Pretoria - The mineral resource department will pull out of negotiations in the platinum wage dispute if parties do not come to an agreement next week, Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said on Saturday.

“On Monday all the parties (mine bosses and Amcu) will be coming back,” he told reporters in Irene, south of Pretoria.

“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.”

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members at Lonmin, Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum 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.

The strike has cost the employers R21.2 billion in revenue and employees have reportedly lost R9.4bn in earnings.

Last week Ramatlhodi set up a inter-governmental technical team to help resolve the wage dispute.

Sapa