of rands if all production was halted.
“If a hundred percent of all mines weren't in operation, that would potentially lose the producers R350 million and employees could lose R100 million in wages daily.”
Earlier, the National Union of Mineworkers said support for the gold mining sector strike was “overwhelming”.
“There has been an overwhelming response to the strike,” spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said.
“The strike will carry on indefinitely until our demands are met.”
Seshoka repeatedly dismissed reports the union was ready to settle on a 10 percent increase on wages.
“We just said we would be willing to ease our demands but it must be a double-digit increase that is worth the workers' while.
“We are still at a (wage) increase of R2300 for surface miners, and R3000 for underground miners,” he said.
Surface workers currently earn R4700 per month and underground workers earn R5000.
This equates to a 49 percent wage increase for surface workers and a 60 percent wage increase for underground workers.
Seshoka said the NUM had submitted the above figures to employers, and not a percentage.
Although no talks were scheduled as yet, the chamber showed a willingness to further negotiate.
“The chamber (of mines) is now crying like a new-born baby because operations were severely affected.”
The employers offered a basic increase of 6.5 percent for category four and five employees, including rock drill operators.
An offer of six percent on the basic wage was made to category six to eight, as well as to miners, artisans, and officials.
In addition, accommodation allowances would be increased in accordance with the consumer price index. - Sapa