File picture - A Lonmin mine shaft at Marikane in North West. Photo: Leon Nicholas

Rustenburg - Lonmin mineworkers are simply asking for their right to a living wage, SA Council of Churches president Jo Seoka said on Monday.

“The workers' demand is clear to everyone now. They want a living wage and will not go back to work until their demand is met,” said Seoka, who is also the chairman of the Bench Marks Foundation.

The Bench Marks Foundation is an independent faith-based organisation monitoring corporate performance, and is involved in the mediation process at the mine.

Seoka said Lonmin management had not brought anything to the negotiation table.

“Lonmin just want them to go back to work. They have not indicated where they stand as far as the demand is concerned.”

Seoka said a peace accord that was to be agreed upon by the parties had stalled.

The accord included the creation of a safe work environment and the surrendering of weapons by the workers.

“There is no progress regarding the accord for now. Workers are also saying they do not want to see armed police officers around them.”

Worker leader Zolisa Bodwani said the striking workers would not budge.

“Lonmin should at least bring something to the table.... Until then the strike continues.”

Seoka said the negotiating parties, which included worker representatives and the department of labour, had been given until Thursday to come up with an agreement.

“Management has failed to heed the workers' call. Theirs is a plea for a living wage only,” he said. - Sapa