Talks to end platinum strike get going again

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BR AMCU _0676 Independent Newspapers Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa appeals to strikers at Anglo American Platinum's Khuseleka shaft 1 on Tuesday not to carry sticks when they march because it's against the law. Photo: Supplied

Johannesburg - Talks between platinum producers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) aimed at resolving the costly strike in the sector resumed in Pretoria yesterday.

Amcu national treasurer Jimmy Gama said any offer that came out of the talks would have to be conveyed to the union’s members before a decision could be taken to end the strike .

Amcu workers went on strike at Impala Platinum (Implats), Lonmin and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) mines last Thursday. The union is demanding R12 500 a month for entry-level workers.

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) is acting as a mediator in the talks.

On Friday, before the talks began, Lonmin chief executive Ben Magara said in an SAfm interview that platinum producers had offered increases of between 8 percent and 8.5 percent. Lonmin had been negotiating with the union since October last year.

Amplats chief executive Chris Griffith, Implats chief executive Terence Goodlace and Magara had said a prolonged strike would probably further damage South Africa’s reputation as an attractive business and investment destination.

In a statement issued after the first round of talks with the CCMA on Friday afternoon, Amplats spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said that every day production of about 4 000 ounces of platinum was being lost at its affected mines.

This was equal to about R60 million in lost revenue every day at prevailing market prices. - Sapa

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