NUM signs five-year wage agreement with South32

South32’s manganese operations in Kimberley, Northern Cape. SUPPLIED.

South32’s manganese operations in Kimberley, Northern Cape. SUPPLIED.

Published Jun 7, 2024


The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has signed a five year wage agreement with South32 covering the miner’s Hotazel Manganese Mines in Kimberley, Northern Cape.

South32 is placing greater importance and investment priority for its South African manganese operations.

The mine said last month that it was investing as much as $15 million (around R280m) into new mining areas for its South African manganese operations as it studies an expansion programme for its Wessels mine project.

The company’s latest agreement with workers under NUM for its Hotazel operations would provide it with certainty to a labour framework that is often volatile in South Africa.

“The parties agreed to the harmonisation of B-Lower level employees effective from 1st June 2024,” the NUM said yesterday.

Employees at South32’s Hotazel mine will receive wage increases to their remuneration over a five-year period.

This will see the mine’s B band employees receiving an increase of 7% in the first year, 6.5% in second year and 2.6% for years three, four and five.

The C band employees will get wage increases of 6.5% in year one, 6.2% in year two and 5.7% CPI in subsequent years.

In terms of medical aid, the Hotazel workers will receive R2 100 in year one, R2 200 in the second year as well as R2 300, R2 400 and R2 500 in subsequent years there after, respectively.

There will be underground allowance of R1 100 in year one, and R1 500 in year five.

Workers will receive R1 100 in housing allowance in year one, and R1 500 in year five, and a once-off cash offer of R20 000.

NUM regional secretary, Mosepedi Sanane, said they were delighted to have this agreement reached within the stipulated negotiations time.

“This agreement is been achieved without facilitation processes. We are therefore applauding all parties at the negotiating table for the job well done,” Sanane said.

South32’s South African manganese production swung up by 8% in the nine month period to the end of March as the company delivered improved mining performance despite port, rail and electricity constraints afflicting the country’s economic productivity.

The stronger SA manganese production covered up for low output in Australia where operations were impacted by Cyclone Megan.

South32 is now working on “recovery plans to enable safe return to operations” and exports of ore.

Saleable production from the South Africa manganese operations for South32 grew by 119 000 wet metric tons to a new high of 1.6 million wet metric tons over the nine months to the end of March.

This has been attributed to the South African operation delivering “improved mining performance” while “planned maintenance was deferred to the June 2024 quarter,” the company said.