President of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), Joseph Mathunjwa, said on Tuesday that his union was yet to decide whether to join the court application to set aside Sibanye-Stillwater's merger with Lonmin Plc. Picture: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

JOHANNESBURG - President of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), Joseph Mathunjwa, said on Tuesday that his union was yet to decide whether to join the court application to set aside Sibanye-Stillwater's merger with Lonmin Plc.

Last month, the Greater Lonmin Community (GLC) approached the Constitutional Court to apply for condonation, and is seeking leave to appeal and set aside Sibanye's R5.2 billion acquisition of platinum mining company Lonmin.

The GLC is a not-for-profit organisation representing various affected communities of Rustenburg, such as Marikana, Mooinooi, Majakeng, Tornado, Nkaneng, and Bapo ba Mogale.

The organisation wants the court to declare section 17 read together with section 13 (a) of the Competition Act unconstitutional and declare the merger of Sibanye and Lonmin irregular.

It argues that the merger was approved without the department of mineral resources (DMR) having approved a social labour plan (SLP) on a large merger.

AMCU's appeal against the merger was dismissed in May by the Competition Appeals Court (CAC), which upheld the Competition Tribunal's decision of November 21, 2018 to approve Sibanye's offer. Sibanye is opposing the application. 

Briefing the media on Tuesday in Sandton, Mathunjwa said that AMCU, the union's national executive committee (NEC) was in support of the community's initiative, but was still going to decide whether to financially contribute to the court challenge.

"We will support any effort that seeks to bring back our minerals and to benefit communities. We have not reached the stage of deciding to instruct our lawyers to file a supporting affidavit," Mathunjwa said. 

"The NEC of AMCU will take that decision in their upcoming meeting this week whether they want to be part of the papers to the court, so it's not a decision that I can just say over the media."

Meanwhile, Mathunjwa said AMCU had increased its R12,500 wage demand made in 2012 in the platinum sector and was now demanding R17,000 for entrance workers, to be achieved over three years.

Mathunjwa said that AMCU's latest adjusted demands, among others, included a basic salary increase of R1,500 per year for category A and B workers over a three-year agreement, and 10 percent for category C and D workers over the same period, including a housing allowance of R1,000.

Amplats is currently offering a basic salary increase of R1,000 for year one, and R800 for years two and three, to be paid to job grade A and B workers, and 5.5 percent for each of the 3 years to workers in categories C and D.

Implats is offering a R800 salary increase per year for each of the three years proposed for categories A and B, and five percent increases for C categories, as well as an increase of R100 on living out allowances. 

Sibanye RPM is offering R700 as basic salary increases to category A and B workers for years one and two, and R800 for year three. They offer 4.3 percent for category C and D for each of the three years.

At Lonmin operations, Sibanye is offering R300 salary increases for year one, R350 for year two and R400 for year three.

- African News Agency (ANA)