Johannesburg - The SA Council of Churches on Friday commended those involved in the platinum mining sector negotiations for the progress they have made.

“We congratulate the parties for maintaining the momentum of negotiations to the point of mutual accommodation,” SACC president Ziphozihle Siwa said in a statement.

“The work of all the stakeholders - the workers, the employers, and facilitators - towards this milestone is appreciated. We are optimistic that, having come this far, the parties will walk this last mile with confidence as they reach finalisation.”

Earlier, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union said it had accepted a new wage offer in principle but some outstanding issues still needed to be discussed.

The offer consisted of a R1000 wage increase per month for A and B band (unskilled and semi-skilled) workers over two years. Thereafter, it would be R950 per month.

Skilled workers in the C band (officials, artisans, and miners) were offered an eight percent increase in the first year and 7.5

percent for the two years thereafter.

The outstanding demands by some miners include:

- The reinstatement at Lonmin of 235 essential services workers who were dismissed during the strike;

- The housing allowances - also known as living out allowances -to be increased by an unspecified amount; and

- That workers get back-pay from January and be paid for the months they were on strike.

Amcu members at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum have been on strike since January 23, demanding a basic monthly salary of R12,500.

The SACC said a lot of pain had been experienced in the past year.

“We pray and plead for co-operation and much patience by all towards the healing of all scars incurred during this difficult time, for the process of healing for all to follow,” said Siwa. - Sapa