NUM declared a wage dispute with the Minerals Council of South Africa. Photo: Dumisani Dube/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - Wage negotiations between South African gold producers and three mineworker unions continued on Wednesday, despite one union pulling out and declaring a dispute with the employer. 

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) declared a wage dispute with the Minerals Council of South Africa on Tuesday. 

But the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), Solidarity and Uasa have stayed on in talks with gold producers AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold, Sibanye-Stillwater and Village Main Reef for wage negotiations that started on July 11. 

Chief negotiator on behalf of the gold producers, Motsamai Motlhamme said: "The parties today engaged in bilateral meetings with each union to discuss the process going forward following which the parties reconvened in a plenary session."

Wage negotiations will continue next week Wednesday. 

The gold producers on Tuesday tabled a conditional wage offer to unions in the sector and said due to the stagnant gold price; rising costs; and falling profitability of the sector the initial wage demands from unions would "severely impact the sustainability of old and marginal mines".

For the first year, the conditional offers range between a 6.2 percent and 8.2 percent increase for Category 4 underground employees; and a four percent and five percent increase for miners, and artisans, and officials.

 - African News Agency (ANA)