Minister to brief media on platinum talks

Johannesburg - Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi will hold a press briefing on Tuesday, following his withdrawal of the inter-governmental task team from the platinum talks.

Ramatlhodi set up the task team soon after his appointment to assist platinum producers and union Amcu in resolving the five month-long impasse.

Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi. Picture: Timothy Bernard. Credit: Independent Newspapers

On Monday, Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum, and Lonmin announced the task team's withdrawal from the talks and thanked Ramatlhodi for his intervention.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union downed tools on January 23, demanding a basic monthly salary of R12,500.

They have so far rejected the companies' offer that would bring their cash remuneration to R12,500 by July 2017.

At a media briefing in Pretoria on Saturday, Ramatlhodi said he would pull out of negotiations if parties did not come to an agreement by Monday.

“I am pulling out on Monday if they do not find each other. If they do not find each other I wish them and South Africa luck,” he said on Saturday.

Political parties, business and various other organisations called for more efforts from government to take action.

“Government must continue to be part of efforts to end the strike by bringing parties towards a mutually beneficial solution,” Democratic Alliance spokesman James Lorimer said in a statement on Monday.

“This is no time for the minister to run and hide.”

The SA Council of Churches said Ramatlhodi's withdrawal from talks was regrettable.

The religious organisation said it offered “a physical presence” to the process in order to create a fresh, neutral space within which it would try and build on the work done. - Sapa