File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

RUSTENBURG - Trade unions are expected to formally respond to wage offer tabled by gold producers when the third round of negotiations resume on Wednesday in Boksburg east of Johannesburg.

Gold producers tabled an opening offer of a three-year wage proposal ranging from 5.5 percent and 6.5 percent for underground employees, and between 3 and 4.5 percent for miners, artisans and officials. 

Unions tabled an opening wage hike demands ranging from R 9,500 to R12,500.

Majority union in the gold sector, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) tabled an entry-level R9 500 for workers employed on the surface, R10,500 entry level for underground workers and 15 percent across the board for officials.

The union demanded a living out allowance of R3,000 and housing allowance of R5,000. It also wants a two-year agreement.

"These wage offers are not even close to what our members are demanding. The gold producers have been very arrogant in their approach to this wage negotiations to the extent that their offer on the table smacks of insults and arrogance," NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said at the end of the second round of negotiations.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is demanding R12 500 as the minimum wage for all employees between categories four to eight as well as a re-evaluation of the job grading system.

"Amcu is of the belief that the system is outdated as it was implemented during, and reflects, the previous regime. The union proposes that category four should be abolished or absolved into category five," national treasurer of the union Jimmy Gama said at the start of the second round of negotiations.

Amcu also demanded 12 percent basic salary increase for miners and artisans among its demands.

- African News Agency (ANA)