A day after the majority of employees in the gold industry went on strike, negotiations between unions and mining companies made slight headway.
Two companies broke away from the collective bargaining process agreeing to an 8% wage increase. Gold producers and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have shown they are willing to compromise, but there is still a long way to go if the industry is to avoid a protracted strike.
Meanwhile, The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) smells a conspiracy.
The settlements were reached on Wednesday when Village Main Reef and Pan African Resources applied to negotiate outside of the collective bargaining process that has the NUM and Chamber of Mines at loggerheads.
Evander and Tau Lekoa mines, which employ about 4,500 NUM members, reached a deal including an 8% increase in basic wages for category four and five workers, including rock drill operators and a 7.5% increase for category six to eight employees, including miners, artisans and officials.
"That the producers and the unions can find one another in the interests of preserving these operations indicates our mutual desire to achieve an affordable and sustainable settlement," said the Chamber's chief negotiator, Elize...